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Asphalt Versus Concrete: Which Wins?

Here at Black Bear Paving & Grading in San Jose, we are often asked which is better: asphalt or concrete? The answer can be a lengthy one, so we thought we'd break down that question here for you.

Our asphalt company offers a wide variety of residential and commercial solutions for your paving and grading needs, including asphalt paving, concrete foundation pouring, sealcoating services, and utility needs. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer high-quality work done when you need us. Below, we'll go over some of the advantages and disadvantages to asphalt versus concrete. Contact us today for both your asphalt and concrete needs!


Both asphalt and concrete are used for the same purposes: road construction, driveways, sidewalks, and the like. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, although both are excellent choices for your needs. Consider the deciding factors below.


For cold weather climates, asphalt is the preferable choice. This is because concrete is more prone to frost heaves, which is where the moisture content in concrete freezes, causing it to expand and crack. Plus, concrete and salt do not get along. Thus, all that salt that is used to melt the snow and ice and give cars traction in the winter will wreak havoc on concrete in the long run. Asphalt is not affected by either of these conditions, and due to its black color, it absorbs the sun's rays faster, helping to melt the snow and ice. Thus, concrete is perfect for warmer climates, as asphalt can become softer in extreme heat and oily, especially when the temperatures climb above 100 degrees.

Carbon Footprint

If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, then asphalt is the preferred choice for paving. Asphalt is 100% recyclable. When old asphalt is removed, it is ground up and reused. While concrete is recyclable as well, it is frequently not reused as it should be due to the fact it is harder to recycle than asphalt. Porous asphalt allows water to drain through it. For concrete, all water drains to the sides.


Asphalt overall is more affordable than concrete. It can be laid quickly, which cuts down on labor costs. When it needs maintenance, it is often only the top layer that needs to be repaved. Concrete materials are more costly upfront than asphalt. However, concrete lasts longer with less maintenance than asphalt, so the cost factor may be a wash in the long run.


Both concrete and asphalt are great materials for roads, bridges, trails, and the like because they hold up to the wear and tear of constant heavy weight and use. In truth, it all depends on what look you are going for, as well as maintenance. Remember, concrete can be colored; whereas, asphalt is one color — black.

Black Bear Paving & Grading in San Jose can help you decide which paving material is best for your needs. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer both concrete and asphalt installation, repair, maintenance, and repaving surfaces. Call today to get started!

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