Asphalt vs. Concrete: Which Is Better?


Asphalt vs. Concrete: Which Is Better?

Asphalt and concrete are the two most common materials used when it comes to paving roads, parking lots, driveways, or any other surfaces. Each has their own unique characteristics and benefits, making the choice between them a significant decision for homeowners and contractors alike. In this blog, we’ll dive into the similarities and differences between asphalt and concrete to help you make a better informed investment.

What is Asphalt?

Asphalt is made using a mixture of aggregates (sand, crushed rock, gravel), and bitumen. Bitumen is a viscous black substance that can be found in natural deposits or as the by-product of crude oil. Bitumen is used as the binder for all the aggregates to make asphalt.

It’s a reliably sturdy material, so much so that asphalt is used for more than 90% of the 2.7 million miles of paved roads in the United States!

What Is Concrete?

Similar to asphalt, concrete is made of aggregates, but is bonded by mixing fluid Portland cement that hardens over time. Portland cement is a generic name for the kind of cement used in almost all kinds of concrete. The water-to-cement ratio is important when creating concrete because too much water in the mixture can mean a less durable, weaker substance. 

Concrete is used for paving and building roads, but it is also used as a durable construction material. Concrete is the second-most consumed material in the world after water.

Comparing Concrete vs. Asphalt


One of the most important things to consider when you’re choosing between asphalt and concrete is its durability. 

Asphalt is more flexible and less prone to cracking in freezing temperatures compared to concrete. Concrete is renowned for its strength and durability, able to withstand heavy loads and resist wear and tear over time.

Generally speaking, concrete is more durable than asphalt and can typically last longer with fewer repairs. That said, while concrete is more durable, it may develop cracks over time due to freeze-thaw cycles or settling. Asphalt, while not as durable as concrete, can be easily repaired by filling in cracks and applying sealant.


It’s important to consider long-term maintenance costs when you’re choosing between concrete and asphalt. Asphalt typically requires more frequent maintenance, including periodic sealing and occasional repairs to cracks and potholes. Concrete driveways, on the other hand, require occasional degreasing and sealing every few years, which can help preserve the appearance and integrity of the surface. 

Any cracks or visible damage should be addressed as soon as they appear to prevent further deterioration. These maintenance tasks and more can be addressed by the expert licensed and insured professionals at Raleigh Paving.


Another distinguishing factor between asphalt and concrete is their appearance. Asphalt surfaces are jet- to dark- black in color, while concrete driveways are light gray. This aesthetic difference can significantly impact the overall look of your property.

Asphalt’s dark color absorbs heat, which can be beneficial in colder climates as it helps melt snow and ice faster. Conversely, concrete’s lighter color reflects sunlight, reducing heat absorption and keeping the surface cooler in warmer climates.


Cost is often a significant factor in decision-making for homeowners and contractors. Asphalt tends to be a cheaper material compared to concrete, making it a great option for certain projects. On the other hand, concrete driveways have a higher upfront cost but may prove more cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and lower maintenance requirements.

Call Raleigh Paving for Commercial Services!

Come see us for all your needs. We offer the full range of services, from design, all the way to maintenance. Whether you’re looking for asphalt or concrete paving, we’ll be here to guide you through your decision. Contact us, or call (919) 859-3626.

Find Your Paving Solution
worker in parking lot
What's Best
For Your Lot
Do you need all new asphalt or will fresh sealcoating do the trick?
Learn More
pouring asphalt
how we
do paving
Our experts manage every last detail so your project goes smoothly.
Learn More
child smiling
we're granting
a child's wish!
A portion of our proceeds this year will go toward the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.
Learn More
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Our Partners