For those looking for a newly paved surface, the choice between concrete and asphalt is a common one. These are two of the most frequently used paving materials out there, and both have been used for literally centuries for a variety of purposes.

At Renaissance Asphalt Services, while we primarily pave,repair and maintain asphalt surfaces, we always want our clients to get the best possible materials – even if that means concrete from another supplier. But did you realize that the two are actually interconnected more than you might think? Let’s look at some basics to know in this area, including a couple areas where the materials differ and one other where they’re more related than most would have considered.

Concrete Joint Issues

One of the most common issues with concrete, and why some people choose asphalt for their paving, is joint issues. Concrete slabs come with expansion joints, which come together in corner areas and may lead to water runoff underneath the driveway – a result you don’t want.

There are a few potential solutions here, including sealing considerations that can help prevent water from getting under the base. But at the same time, over-sealing can be a major issue here, shortening the life of the concrete and potentially leading to high-cost replacement needs.

Covering Concrete?

So what if you have a concrete driveway or lot that’s cracking or uneven, and you just want to lay asphalt on top of it? Is this possible?

Technically, the answer is yes. It’s possible to lay asphalt over a concrete surface, using concrete as the base. However, it’s generally not our first choice or recommendation – you’re laying over a hard, inflexible slab here, which doesn’t generally work perfectly with a flexible asphalt material. You may also notice heaving up and down during the winter, because concrete can move a little during this season. In turn, this might lead to cracks in the exact same spots as your concrete already had.

Now, it should be noted that our standard asphalt paving services absolutely may involve concrete as part of their base layer. Crushed concrete is regularly a part of these deep, compact layers that support asphalt on the surface. But in terms of actual previous slabs of concrete, we generally look to remove these first before providing new base and paving services in the area.

Curing

One area where concrete and asphalt vary significantly is in the way they cure. Concrete cures through a chemical hydration reaction, but asphalt cools down first and then oxidizes afterwards. This means that asphalt cures much faster, and you can use asphalt paved surfaces more quickly without risking damage.

For more on concrete and asphalt materials, or to learn about any of our asphalt paving or repair services, speak to the pros at Renaissance Asphalt Services today.