The most common materials for paving streets, sidewalks, and roadways 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 lot and a concrete one has to do with cost. Property owners are interested to know which paving material is a more cost-effective investment, and how much their initial price tags might be. Continue reading to learn 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 10 to 30 years, while concrete up to 60 years. Both options are strong and durable, standing up well to inclement weather and natural wear and tear. The material you choose for your property will depend on several factors; one of the most influential being price.
Asphalt is one of the cheapest materials for paving, which is why so many streets and highways are paved with this material. For the same kinds 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 only $1 and $5 per square foot. The size of your lot or space that is 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 purchase the materials, pay for the labor, and continue to maintain it year after year. Larger projects require more supplies, equipment, manpower, and time, all of which will also add to the cost regardless if you use asphalt or concrete.
When evaluating the price of pavement, maintenance is something to take into consideration. Although asphalt is cheaper to purchase and install, it requires more routine maintenance than concrete. For instance, asphalt pavements have to be resealed every few years to maintain a protective layer and support proper water runoff. Sealants vary in price depending on the quality and brand. A 5 gallon bucket of a low-grade sealant will cost an average of $6, while a higher-end sealant will run an average of $20 per gallon. These buckets only cover around 400 square feet of pavement, so the math is easy to estimate here. Concrete, on the other hand, can cost more to repair when cracks begin to form. Concrete crack repair can cost anywhere from a few dollar to a few hundred dollars, depending on several factors.
You can conclude that asphalt and concrete are similar in total cost if you consider initial purchase, maintenance, and possible repairs. The best choice for your property will depend on several factors, including soil conditions, location, average climates, intended usage, water drainage, and much more. For this reason, it is vital to consult a licensed, bonded, and insured paving company in your area before making any final decisions. They have the skills and knowledge necessary to guide you in the most cost-effective direction.