Concrete Driveways Versus Asphalt – Mitigating Tree Root Damage


Most of us have walked down a sidewalk and noted that the concrete was uneven because a tree had grown very large, and its roots had pushed up the concrete. Often rather than taking out the tree root, someone comes along and puts a little asphalt to level off the unevenness so no one trips and falls. This is a nice thing to do for skateboarders, and elderly people walking their dog obviously. However, would it make more sense to merely build the sidewalk out of asphalt to begin with? Then the sidewalk wouldn’t be so rigid, and therefore, it wouldn’t be pushed up between sections making it protrude at weird angles. Okay so let’s talk about this for a moment and discuss the driveway at your home.

If this is happening to your driveway, and you want to fix it, does it really makes sense to take it out and replace it with more concrete, or does it make more sense to remove the driveway, leave the tree roots, and repave it in asphalt. The asphalt gives more, and although it might crack, especially on the seal coat, it won’t look as bad as a rigid piece of concrete. Further, if you wish to repair a driveway which is already cracked and broken because it is made at of concrete, replacing it with asphalt makes sense, and although you may not like the look as much, you can lay the asphalt over the root system allowing it space it needs, and give yourself and the tree root a little flexibility.

If you’re going to sell your home, some realtors advise against this, but I can’t believe that a cracked concrete driveway is better than a newly done asphalt one. Additionally, if you add some trim and edges, you can get it looking pretty spiffy, and still maintain the curb appeal which helps your home sell, while commanding a higher price. Asphalt is also nice because it hides some of the grease stains or oil stains in case you have a car that leaks oil or if friends come to visit and park in your driveway and their cars leak for some reason.

Lastly, there is a big cost differential between an asphalt driveway and a concrete driveway, and we are talking not just in the hundreds of dollars, but in the thousands of dollars. If you do it yourself, you can substantially reduce the cost for putting in either concrete or asphalt, but if you repave your driveway and have someone else do it putting the concrete, that can run you a bundle. Indeed, these are just some of the major considerations if you have a damaged driveway from a large tree’s root system. Please consider all this and think on it.





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