Concrete vs Asphalt Roads: Pros and Cons of Each

Concrete vs Asphalt Roads: Pros and Cons of Each

Concrete vs Asphalt Roads: Pros and Cons of Each

Both concrete and asphalt are go-to materials for paving a road or parking lot. Discover the pros and cons of each as we compare concrete vs asphalt roads.

Keyword(s): concrete vs asphalt roads

Where the idea of an open road used to conjure smooth blacktops radiating heat from the sun, today's roads are turning more gray.

Concrete road paving is quickly reaching the same popularity as asphalt, and the reasons are many. However, it's not always apparent which paving method is the best for your job. Read on to discover the pros and cons of concrete vs asphalt roads.

Concrete Road Advantages

The biggest benefit of concrete road construction is the longevity. Lasting 20-40 years on average, paving in concrete can boast two to four times the lifespan of asphalt.

Concrete, it may surprise you to know, is recyclable. Once crushed into gravel, concrete can be used in a variety of ways.

High truck volume is better suited to concrete roads, as they hold up better under the weight and pressure. This sturdy surface is less prone to dips and rutting, meaning it is a favorite for freeway construction.

Though not immune to the freeze-thaw cycle, concrete is more resistant. Where asphalt tends to embrittle over time, concrete is more hearty.

Concrete tends to be a greener material. Producing it creates less environmental pollution, and cars run with better fuel efficiency on concrete. Concrete is also produced from limestone, which is widely available.

Concrete Disadvantages

Though concrete lasts a long time, repairing it is a bigger chore. Holes or cracks can't be simply patched--instead, entire slabs must be replaced.

Concrete doesn't always make for a smooth ride, either. In order to create enough grip on the road, texture is brushed into the surface. This, and slabs settling over time, can make for a somewhat bumpy and noisy roadway.

The costs of concrete roads are also higher than that of asphalt, both in installation and repair.

Concrete is not as "grippy" as asphalt, either. Spills, vehicle chemicals, and other pollutants do not absorb into concrete as well as asphalt. This material is also more prone to slippage during rain or snow.

Advantages of Asphalt Roads

Asphalt has an attractive price point, even as prices have slowly begun to creep up over time. Like concrete, asphalt is 100% recyclable. When melted down, it can be used again to create new roadways.

New asphalt is quieter than concrete. Though it creates a smooth drive, it also boasts better traction and skid resistance.

Since asphalt is black, it utilizes the natural heat from the sun to help keep the roads clear after storms. Heat absorbing into asphalt creates an ideal atmosphere for snow melt and moisture evaporation.

Asphalt is ideal for rural roadways because of the ease of maintenance and repair. Budgeting for small roadway repairs or patching is much simpler and faster than replacing entire slabs of roadways on less heavily trafficked areas such as country roads.


The process of melting asphalt creates greenhouses gasses, which contribute to environmental pollution. This happens regardless of new production or recycling.

Asphalt is a cheaper and faster solution for short-term projects, but the repairs are sometimes just as extensive as concrete. With only a 10-year lifespan, asphalt must be re-laid or repaired on a much more regular basis.

Concrete Vs Asphalt Roads: Which is Better?

There is no simple answer to the question of which material is preferable. When trying to decide between concrete vs asphalt roads, it's important to consider the specifics of your project first and foremost.

Choosing material for your paving project can't be decided on initial costs alone. Need some guidance? Visit us at Perrin Construction to get the perfect bid for your paving project, today.