[Posted on June 19th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]
Driveways often fall victim to the sun, as heat can erode and crack any surface — especially asphalt. Living in Houston, where the sun shines bright for much of the year, you need a smooth, well-maintained driveway. Do you have an old asphalt driveway that’s starting to show its age through fine lines, cracks, pits and bumps? Then you need a driveway makeover. There’s no better material for a long-lasting concrete driveway in Houston. Adding a high-quality driveway to your home will increase its value and secure your place in the neighborhood hierarchy. Trusting a professional concrete company like Houston Concrete is imperative to get the job done right.
Asphalt vs. Concrete
Because asphalt is generally cheaper to install than concrete, most homeowners take the more affordable route and go with asphalt. However, if you’re looking at what’s best for your money and what will last the test of time, concrete driveways in Houston, are a better option. Concrete has longevity and durability on its side, earning high marks in those areas as opposed to asphalt. Asphalt driveways do better in colder climates, as repeated exposure to high temperatures can soften asphalt and make it more susceptible to cracks and grooves.
Concrete driveways are better able to resist high temperatures, making this an ideal option for Texas residents. When properly cared for, asphalt driveways can have a lifespan of 30 years; however, improper maintenance and sealing can shorten that life span to five years. Concrete driveways can last 50 years or more, with little maintenance required. When you opt for a concrete driveway, you get a wider variety of choices over asphalt (which just comes in one color and style). You can get stamped or decorative concrete, making for more of an aesthetic appeal. Concrete is also cooler to the touch, so bare feet running on your driveway won’t pose as much of a problem, as, say, asphalt, which can really heat up to unbearable levels during the summer.
If you don’t take care of your driveway and bumps, pits and cracks result over time, this can pose a safety risk to anyone who walks on it, resulting in sprained ankles, falls and trips. This can also cause damage to your car’s suspension when repeatedly driven or parked on a driveway that features pot holes and the like. The hot Houston sun doesn’t help matters, as the heat can cause your driveway to split and crack over the years. Cracks are the biggest problem plaguing driveways, formed through wear and tear, weather and tree roots that try to push their way up from underground. Cracks also occur as a result of moisture that gets trapped inside those cracks and widens them.
To keep on top of these issues, be sure to inspect your driveway each year. You may need to apply sealants to decorative concrete so the color does not fade. Clean your driveway regularly and make sure no standing water accumulates, which can lead to annoying puddles as well as further cracking and the attraction of mosquitoes. Be on the lookout for moss, lichen, mildew, mold and algae that can tend to grow within the cracks of your driveway, posing an unappealing aesthetic issue and dangerous conditions due to their slippery nature when wet.
Hiring a Pro
When it’s time to get a new driveway, leave this job up to skilled professionals who have been doing this for decades. Skill and precision are crucial for this type of project, especially when you want to incorporate intricate patterns and colors. Your specialized team can avoid shifting and settling of the concrete through proven knowledge and techniques, excavating and grading the area to result in a flat, smooth space.