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Asphalt vs. Concrete: Which is the Better Pavement Choice for your commercial paving project in 2023?

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In this article, we'll compare the two materials in terms of durability, maintenance, environmental impact and of course, the average costs associated with each, to help you determine which is the better choice for your commercial property or project in South Florida. Further than that, we will outline different types of jobs like roadway, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks and more.

Asphalt vs. Concrete:

Which is the Better Pavement Choice for your commercial project and why?

When it comes to anything you can walk on or drive on projects in South Florida, asphalt and concrete are both popular choices, but they have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll compare the two materials in terms of cost, durability, maintenance, and environmental impact, to help you determine which is the better choice for your commercial project.

Asphalt vs concrete: which is the better route for your next pavement project 2023.

According to data from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), asphalt is the most commonly used paving material in the state, accounting for approximately 85% of paved surfaces. This is due in part to its lower cost and quicker installation time compared to concrete.

Let's talk about money.

The average cost of asphalt paving in South Florida is about $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot, depending on the thickness and type of asphalt used (source: Florida Asphalt Pavement Association). Please note that these are ballpark averages and actual costs will always depends on a large set of variables like the type of job that’s getting done, amount of prep work, labor required, as well as the difficulty of the job.

Paving crew laying down fresh asphalt at the new Pompano Crossings Industrial Park in Pompano Beach, FL in November of 2022.

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Concrete, on the other hand, tends to be more expensive than asphalt. Prices can vary widely based on factors such as location, project size, and the type of concrete used. In South Florida for instance, the average cost of concrete paving is $5.00 to $7.00 per square foot (source: Florida Concrete and Products Association). Please note that these are ballpark averages and actual costs may vary based on the specifics of the job.

Concrete parking lot installation showing the stages from site prep and tying rebar to pouring and finishing.

Overall durability & maintenance

But cost isn’t everything, right? Durability is also an important factor to consider, especially for commercial properties that rely on their pavement for daily operations. Asphalt pavement has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). Not too shabby again. Concrete, on the other hand, can last 30 to 40 years or more. That’s a pretty impressive run. However, it’s worth noting that asphalt may require more frequent maintenance in the form of sealing and resurfacing to keep it in top shape. Concrete, on the other hand, still requires maintenance and upkeep including cleaning and minor repairs but when compared to asphalt surfaces, and the test of time, concrete will take far less in the long run.

Though asphalt takes significantly less to install in the beginning, over the measure of time can take far more in maintenance costs then concrete does.

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Speaking of maintenance, let’s talk about how much work goes into keeping these materials in tip-top shape. Asphalt pavement needs to be sealed every 2 to 3 years and resurfaced every 10 to 15 years, according to the Florida Asphalt Pavement Association. Concrete, on the other hand, requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional cleaning and minor repairs.

The Environmental Impact.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the environmental impact of asphalt and concrete. Both materials have their own set of advantages and disadvantages in this regard. Asphalt is made from a mix of aggregates like sand and gravel mixed with other materials, and it is generally considered to be a more sustainable choice due to its ability to be recycled. Concrete is also a sustainable choice, as it is made from locally sourced materials and has a low carbon footprint.

Asphalt parking lot maintenance project at a shopping center in South Florida.

Should you go with asphalt or concrete on your next commercial pavement project?

So which material comes out on top? It’s a tough call. Asphalt is generally more economical and requires less maintenance, but it may not be as durable as concrete. Concrete is more durable and has a longer lifespan, but it can be more expensive and may have a larger environmental impact due to the production of cement. Ultimately, the best paving choice for your property in Broward or Palm Beach County will depend on your specific needs and budget. Consider factors such as cost, durability, maintenance requirements, and environmental impact when making your decision. Want 3-D Paving to get a quote together for you? Call us toll free 1-855-735-7623

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Asphalt vs concrete: which is the better route for your next pavement project 2023.

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