There are many decisions to be made and factors to consider when building or purchasing a newly constructed home. During the construction process, driveway features are oftentimes overlooked but typically the first impression a visitor or prospective buyer will notice about a home. Choosing what type of driveway can be a big decision that impacts the overall curb appeal of the home and functionality of exterior space. Options such as asphalt, concrete and interlocking pavers are available – all with very different aesthetic and performance qualities. Geographic location can play a significant role when deciding what material is best for new driveway construction – especially if you live in cold or wet climates. Here are 3 reasons why asphalt is the best option for home-builders or buyers in the Midwest:
- Climate: Asphalt driveways are incredibly common in northern climates because of the material’s pliable characteristics. This is important because during freeze and thaw cycles, asphalt is much more forgiving than other driveway materials such as concrete or interlocking pavers. Additionally, the black color of asphalt soaks in the sun’s heat and melts snow faster during snowy winter weather. Because of asphalt’s incredible ability to contract and expand without damage, it is a cost-effective way to pave steep inclines or sloped areas in colder climates.
- Quick Installation: A newly constructed asphalt driveway can be installed by a trained professional in a relatively shore amount of time – typically a day or two once the sub-grade preparation takes place (which can take one day to several weeks depending on the area of installation). Newly constructed asphalt driveways can be driven on at least 24 hours after installation. Asphalt hardens over time – taking a full year for a new driveway to fully cure. Minor scarring to the surface may occur within the first year; especially on hot sunny days.
- Cost Effective: Asphalt driveways are one of the most cost-effective options for new home driveway construction. Some regular maintenance is required to keep the asphalt driveway in good condition. Cracks should be sealed as soon as possible using asphalt sealants (a minimum of 6-9 months should pass post installation before sealant is used) and sealing should take place every 3-5 years to maintain the best look and function for your driveway. Both crack-filling and sealing are easy and cost effective maintenance repairs and upkeep.
Asphalt driveways can add curb appeal and convenience for midwest home-owners. The durability, sleek black look, ability to melt snow quickly in the wintertime and price, are all positive factors to consider when making your choice between options. For more information about the aesthetic and functional qualities of asphalt, contact an expert engineer.
What driveway construction challenges have you faced while building a new home?