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Thread: cement vs. asphalt

  1. #1

    Default cement vs. asphalt

    Hi everyone! first post, very much enjoy the site. We are wanting to redo 6000 sq ft of drive. cement is about $18,ooo asphalt around $8500. We plan on staying in our home a long time. My wife likes the idea of reblacking the asphalt every few years. Do you think I should bite the bullet now on the cement or will the asphalt hold up as long with sealing every 2 years? Thank you for your input

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    From what I've been told, asphalt will last about 20-years, if you recoat it or not...doesn't matter - it just looks better if you do. Oil spills will cause the asphalt to soften. Cement will stain, but still remain intact. Cement can be stamped to look like brick or stone and colored something other that light grey. Cement could last a lifetime if done well. Lots of use of salt can degrade the cement. If you go with cement, you also have the option of installing pex tubing and manifolds so you could heat it to remove snow. If you don't want to do the whole thing now, you could prepare it for that and hook up a boiler later. If you decide on that option, you want insulation and a water barrier.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    SE Pennsylvania


    IMHO concrete is the better product. Just my feeling, I'm not an expert on the matter.

    Did the prices you quoted include complete excavation and removal of the existing drive? I have a smaller asphalt drive I want to replace, and it should be dug up and redone.

    p.s. We knew you really meant to call it "macadam".

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default asphalt

    Asphalt depends on vehicles driving over it to "recompact" it. With little or moderate traffic it will crack and craze. That is the reason for having to recoat it periodically.


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