Asphalt vs Concrete Paving: Which One is Right for My Project?

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Although made from similar material, concrete is made up of water, sand, cement, and aggregates while asphalt consists of sand, crushed rock, gravel, and tar. Asphalt is petroleum-based while concrete is cement based.

It is due to these adhesive differences that the question of “which one is right for my project” rises.

How do Asphalt and Concrete Paving Differ?

Maintenance and Repair

An asphalt-paved lot comes with a few guidelines concerning maintenance and repairs. Sealcoat should be done about every 3 to 5 years depending on oxidation and traffic. In regard to sealcoating there are 3 main bases with different blends of each: coal tar based, asphalt emulsion, and petroleum based.

Concrete-paved driveways don’t require as much maintenance. The one thing necessary for concrete maintenance and repair is degreasing. Degreasers, though costly, are necessary for the removal of chemical, oil, and fuel stains that build over time.


Asphalt paving is cheaper than concrete paving. However, asphalt prices tend to fluctuate with changes in crude oil prices. For concrete paving, the cost of a standard installation may increase depending on the finishes, details, and stains.

Lifespan and Durability

Asphalt is less durable than concrete and if properly maintained, can last up to 30 years or more. On the other hand, concrete is more durable and can last 50+ years with occasional degreasing and repairs.

Asphalt vs Concrete When It Comes to Weather and Climate

Asphalt does not thrive in the cold as it may crack from constant thawing and freezing. Also, the road salts eat away at the surface.

Characteristics of Asphalt Paving

  • Asphalt offers 30+ years of use
  • Asphalt is cheaper than concrete
  • When properly maintained, asphalt does not need expensive repairs.
  • Asphalt requires occasional resealing and resurfacing at least every three to five years
  • Although it lacks the creative design aspect present in concrete, recent developments have made it possible for asphalt to be sealed with color tints or mixed with coloring
  • Asphalt repairs are easier
  • It requires more maintenance than concrete
  • Asphalt is softer than concrete, which makes it degenerate easier and faster.

Characteristics of Concrete Paving

  • Concrete offers 50+ years of use
  • Concrete is more expensive than asphalt
  • Concrete is more durable than asphalt and does not need constant resurfacing
  • Unlike asphalt, the only maintenance required for concrete paving is occasional degreasing
  • Though a durable material, concrete when damaged is harder and more expensive to repair than asphalt
  • Concrete offers a more creative appearance as it can be tinted to various colors, stamped with patterns, engraved with different designs, and have different finishes.

Benefits of Sealing a Parking Lot

It’s easier to clean and maintain. Sealcoat fills cracks on the pavement surface which results in a smooth and even-textured surface. This makes it easier to sweep leaves and snow off the pavement. It slows the rate of oxidation. Sealing offers a protective coating over the surface, protecting it from rapid deterioration.

Which One Is Right for Your Project?

To answer this question, there are many factors to consider as outlined above. In some cases, asphalt paving is the better option while in some, concrete paving comes out on top.

Consulting a trustworthy paving company like Georgia’s Wildcat Paving Company could be the first step in the right direction, as you can get guidance from a professional.

For more information about asphalt and concrete paving, call us at 678-377-3113 or contact us through our easy contact form.

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