Concrete vs. Asphalt Paving

Asphalt Paving Pittsburgh

If you are a commercial business in need of a parking lot, you will most likely be deciding between two options of paving—concrete or asphalt.  There are pros and cons to both, so you will need to assess which is the right option for you and your business.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Concrete or Asphalt Parking Lot

While there are some similarities between the two paving options, the differences are what will lead you to the best choice for your project.  Roadstar Paving, a trusted provider of high-quality paving in the Pittsburgh area, suggests you consider the following factors when choosing between concrete and asphalt paving:



For some areas of the country, climate will be the deciding factor between concrete and asphalt paving.  For example, concrete does not hold up as well as asphalt in areas with major fluctuations in weather and temperatures.  Freezing and thawing create expansion and contraction in concrete causing potential damage and deterioration to the surface.  However, if you live in the South or regions where temperatures exceed 100 degrees, your best option is concrete. Asphalt tends to soften in extreme heat and becomes oily and extremely hot. The lighter color of concrete allows for a cooler temperature surface.

In climates that experience colder weather, like Pittsburgh during winter, asphalt is the better choice for two main reasons.  One is asphalt is not affected by the cold. And two, the use of salt to melt ice and snow in parking lots does not deteriorate asphalt, as it does concrete.  Additionally, the darker color of asphalt, which causes problems in hotter climates due to the absorption of heat, enables snow and ice to melt quicker when the heat is absorbed from the sun.



Depending on the size, concrete parking lots typically take twice as long to install as asphalt paving.  Plus, after installation, concrete takes several days to a week before it is fully cured and can be driven on.  Typically, an asphalt parking lot can be used in a couple days.



When it comes to routine maintenance, concrete requires little other than joint sealing and annual cleaning. Unfortunately, repairs tend to be more complicated and costly.  Also, stains tend to be more noticeable. Asphalt requires more preventative maintenance, such as sealcoating within a year of installation and once every three years following the first application, but repairs are less costly and easier to fix.  Plus, the dark surface of asphalt hides most stains.



With regular maintenance, asphalt pavement can last over 20 years.  Concrete typically lasts longer with a lifespan of 30 years or more.  Sealant, which is recommended every three years for asphalt, extends the life of the surface.  While applying a sealcoat is not necessary for concrete, it can help preserve the look and finish, as well as prevent visible stains.



Asphalt paving costs a lot less than concrete—approximately 35 to 45 percent less.  Even though more maintenance may be required to care for an asphalt parking lot in Pittsburgh, the upfront cost is cheaper, plus repairs are less costly.  In addition, if it requires replacement, only the top layer of asphalt needs to be repaved to appear new again.



Due to its ability to be recycled, asphalt is considered better for the environment.  An asphalt parking lot can be ground up and reused in another lot. Additionally, there are certain types of asphalt that can help with water drainage, by allowing the water to permeate through the surface into the soil. For a concrete parking lot, a plan to manage excess water and runoff must be considered when beginning the project.      

Asphalt Paving in Pittsburgh

Overall, asphalt paving is a good choice for parking lots in the Pittsburgh area. Roadstar Paving, located in Coraopolis, PA, has been providing expert asphalt paving and sealcoating services to commercial and residential customers in the Pittsburgh area for years.  We provide accurate and fair estimates on cost-effective projects. Call Roadstar Paving at 412-318-5869 for more information.