Go back
Driveways & Resin Surfacing

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Driveway: Is It Worth The Cost?

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Driveway

We all want our home to have kerb appeal – to be the best looking house on the street. An attractive, practical and fresh driveway is one of the best ways to achieve that. A new and attractive driveway can improve the home’s value and give the entire front garden a real lift.

Asphalt driveways are very popular and for good reason, but would asphalt be the right choice for you?

A new driveway can add as much as 10% to the value of your home, although it is very important that it is well laid and free from defects – these could send the value of your home plummeting.

Asphalt has many qualities that do set it apart from other driveway options, but equally, there are many drawbacks too, as the following article reveals…

What Is Asphalt?

Commonly used as a road surface, asphalt is a mixture of stones, sand and aggregate with a binder. The most common binder is bitumen at around 5% of the total product. It is used by the road laying industry as it is easy to lay and lasts well – however the looks can be plain and uninteresting.

Typically very black in colour, asphalt is a good surface for your driveway, but is not very distinctive.

Asphalt is usually a hot mix that is poured into place, and rolled to ensure it is flat. This hot mix dries more slowly, and gives a stronger and more durable finish. Cold mixes of asphalt can also be used, but they are more prone to cracking and crumbling, and are rarely used on roads, except as patches.

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt is considered to be a green environmentally friendly product – not just because it is recyclable. The product costs are low and the machinery used to produce it and recycle it have low emissions. Additionally the material can be applied at a lower temperature and still have similar qualities

Asphalt Driveways: The Pros

● Asphalt is a very flexible surface that can withstand quite a lot of movement before it cracks or disintegrates.
● Asphalt is a smooth surface, making it ideal for being driven over. This makes it ideal for roads, airports and other applications where traffic noise needs to be kept to a minimum.
● Asphalt is a good low cost solution for your driveway as it is entirely recyclable and if reused, asphalt is just as good as newly prepared asphalt. This makes it an excellent cost saver. Cost savings also come from the fact it is quick and easy to prepare and lay.
● Asphalt is permeable, and will allow water to pass through to the ground below. This means that your driveway will not suffer from standing water as long as the asphalt has been laid without dips or low spots.
● Asphalt is very durable, and can be constructed to last as long as 20 years. This is entirely dependent on factors such as the sub-base, and how well the asphalt layer is applied. If it needs to be replaced, the top layer of asphalt can simply be removed, reheated, and used again.
● Asphalt is considered to be a green environmentally friendly product – not just because it is recyclable. The product costs are low and the machinery used to produce it and recycle it have low emissions. Additionally the material can be applied at a lower temperature and still have similar qualities. Once applied, your driveway will not emit gases or other harmful substances into the air, making it a safe product too.
● The black colour of asphalt makes it easy to combine with any home, and it will work aesthetically in almost any environment.
● If your home is prone to snowfall, you will find that an asphalt driveway is easy to maintain and clear of snow. The flat surface allows the use of a blower for leaves, and it can be simply brushed regularly to keep it looking perfect.

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Driveway

The asphalt surface will not be fully cured for around 90 days. It can still be used in this time, but it may be more easily damaged and slightly softer until it has cured completely

Asphalt Driveways: The Cons

● Asphalt is prone to all kinds of damage and crumbling. While most of these issues result from poor laying, an incorrect mix ratio or a sub-base that is not suitable, in some cases, the sheer effects of time can ruin your once pristine driveway. The crumbling often happens around the perimeter, while ruts and marks can be left by tyres if the surface has become warm.
● Asphalt needs to be maintained regularly. This might involve sealing, which will improve how it looks in the short term, but eventually, the need for replacement will come. Other maintenance includes: filling cracks, tidying up cracked and crumbling borders and filling holes.
● The black surface of an asphalt driveway is very uniform and quite boring. There is no room for new or interesting colours. You may find that the surface begins to dull over time as the shine wears off and the aggregate comes to the surface more. This can cause the surface to have a grey look rather than the deep shiny black that it had when first laid.
● The asphalt surface will not be fully cured for around 90 days. It can still be used in this time, but it may be more easily damaged and slightly softer until it has cured completely.
● Asphalt driveways have been known to release oils and tar-like material from its surface – this can be tracked into your home and it very difficult to remove. This is more likely to happen in warmer weather. Sealing the driveway can fix this problem, but this is a job that must be done every two years.

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Driveway

Resin bound driveways are made up of a mixture of resin and aggregate that has been mixed together in a special mixer, and then laid to the required depth on top of a concrete sub-base

Resin Bound Surfacing: The Ideal Alternative To Asphalt

While there are certainly some very good reasons for choosing asphalt, there are some that will put you off this material as well. If this is the case, you may feel that another driveway option would be far more appropriate for the needs of your home.

Resin bound driveways are a great alternative to asphalt, and eliminate many of the issues that arise with asphalt.

The result is an attractive driveway that will last as long as 20 years. It has many other advantages that set it apart from asphalt too, including the following:

● Resin bound surfacing can be customised to any colour, just by changing the chosen aggregate. This allows you to choose a driveway colour that is different to everyone else, and achieve a look that is modern and stylish in equal measure.
● Resin bound driveways are flexible, and unlikely to crack – provided the sub-base is correctly prepared.
● These driveways are entirely permeable – meaning that water will run straight through them. This is perfect for protecting the environment from runoff, and the associated pollution that comes from letting rain water enter the drainage system. Also you can save on the cost of additional drainage.
● Resin bound driveways can be laid in just one day (after the base has been completed), and can be driven on in just a few hours.
● There are no joins in a resin bound driveway – consequently, the chances of expansion and cracks is almost nil.

As you can tell, a resin bound driveway is perfect for almost all applications. While it may be more expensive than an asphalt driveway, it has many other benefits that easily offset this. Mostly it is an attractive driveway option that will improve your home, and probably its value too.

Seeking out an alternative to asphalt that stands the test of time? Resin bound surfacing offers the ideal solution. Take the first step to upgrading your existing driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!