Long lasting, tough, and now infinitely variable in appearance, concrete is a favorite for all kinds of construction and in Florida it's a particular favorite when it comes to driveways. There are good reasons for that; reasons that see slab concrete in particular being chosen over alternatives like concrete pavers and asphalt. Let's look at a few.
Concrete vs Asphalt
Asphalt has a lot of benefits being quicker to apply than concrete, one hundred per cent recyclable, and more flexible which is particularly important in places where there is a big freeze thaw cycle that could lay siege to the less flexible concrete. Which is one of the reasons why the further north you go the more likely you are to see blacktop leading up to houses. However down here in the Sun Belt a lot of that thinking swings the other way with concrete being more durable and longer lasting than asphalt. Asphalt softens in high temperatures and that includes the effects of the Florida sun so concrete scores again on that one. Plus while asphalt cracks can be sealed by the owner, while concrete repairs should be done by a professional, the fact is that concrete lasts way longer than asphalt; a concrete driveway should be good for forty years or more where asphalt could need replacing in only twenty. So all told here in Florida we prefer to opt for concrete.
Concrete vs Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers have benefits but the most noticeable downside to them is that they cost much more to install since the labor costs of working with them have to reflect the many more man hours required for installation. To install pavers we first have to start with a geotextile fabric layer, then a layer called a class II road base, then bedding sand, and finally the pavers are laid on top. The border to keep all these layers bound together is normally poured concrete. So while it looks simple from the surface, pavers, at least when properly done, take some time. Pavers have benefits for maintenance since any problems can usually be solved by lifting and replacing the pavers affected. On the other hand a concrete slab will typically outlast all of its rivals, pavers included.
Slab concrete doesn't have to look like concrete at all. Forget that gray bunker building material and instead think of stamped concrete which is molded by using a membrane stencil itself molded off the material it copies. Which means concrete can look just like slate, wood, cobbles, or pavers.
Concrete can also be any color you like, from soft natural washes to dramatic metallic sheens. There are a number of ways of treating concrete but the most long lasting involve additives in the concrete itself that give it color that lasts as long as the concrete does. Talk to us today about the rainbow of effects, traditional or more modern and eye catching that we can use to create your concrete driveway.