Driveway Replacement- Concrete or Asphalt?

aerosmithMay 2, 2007

Due to water main break in January we were left with an asphalt drive that was heaved and cracked. We also have to replace some brick and the concrete garage apron. We are waiting on an answer from the city's insurance carrier. They did send out two independent engineer's to check for any structural damage to the foundation. They spent several hours in the attic and crawlspace and taking measurements and pictures. No word from that yet either.

We feel that since we have to take out the driveway, we might as well replace it with concrete. The insurance will probably only pay a portion since the original is 27 year old asphalt. Concrete will be $6200 for 21 ft. X 60 ft. Asphalt will be $3500 to $4000. We live in central Indiana. Do you think concrete is worth the extra money?

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Hmm. In general, in the U.S., you find asphalt driveways up north and concrete in the south and west. Northern climates use asphalt because it's more flexible in cold weather and less likely to be damaged by frost heaving. In the South, frost heaving isn't a problem. What is a problem is that asphalt drives get hot under the summer sun, and parked cars sink into them. Ergo, concrete.

I'm thinking central Indiana would fall into the "north" category for purposes of driveway paving, but I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 2:44PM
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I disagree about asphalt up north. I live in Michigan and a large portion of the driveways are concrete. Asphalt is not flexible and is usually only used to resurface a bad concrete driveway. Concrete is perfectly acceptable for cold conditions and is durable in such conditions.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 3:04PM
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The weather in Indiana now should be about ideal for doing concrete work. We hit 90 in NC today.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:46PM
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Concrete. It is more durable and is not affected by so many of the substances which will land on a driveway (motor oil, cleaners, barbeque grease, etc.). And it doesn't become so soft when it's warm.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:51PM
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Asphalt is used up north more commonly because salt won't leave pits in it. Salt will eat into concrete. If you live on a hill or have to use salt frequently because of snow/ice, then you would probably be better off with asphalt. Best advice is to ask the guys who work on or build roads in your area. In the south, it's more a matter of personal preference but concrete is more commonly used for driveways because it reflects the heat, and doesn't "sink" under the weight of heavy vehicles.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 2:02AM
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The roads around here are about 50/50. According to the DOT engineers it depends on many things (traffic etc). Recently the DOT started doing a process known as white topping which is putting a concrete overlay on an asphalt road.
Yes salt can damage concrete, but in Michigan we have plenty of salt (we use 800 pounds for each mile of two lane road, averaging to around 120,000 tons per season) and we don't have many problems with salt damaging driveways. Hands down undeniably concrete is more durable than asphalt.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:49PM
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Although it's somewhat more expensive than poured concrete, concrete pavers are a great option. They are extremely durable and because they are laid on a bed of sand between two concrete footings, they don't crack and individual pavers can be easily replced if damaged.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:07PM
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I'm with Jason - I'm from Michigan, live in Nebraska and concrete seems best. Had one old, ancient asphalt driveway in Michigan and it was cracked, weeds, etc.
Had a concrete paver patio put in and spent every summer weeding the cracks and trying to get rid of the ants setting up shop in the sand in the cracks. . Not sure if some step was missed or not.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 1:57PM
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