When it comes to selecting the right materials for your commercial driveway paving, sidewalk paving, or parking lot paving, you have two primary options: concrete or asphalt. So how do you decide which one to go with? Is one better than the other? Does one last longer than the other? What about durability and load distribution? Below, our North Country Concrete team has outlined the differences between the two paving options and why concrete offers commercial property owners a few distinct advantages.

Concrete Vs. Asphalt: Composition Differences and Properties

Both asphalt and concrete paving feature a base made from a combination of aggregates, which typically include some type of stone, sand, and gravel. Beyond similarities in base composition, the two materials are quite different in terms of their properties. Here’s how:

●        Asphalt paving. Categorized as flexible pavement, asphalt contains an oil-based adhesive that holds the various aggregates together. Because asphalt is more flexible than concrete, it’s also weaker, which means it doesn’t distribute load as evenly or widely across the subgrade beneath the surface pavement.

●        Concrete paving. Categorized as rigid pavement, concrete contains a combination of sturdy aggregates and cement adhesive. As a rigid pavement, concrete boasts superior strength, which allows it to distribute load more widely and evenly across the subgrade beneath the surface.

Because of their composition differences, the structural strength of the two paving materials differs considerably. Less structurally durable asphalt requires several more layers to achieve the thickness and associated strength necessary for optimal load distribution.

Because concrete paving is naturally strong due to its composition, it’s a highway heavy material that does not require such layered application to achieve optimal density. As such, concrete offers several distinct advantages that asphalt simply cannot boast.

Advantages of Concrete Paving

Though asphalt is highly common in paving, it’s not the best material for the job in many cases. Here’s why:

●        Maintenance. Due to its more durable composition, concrete paving generally requires less maintenance than asphalt. Because glaring potholes and large cracks are less likely to develop over time, concrete helps maintain smooth traffic flow by reducing property disruptions caused by repair crews.

●        Longevity. Even with a reduced need for maintenance, concrete paving tends to last far longer than its asphalt counterpart. On average, concrete has a lifespan of 20-40 years, depending on traffic and conditions.

●        Long-term cost savings. Due to its superior longevity and low-maintenance nature, concrete paving — though it may prove more expensive initially — offers long-term cost savings over asphalt.

●        Environmental impact. Unlike asphalt, which contains byproducts of petroleum processing, concrete is 100% recyclable, which makes it a more environmentally friendly paving material.

For those who work outdoors in hot weather conditions, concrete paving also delivers a more comfortable working environment due to its reduced capacity for heat absorption. Unlike asphalt, which readily absorbs heat from the sun, concrete paving is lighter in color, meaning it reflects rather than absorbs solar heat.

Considering Commercial Concrete Paving? Contact North Country Concrete Today

At North Country Concrete, we provide industry-leading concrete services for commercial property owners throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities metro. We specialize in a wide variety of commercial concrete services, including pervious concrete, sidewalk paving, driveway paving, parking lot paving, and several others. Our extensive industry experience and commitment to superior quality workmanship, project transparency, and customer service has set our team apart for over 25 years.

To learn more about our commercial concrete services or to schedule a project estimate, give us a call at 763-576-8602 or send us a message through our contact form, and we’ll be in touch promptly.