Monday, 26 April 2021

How are Concrete and Asphalt Driveways Different?

If you're tired of your stained, cracked, and rutted driveway and want to install a new one, concrete and asphalt are your two main choices. While both types of driveways are laid over gravel substrates, and both are composed of stone and sand, they use different adhesives. Asphalt driveways are held together with tar, and concrete driveways use cement. These adhesives' qualities create the biggest differences between the two options.

Concrete and asphalt both create attractive, durable driveways, but there's more to the process than choosing the least expensive option.

That's why we're performing an in-depth comparison of asphalt and concrete in Vancouver BC, and we invite you to read on to learn which may be better for your home!

The Basics of Concrete

The concrete used in driveway installation is a blend of three ingredients: water, aggregate, and Portland cement, which is made of limestone and clay. The components mixed with the cement are called aggregate, which comes in a range of sizes. Sand is considered a fine aggregate, while crushed stone and gravel are larger aggregates. The concrete used in driveway construction may be up to 75% aggregate.

Asphalt: What Is It?

It only takes two ingredients to make an asphalt driveway: aggregate and liquid asphalt. Much like concrete, stone and sand are used as coarse and fine aggregates when making asphalt. However, asphalt has a higher percentage of aggregate than concrete does, with up to 95% of an asphalt driveway being made of the material.

It's Easier to Add Visual Interest to Concrete

In their purest forms, asphalt is almost black, and concrete is a shade of pale gray. Unlike asphalt, however, concrete can be tinted or stained to almost any color. It's also easy to brush or stamp concrete to create a textured look. If you're looking to mimic the look of stone or brick, match your home's aesthetics, or create visual interest, concrete is the best choice. If you're in an area with a homeowner's association or other restrictions, asphalt may be preferable.

Different Materials for Various Climates

Your area's weather is a primary consideration when choosing between concrete and asphalt driveway materials. Asphalt may melt in high heat, while concrete driveways tend to crack in cold climates if they're not winterized. Road salt may blotch, stain, or pit concrete, leaving unsightly marks. Furthermore, it takes less time for snow to melt on asphalt than on concrete.

Asphalt Driveways Need More Maintenance

After a few months have passed and an asphalt driveway has fully cured, it must be sealed to protect its surface and extend its lifespan. Then, you'll need to reseal the driveway every few years thereafter. The job is simple enough; just pour the sealer onto the driveway and use a special tool to spread it over the surface. While sealing isn't required for concrete, it does reduce fading, which makes it a crucial step for tinted driveways.

Stain Resistance

When it comes to rust, gas, motor oil, and the other things that typically end up on a driveway, the matte finish and dark surface of asphalt hides wear and stains effectively. Concrete, on the other hand, typically shows every spill and stain, so more stringent degreasing and cleaning are required to maintain its appearance.

Repair Requirements

While it's possible to crack concrete and asphalt, the latter option's softer consistency makes it deteriorate faster. Thankfully, it's easy to repair damaged asphalt, and repaired areas typically blend in with the rest of the surface. An aging asphalt surface can be revived with a simple topcoat. Concrete is harder to repair, and it's tough to make patches blend in unless you're resurfacing the entire driveway.


Generally, if they're installed well, are maintained properly, and are in the appropriate climate, concrete driveways last up to 40 years, while asphalt driveways may last about 30 years at the most. If they're not installed on a level, stable gravel substrate, or if they're not maintained, either type may fail within just a few years.

Post-Installation Usability

Homeowners can use asphalt driveways within just a couple of days after installation. With concrete, though, you'll need to wait about a week before it's dry enough to drive on. If street parking is scarce in your area, consider choosing asphalt over concrete for your driveway project.


As a rule, concrete driveways cost approximately 50% more than asphalt driveways. Prices often fluctuate based on factors such as location, driveway size, and job complexity. Count on concrete companies in Vancouver to help you get the job done quickly and cost-effectively.


It may be surprising to some of the area's homeowners, but asphalt is an eco-friendly construction material. It's easy to recycle; simply grind it up and reuse it. That's not always true with concrete, which is broken down and hauled away before it's disposed of in a safe facility.

Certain kinds of asphalt, such as permeable or porous asphalt, also improve drainage by allowing water to drip through the driveway into the underlying soil. With a concrete driveway, however, water must run off into lakes, rivers, streams, and the water table. If you're looking to reduce your home's carbon footprint, asphalt is the best choice, but it's important to keep in mind that asphalt is partially made with petroleum products.

In Closing

Driveway installation is a sizable expense, no matter which option you choose. There's no clear winner in the asphalt vs. concrete debate, and the choice will depend on your climate, budget, and maintenance capabilities. We hope the information we've provided in this guide will help you make a more informed decision when it's time to replace your home's driveway.

There are numerous concrete installation companies in the area, but not all of them offer our high level of customer service. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness, our dependability, and our commitment to customer satisfaction.

When you're looking for reliable, fast, and professional installation of concrete in Vancouver, we hope you'll think of Top Concrete first.

Request additional information online or call today to schedule a consultation.


Monday, 19 April 2021

Stamped Concrete - What Every Homeowner Needs to Know


Concrete Serves as the Ideal Driveway Option for Many Homes

Homeowners, whether they are having a driveway constructed for a new residence or simply wish to resurface the existing one, find they can choose from a variety of materials. Individuals who want a driveway that is durable and long-lasting, as well as one that requires little maintenance, should look to concrete. Those who do so find they can choose a simple driveway or one that is elegant and adds to the curb appeal of the home. What should a person know when determining whether concrete is the right choice for their needs when it comes to the driveway?

The Benefits of a Concrete Driveway

Strength and durability serve as the two main reasons homeowners select concrete as their driveway material. While they do spend more on this option when compared to asphalt, the material lasts longer. In fact, if the homeowner properly maintains the surface, it can last three decades or more. The lifespan does depend in part on the workmanship of the concrete contractors in Vancouver used for the project. Make certain they are trained to tackle this job.

Brick and cobblestone cost more than concrete and don't last as long. However, some property owners find they want the look of one of these materials. Fortunately, they can have the best of both worlds with the help of stamped concrete in Vancouver. Trained professionals know how to stamp and stain concrete to mimic a variety of materials.

How Does Concrete Differ From Cement?

Individuals might use the words concrete and cement interchangeably, but they are two very different substances. Cement serves as an ingredient in concrete and is only suitable by itself for small projects such as a small patio or steps. People need cement for larger projects, as it is stronger and more durable.

Is a Concrete Driveway a DIY Job?

A homeowner might consider installing their concrete driveway in Vancouver. Most people, however, lack the skills and experience needed to do the job right. The concrete requires little time to harden, so any delays can lead to a major flaw in the finished surface.

Existing driveways must be removed before any work begins, and the installer needs to prep the site. This involves laying gravel before grading and compacting it. In addition, the time required to pour concrete into individual forms is more than most people expect. It takes even longer when the person responsible for pouring the concrete isn't experienced. Floating the concrete serves as the last step in the installation process. During this phase, the installer smooths the surface, which requires more than the average person knows. They may also add decorative touches during this phase.

Choosing a Contractor

Before selecting a concrete driveway installation company, at the very least, request photos of completed work. Require a written estimate from each company and ask that this estimate include all details associated with the project. Detailed quotes make it easy to compare contractors. Make certain each estimate includes the concrete thickness, information about the finish, who is responsible for cleanup, and more. Furthermore, make certain the quote includes a timeline for the project.

A concrete driveway serves as an investment in the home. However, the choice of contractor plays a role in how much value it adds. Speak to a skilled installer to learn how you can transform your property with the help of a concrete driveway. Our team at Top Concrete Contractors will work with you to find the options that best meet your needs while remaining within your budget.

Need a quote? Call Top Concrete! (604) 332-8279

Top Concrete Contractors Vancouver

4818 Eldorado Mews, #220 Vancouver, BC, V5R0B3

(604) 332-8279


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Parking Lot Paving: Concrete vs. Asphalt

Parking Lot Paving: Concrete vs. Asphalt

Check out reasons why concrete is a feasible option for parking area paving over asphalt.

" Concrete is hell of an industry to be a part of," Dylan Milis of Milis Flatwork states. "No matter what it is, the first thing any person sees when they pull into a facility is their car park. I always say 'never evaluate a book by its cover,' but first impressions are everything."

At the National Ready-Mix conference in July, Milis was welcomed to speak on how concrete is a practical alternative to parking lot paving.

In his keynote speech, he discussed how utilizing concrete for parking area, overlays and new building blocks is an effective and cost-effective choice.

" Nobody down there [the southern United States] is actually using concrete for parking lots," Millis says. "There's an entire Northern Market that someone need to grab and begin doing it."

Currently, just 8% of surface parking lots are paved with concrete. Generally, contractors select to pave parking area with asphalt because of quicker installation times and lower costs. Asphalt requires considerable maintenance. Provided the low variety of concrete lots, that implies more than 6,000 square miles of surface parking area will need to be resurfaced within the upcoming year.

" The reason that the number is so little is because of the absence of people that want to do it," Milis says. "There's a lot of concrete work out there today with commercial structures, foundations, sidewalks and other suburbs. There's a great deal of work that people haven't really had an opportunity to check out since they're hectic all the time. Why even look at other markets?"

Concrete Lots Reap Benefits

Parking lots paved with concrete could be a video game changer within the market. Milis discusses that asphalt can be competitive because of its low price point, making it seem rewarding to change them every 10-15 years.

Concrete needs less upkeep-- only needing joint sealing and an annual cleansing each year. In addition, it is better matched for warmer environments, which the South might potentially benefit from. Milis describes that asphalt tends to soften in severe heat or the pavement can end up being too hot to touch. In addition, the product cancan lower cooling costs for surrounding buildings as it can stay upwards of 10 degrees cooler than asphalt. Concrete is likewise able to stay cool and less most likely to split in warmer weather conditions.

" Concrete is the way to go, I wouldn't attempt to sell something if I believed it was a less exceptional product," Milis says. "Concrete is such a feasible option, though, since it needs practically no upkeep. You do not need to seal coat it or restripe it all of the time. Once you put concrete, it's going to be there for 40 years."

" Concrete is the way to go, I would not try to sell something if I believed it was a less exceptional item," states Dylan Milis of Milis Flatwork.

Concrete also emits a more sleek look, showing light much better. This allows business to put less lighting as concrete car park remain intense during the night. Services have the ability to get rid of 3 of 10 lighting fixtures in their lots and still have the same amount of lighting as opposed to using asphalt, possibly conserving money and energy usage. In addition, concrete has more design alternatives and can structurally hold itself.

" It [concrete] is self-supporting, whereas asphalt relies on the base. If the base is wet, saturated or done improperly, it's going to deteriorate much faster," Milis discusses. "Concrete can support its own strength-- and develop its own strength. It's more sturdy and it lasts longer."

There are likewise challenges that asphalt has that concrete does not, Milis says.

For example, drainage, weather condition and soft subsoil can all play unfavorable functions when it concerns an asphalt task. Drain can compromise a lot's foundation while soft subsoil can quickly result in cracks or holes that will need to be filled earlier than planned. Unpredicted weather condition can have a drastic effect on an asphalt lay, possibly wrecking a supported base and developing substantial delays.

" From my experience with doing car park, people just presume that concrete is going to be expensive. The majority of people know that concrete is much better than asphalt, but the reason that they do not consider it is since they have this concept that it's incredibly expensive," Milis says. "We've been able to get that rate space a lot more detailed."

Specs can likewise be misinterpreted by engineers also, leading individuals to select asphalt over concrete because of high prices. Milis describes that often when a company owner is proposed with concrete and asphalt alternatives for a parking lot the specification plan outlines a heavy-duty pavement job, such as a highway, for concrete compared to an easy developed asphalt lot.

Open the Lines of Communication

"It's difficult to compare apples to apples when actually comparing a sturdy pavement to a light duty parking area. In some cases engineers do not have the task prepares backed appropriately. They've been copying and pasting the exact same concrete information for the last 50 years," Milis says.

It is important to have the discussion on which material to utilize as it is the face of business, Milis explains. Concrete and asphalt are cost competitive, and most company owner are uninformed of that. Simply basic information regarding the two items can make a distinction.

" You have to let the owner know that it's expense competitive which you're getting a much better product [with concrete] that lasts longer," Milis states. "In the long run, it's going to cost less money to keep. Preliminary expenses are going to be higher with concrete, but when you take it into factor to consider, you're basically coming in at the very same -or near to the same- cost."

When comparing the costs of setup and a minimum of 20 years worth of maintenance costs for asphalt lots, concrete is considerably less costly. Overall, asphalt preservation can use up 80% of building and construction costs, while expenses for concrete upkeep is nearly absolutely no. Only some joint sealing and yearly cleansing is required.

"Without having the chance to speak about it, the owner of the property or the occupant is simply going to walk away with the state of mind that concrete is twice as pricey. For simply 15% more, you're going to have a product that's going to last twice as long and no upkeep. That is why the discussion is so important," Milis describes.


Top Concrete Contractors Vancouver

4818 Eldorado Mews, #220, Vancouver, BC, V5R0B3

(604) 332-8279

paving contractor Vancouver BC


How are Concrete and Asphalt Driveways Different?

If you're tired of your stained, cracked, and rutted driveway and want to install a new one, concrete and asphalt are your two main choi...