At Top Job Asphalt we find that one of our biggest requests for residential projects is for paving, maintenance, or repair on asphalt driveways. We get a lot of questions regarding possible alternatives to asphalt driveways. So we’re going to take the time to layout your options and hopefully address your concerns. Here are details on five alternatives to asphalt driveways.
Five Alternatives to Asphalt Driveways:
1. Poured Concrete
Concrete is often the primary alternative to asphalt driveways. They are a bit more durable and a quick wash down is all that’s needed to make it look as good as new. It’s poured in sections that allow it to compensate for natural shifting and movement. This helps the driveway avoid cracking and premature degradation.
However, it’s important to note that poured concrete driveways are much more expensive than their asphalt counterparts. Sometimes they’re twice as expensive to pave. As far as maintenance goes, concrete is also more difficult and expensive to repair. It’s also important to note that the driveway can suffer damage if you use the wrong de-icing product.
2. Stamped Concrete
This is a dressier version of poured concrete. It’s laid in the same manner and then stamped near completion to provide a particular pattern or design. This is often done to mimic cobblestone and you can also add color to the concrete if you like.
This asphalt driveway alternative has similar pros and cons as poured concrete. Additionally, though, it’s very important that you hire an experienced contractor as stamping is a complicated skill that takes a while to fully learn. This will be more expensive than simply pouring concrete and repairs become trickier as well since there is the design to take into account.
3. Interlocking Pavers
Interlocking pavers are set on a sand and gravel base. The pavers are laid in any manner of pleasing patterns (choices for color and design are almost limitless). They are not mortared down, as they typically are on a patio, but this may be an option in some climates. This asphalt driveway alternative lasts 30-40 years and is more expensive than even concrete to install.
This driveway type is much higher maintenance than either asphalt or concrete alternatives. The pavers can shift with frost or be knocked out of place by any manner of things (vehicles, people, pets, lawn equipment, or tools). Repairs for this are simple though and small sections can easily be relaid with the proper base.
4. Tar and Chip (aka Chip Sealed)
Chip sealed driveways are seen a bit less often, but rather popular in rural areas. This type of driveway has a gravel base. Hot tar is poured over that and chips (or stones) are laid on top of it. The whole driveway is then pressed with roller equipment.
This asphalt driveway alternative is one of the least expensive options you’ll come across. However, it won’t provide a smooth or polished finish. The chips will come loose eventually, but you can repave pretty inexpensively. Your only maintenance will be gathering the stones that have come free.
5. Exposed Aggregate
This alternative is similar to a chip-sealed driveway but is much more polished as it’s sealed. It has a concrete base along with aggregate additives. After it is poured a thin layer of the top concrete is removed with a high-pressure hose, leaving the aggregate partially exposed. Lastly, it’s buffered and sealed, leaving a shiny finish and adding to the durability of the pavement.
Exposed aggregate can become quite expensive, especially for a large driveway. It’s comparable to the most expensive concrete options.
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Bottom Line: There’s a Reason Why Asphalt Driveways Are So Popular
Asphalt driveways are so popular for a reason- durability and affordability. Asphalt driveways are low maintenance and long-lasting.
They require resealing every couple of years and possibly crack seal. But these maintenance projects are quick, easy, and affordable. Especially when compared to their concrete (poured or stamped) and interlocking pavers counterparts. Taking both paving and maintenance into account, asphalt driveways provide for a lower total cost.
The total cost can only be beaten by a chip-sealed driveway. However, this option is much less polished and presentable. It also doesn’t provide melting benefits if you live in a cold climate with ice and snow. An asphalt driveway does, keeping you and your family safe.
Top Job Asphalt has been in the industry for over 10 years! We pride ourselves on our professionalism and expertise. We’ve developed techniques and technology to make sure you get the best-looking and longest-lasting asphalt! Call today for your free quote on your residential or business project. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to talk to you today!