5 Reasons Asphalt Driveways Are Better Than Concrete Driveways for Colder Environments

17 April 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you live in a colder part of the country that is likely to suffer from freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, you're clearly going to need to take more time to consider what type of material you want to use for your driveway. Homeowners often end up struggling to decide between either concrete or asphalt when it comes to driveway construction — here are just five reasons why asphalt makes a better choice.

1. Asphalt Copes Better with Frost Heaves

When the moisture in soil freezes during colder conditions, it will expand upwards. This is known as a frost heave, and frost heaves can damage any surface that lies right above them. Cement is a very inflexible material, so it is likely to crack under the force. Asphalt can also crack, but the fact that it is a more flexible material makes this less likely.

2. Asphalt Makes Removing Snow Easier

There are very few things as backbreaking during winter as shovelling the snow from your driveway. However, it's much easier to remove snow from asphalt than it is to remove snow from concrete. Additionally, the black colour of asphalt captures more of the sun's heat through a thin layer of snow or ice, meaning that snow and ice will melt a lot faster than they would on a concrete driveway.

3. Asphalt Offers a Rougher Surface

The surface of a concrete driveway is usually quite smooth. People often like the way this looks, but it's not ideal if you're likely to face snow and ice. Because the surface of asphalt is much rougher, it provides more traction. You'll be less likely to slip on the way down your driveway, and your vehicle won't be as likely to spin its wheels instead of actually moving.

4. Asphalt is Not Subject to Flaking

When concrete is mixed improperly, the application of salt used to melt ice and snow can cause heavy flaking, which is often known as spalling. This will make your driveway more vulnerable to further ongoing problems, and it won't make your property look very nice. Asphalt doesn't suffer from such flaking issues.

5. Asphalt Can Be Easily Repaired

Even an asphalt driveway can suffer from cracks when it is subjected to extreme cold on a regular basis. However, an asphalt driveway will be a lot easier to put right than a concrete one. When concrete cracks, the process to fill those cracks takes quite a long time and will be rather expensive. Asphalt driveways can simply be resealed.