Comparing the Cost of Asphalt and Concrete
The most common materials for paving streets, sidewalks and driveways are concrete and asphalt. Both are paving materials that come with a long list of pros and cons, depending on the application. But one of the first questions that comes to mind when deciding between an asphalt and concrete batch has to do with cost. Homeowners are interested in knowing which paving material is a more profitable investment and what its starting price might be. Read on for some helpful cost comparisons for asphalt and concrete.
Asphalt and Concrete Pavements
With proper maintenance and minor repairs, asphalt and concrete pavements can last for decades; asphalt can last from 10 to 30 years, while concrete up to 60 years. Both options are strong and durable, holding up well to weather and wear and tear. The material you choose for your property will depend on several factors; one of the most influential is the price.
Asphalt is one of the cheapest paving materials, which is why so many streets and highways are paved with it. For the same types of applications, concrete can be more expensive than asphalt. On average, concrete will cost between $3 and $10 per square foot. Asphalt, on the other hand, will set you back just $1 to $5 per square foot. The size of your lot or space being paved is one of the most influential factors in terms of total cost. The larger the scope of the project, the more money it will cost to buy the materials, pay for the labor, and continue to maintain it year after year. Larger projects require more supplies, equipment, labor, and time, all of which will also increase the cost, regardless of whether you use asphalt or concrete.
When evaluating the price of flooring, maintenance is something to consider. Although asphalt is cheaper to purchase and install, it requires more routine maintenance than concrete. For example, asphalt pavements must be resealed every few years to maintain a protective layer and withstand adequate water runoff. Sealants vary in price depending on the quality and brand. A 5-gallon pail of a low-grade sealant will cost an average of $6, while a high-end sealant will cost an average of $20 per gallon. These cubes only cover about 400 square feet of pavement, so the math is easy to estimate here. Concrete, on the other hand, can be more expensive to repair when cracks start to form. Concrete crack repair can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on several factors.
You can conclude that asphalt and concrete have a similar total cost when you consider the initial purchase, maintenance, and possible repairs. The best option for your property will depend on several factors, including soil conditions, location, average climates, intended use, water drainage, and much more. For this reason, it is essential to consult a licensed, bonded and insured paving company in your area before making a final decision. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to guide you in the most profitable direction.