Not long ago, selecting a material for a driveway was about choosing between concrete and asphalt. However, gradually concrete has overtaken asphalt due to the multitude of decorative options it provides. It is also referred to as painted concrete or cement driveway and has proven to become the best option to enhance the home's entrance.
Driveway Construction in South Milwaukee
If you want a concrete driveway to maintain its appearance over a period of time, then specific steps are to be taken by a driveway contractor at the time of installation.
Additionally, how good the driveway looks as well as performs over long term largely depends upon the quality of materials and workmanship. If you want to install a driveway that stays problem free for the long term then go through our section which describes the basics of driveway construction.
The good thing about concrete driveway is that once it is properly installed, you will not have to put in too much effort to maintain it in the best form for several years.
Another aspect to mention here is that if you have concerns about environment-friendliness of material being used for the construction of a driveway, you will find it interesting to know that concrete is considered the greenest material for such purpose.
Let us delve into the reasons why concrete is considered the most sustainable option for building a driveway.
Concrete - A Sustainable Material for Building a Driveway
There are very few materials used for driveway paving that match concrete in terms of their sustainability features. Here, we will look at a few of the main reasons for the same.
There are additional guidelines provided by The Portland Cement Association to maximize sustainability features of concrete pavements and you can read about them at ConcreteThinker.com, an excellent resource for learning more about the creation of sustainable designs using concrete.
Reason #1: Use of Renewable Resources
Compared to asphalt pavements, which are constructed using petroleum supplies that are non-renewable by nature, concrete pavements make use of sustainable and abundant resources such as cement, sand, rock, and water.
The primary material in cement is limestone, considered to be a highly abundant mineral available in nature.
Reason #2: Use of Waste and Recycled Material
Concrete can also be made by utilizing waste by-products that help in reducing the overall use of raw materials and also assists in keeping wastes from going into landfills. Silica fume, slag from a ground blast furnace, and fly ash, all these by-products are coming out of steel mills, power plants, and similar industrial processes can be used as a replacement for cement. Moreover, recycled aggregates can also be used in reinforcing steel and concrete mix.
Reason #3: Help Save Energy
Being more reflective compared to asphalt and naturally bright, there is lesser lighting requirement at night. This way concrete helps in reducing energy consumption.
Statistics revealed by the American Concrete Pavement Association highlight the fact that almost 27% light reflects from the concrete surface compared to 5% from pavements made using asphalt. Additionally, heat island effect commonly noticed in urban areas gets reduced when paving material of light color (like concrete) is used.
Reason #4: Lasts Longer
If the concrete driveway is installed correctly then it will easily last for a few decades and certainly, 2 to 3 times longer compared to an asphalt driveway.
Since, there is a lesser need for resurfacing or replacing the concrete driveway, over its lifespan, the pavement consumes less amount of raw materials.
Reason #5: Option to Recycle
If the need arises to replace the concrete driveway, then it can be easily crushed so that it can be recycled. This crushed material can be utilized in the form of the base course for installing new pavement, as granular fill, or like an aggregate for the new concrete.