There are pros and cons to both a concrete sidewalk and an asphalt sidewalk. However, concrete is by far the most popular material for sidewalks due in large part to its longevity. Concrete is made out of cement, water, aggregate and sand, making a cement sidewalk very durable. Since asphalt has a significantly shorter lifespan than concrete, asphalt is not often the material of choice for pedestrian walkways and sidewalks.
Here are the pros of a concrete sidewalk:
- When it comes to commercial construction, (shopping centers, corporate buildings, medical buildings) walkways are built almost exclusively with concrete for these reasons –
- More durable (can last 40-50 years)
- A quick drying poured material. Typically, within 30 minutes a smooth finish is applied to the surface followed by a broom finish to aid in traction. Because it can be poured to exacting engineered standards, cement is a great material for curb ramps and corners with varying grades and slopes.
- Requires less long-term maintenance.
- ADA ramps, stairs, and elevation changes can all be formed perfectly in concrete.
Here are the cons of a concrete sidewalk:
- Cost of installation
- Concrete walkways will be a much higher installation cost than asphalt.
- Fixing concrete can also be pricier than asphalt, as concrete repairs are more expensive per foot. However, with a concrete sidewalk, these issues will often not arise for a long time (much longer than it will take for asphalt to need repairs). In our experience, some concrete sidewalks that we are just now replacing were installed in the 80’s. Since repairs are less common and less often with concrete, it may actually save you money in the long run.
- The cost of using a non-salt based deicer in winter, as salt should not be used on concrete.
Here are some pros of an asphalt sidewalk:
- Low in cost
- Cheaper to maintain
Here are some cons of an asphalt sidewalk:
- Shorter lifespan
- Must be compacted making it harder for shorter and tighter runs.
- Due to the required compaction, corners and curb ramps made of asphalt are not as precise as those made of concrete.
- Requires more regular maintenance
When it comes to parking lot paving and driveway paving, asphalt is the most popular, practical, and economical choice. But, when we are talking about sidewalks, we highly recommend concrete. If your commercial property needs new sidewalks, contact us today for your free consultation and we can further discuss the pros and cons of an asphalt sidewalk vs. a concrete sidewalk.