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Asphalt vs. Concrete: What’s the Difference?

Bill Smith - Monday, January 05, 2015



When is comes to your next paving project, you probably know you have 2 main choices: asphalt or concrete. But choosing which one is right for your next project comes with some considerations to make; from physical differences to safety aspects to bottom-line costs.

The Physical

Asphalt (hot mix asphalt) is made up of a handful of aggregates: stone, gravel, and sand. Holding everything together is the liquid asphalt; think of it like ‘glue’.

Limestone, rock, and water are combined to make what we all know as concrete. Some statistics will say that concrete is the most-widely-used material in the world (man-made material, that is).

Safety!

We’ve blogged a lot about pavement maintenance, so it’s important to note that asphalt requires more maintenance than concrete. As far as concrete paving projects go, less maintenance means fewer instances of congestion due to repair crews being in the way of pedestrians and/or automobile traffic.

Taking it a step further, rigid concrete is more durable than asphalt, so you’re also less likely to have potholes and more likely to have a safer surface for automobiles.

Costs of Asphalt vs. Concrete

Pavement made up of concrete tends to have a lifetime of 20-40 years. So while concrete might be more expensive initially, asphalt can range from 4-7 times the cost to maintain. Paving with concrete will save on the maintenance costs. And, concrete is recyclable, so there’s less to add unnecessarily to our landfills!

Want to Know More?

We love to talk paving, so give is a call and ask questions, or if you’re ready for a quote, we can do that too! (518) 266-9526.