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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

Concrete Driveway vs. Asphalt Driveway: Which Is Best?

concrete driveway vs asphalt driveway

When you are deciding on the best driveway for your home, your first thoughts may be a choice between concrete and asphalt.

Both of these offer great value for money, and are the standard choices for UK homes, but which one is best, and if you could choose something else entirely, what would that be?

It is estimated that a new driveway can add around 10% to the value of your home, adding as much as £22,000 to the average house price in the UK. When it is considered that both asphalt and concrete driveways can come in at around £4,000 to build, this can be a great investment.

However, if either of these driveways don’t live up to expectations, and start to cause structural or practical problems, then all of that money will be wasted, and you could even devalue your home, as the following article reveals…

Concrete Driveways: Key Considerations

The installation of a concrete driveway involves a lot of preparation work, but this ensures that the work is properly carried out, and that the driveway lasts a long time.

Your concrete driveway should be laid by a professional to get the best results, and a number of rules should be strictly adhered to:

● The sub base should be dug out to a minimum of 200mm to ensure there is enough room for the soil and crushed stone layer. This stage is essential for water drainage.
● The sub base should be compacted so that the concrete doesn’t start to dip or sink as this can cause cracks to appear in the surface.
● The concrete should be poured in sections of no more than 4 metres to ensure that there are gaps left for expansion. Concrete contains water and therefore will expand if it freezes.
● It is essential that the driveway is level to avoid any low spots where water can sit. This water could cause damage to the driveway or turn to ice making your driveway dangerous. It may also discolour your driveway due to the formation of algae spots.
● The contractor should always use formers to ensure that the concrete does not flow onto your nearby areas or into garden beds.
● Your concrete driveway will take around 10 days to cure properly before it can be driven on.

concrete driveway vs asphalt driveway

Concrete Driveways: Problems And Pitfalls

While your concrete driveway may look great to start with, there are ways that it can cause a problem too. The most common is that it may start to sink in places. This is almost always caused by the sub-base being too soft, and moving around under the driveway.

It can also be due to water leakages under the driveway that affect the soil beneath – turning it to mud.

Other issues you may encounter are cracks caused by the concrete layer being too thin, the wrong concrete mix being used and or gaps developing under the concrete layer causing it to become unstable.

Many of these issues can be fixed by either patching the concrete driveway, or pulling up sections, improving the base, and relaying it. The result, however, is almost always a patchy looking driveway that doesn’t look like you spent a few thousand pounds on it, and one which will not improve the value of your home.

A concrete driveway will last around 10 to 20 years, providing it has been laid properly and maintained.

concrete driveway vs asphalt driveway

Be aware that asphalt driveways are most commonly sold by so-called cowboys. They fail to prepare the base correctly, use sub standard asphalt mixes and do not offer a guarantee of their work. Always check your contractor before offering the job – no matter how cheap it seems

Asphalt Driveways: How Do They Compare To Concrete?

Asphalt is incredibly common as a driveway surface due to the ease of laying it, the fact it is very flexible and forgiving and the fact it is a cheaper product. It is also entirely recyclable, making it a good option for anyone wanting to avoid the environmental concerns of using concrete.

Asphalt is made up of stone, sand and bitumen – giving it its distinctive black look.

As with concrete there are a few things that you should be be aware of before you choose to have an asphalt driveway laid:

● The sub base is once again extremely important. It should be compacted, and use a thick layer of crushed stone for free drainage.
● There are different types of asphalt that can be used on your driveway – hot, warm and cold. Hot asphalt is almost always better – however, a number of contractors tend to use cold asphalt, which is more prone to cracking.
● An asphalt driveway will take a long time to cure properly – up to 90 days. During this time it may be more prone to cracking or crumbling.
● Many contractors will advise that your asphalt driveway is sealed. This is not recommended, as it can interfere with the curing process, and lead to leaching.
● Asphalt often suffers with crumbling on the edges, as the sub base is not extended far enough. It is essential that the sub base reaches at least 6 inches beyond the asphalt top.

Asphalt should last around 12 years plus depending on how it is used. It is, however, more prone to crumbling than other driveway types.

concrete driveway vs asphalt driveway

Clearly there are many things to take into consideration when deciding on your new driveway. But the most important priority of all is that your driveway lasts, and looks great for years to come. Resin bound meets this criteria, making it better than other driveway options, including asphalt and concrete

Resin Bound Driveways: A Multi-Purpose Surfacing Solution

Reading our guides on concrete and asphalt, you may have decided that you want something else entirely. Resin bound is another good option, and is actually far superior to both asphalt and concrete as a driveway material.

Resin bound material is made by mixing together your choice of gravel (in any colour you wish) with resin. This mix is then trowelled over the prepared base (usually concrete or asphalt), and left to harden. It is beautiful look at, and the result can last upwards of 20 years.

In addition to it’s aesthetic appeal, resin bound surfacing also offers the following range of benefits:

● Resin bound is slightly more expensive than both concrete and asphalt, but it will improve the look of your home to a greater degree – making it different to the rest of the street, and therefore improving its value.
● Resin bound is easy to lay, and does not suffer with cracks or dips. The level of material can be built up to ensure that there are no low points that can catch water.
● Resin bound is entirely permeable, and, therefore, any water that does sit on the surface will sink through to the earth below – improving the environment, and preventing flood risks.
● Resin bound is applied in one go, and therefore has no joins. The look is more uniform.
● You can choose your favourite colour for your resin bound driveway, giving it that unique feel you want.
● Resin bound driveways are sought after compared to both asphalt and concrete.

Clearly there are many things to take into consideration when deciding on your new driveway. But the most important priority of all is that your driveway lasts, and looks great for years to come. Resin bound meets this criteria, making it better than other driveway options, including asphalt and concrete.

Take the first step to transforming your existing driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!