Asphalt is one of the most commonly used materials in the world, but many people are still unfamiliar with its benefits. It is an extremely durable and versatile material and is widely used for the construction of highways, roads, parking lots, and paved areas. However, it's important to know more about the features of asphalt before you use it for your next project.
Asphalt paving is one of the oldest methods of surfacing roads, but it’s still considered to be the best. The main reason for this is that it is very cost-effective and it cuts down on construction time as it takes longer to lay concrete or brick pavers. Another advantage of asphalt is its durability. Asphalt surfaces can withstand more wear and tear and require less maintenance than concrete. There is also a lower risk of erosion or landslides because its strength enables it to withstand heavy rains and flooding.
Asphalt paving is also extremely versatile and available in different colors. This means that it can be customized to suit any design or color scheme, whether it be for a residential driveway, garden walkway, commercial property parking lot, playgrounds, or sports fields. Its hard surface material properties are not affected by temperature fluctuations as much as softer surfaces such as grass and soil, which means that it can be used in a wider variety of climates.
So, if you're looking for a durable and cost-effective paving solution, then asphalt is the way to go! Read on to learn more about the advantages of asphalt paving and to discover why it’s the best choice for your specific needs.
Asphalt paving is durable and lasts for decades with proper care. Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binders, and fillers. Aggregates are processed mineral materials such as sand, gravel, or various recycled materials. A binder such as bitumen is used to combine the aggregates to form a cohesive mixture while fillers are added to create a stable base. The mixture is then heated and the asphalt binder, which coats every aggregate crumb, changes its state from semi-solid to liquid form. Once cooled down it becomes an extremely hard material that's resistant to severe weather and damage caused by high temperatures or heavy traffic loads.
Asphalt paving consists of multiple layers of unbound and bituminous-bound materials, which act as the base for the asphalt which is then poured on top. This top surface can continuously be replaced, whereas concrete or brick pavers need to be ripped out completely and replaced entirely.
Asphalt paving can withstand heavy loads and frequent traffic as well as changes in temperature and moisture. It is resistant to cracking, heaving, and rutting caused by heavy loads such as trucks or buses. It will withstand all weather conditions and is ideally suited to colder climates as it can withstand the application of snow melting chemicals and salt. Due to the dark color, it absorbs heat which means that ice and snow will melt faster. While it is a very durable choice, asphalt paving can sometimes be damaged in situations where extreme loads are applied or when the ground underneath it shifts. However, once these issues have been resolved with repairs and proper maintenance your asphalt surface will last for decades to come!
Another feature of asphalt that makes it extremely durable is its flexibility. It is less vulnerable to cracking than concrete. Small cracks are easily repaired and asphalt does not crack as severely as concrete.
2. Quick and easy installation
Paving projects can be a very time-consuming exercise! If you choose asphalt paving though, you can significantly cut the project time down as it can be installed quickly and easily. You'll have your new pavement ready for use in a matter of days! Time constraints are essential to consider especially if the area you are paving is part of business premises. The quick installation will minimize the commercial impact due to reduced access to your business because of construction. Asphalt paving projects can be scheduled to take advantage of off-peak periods, like evenings and weekends. Once the paving is installed, it cools and compacts quickly for almost instantaneous use as opposed to concrete paving which can take a week or more to solidify sufficiently. However, if you need to take a break during installation for some reason, the project can be easily suspended for days or even weeks and then resumed without any significant loss of quality.
To install asphalt paving, all surfaces must be structurally sound with no surface water present. A porous base course will also ensure good drainage and help protect your asphalt from damage.
Once the base is prepared, you will be able to install either hot-laid or cold-laid asphalt paving depending on the local climate conditions, budget constraints, and aesthetics. The hot-laying method is suitable for colder climates and it may require up to a week before the new pavement is ready for use. This method is ideal if you're looking to minimize the impact on the surrounding area and business operations as it can be undertaken during off-peak hours or weekends, but keep in mind that this process will require some form of temporary surface protection such as plywood decking boards laid over your asphalt binder course which must be removed once the asphalt is ready for use.
The cold-laying method, on the other hand, requires only a few hours to complete and it can be installed in almost any weather condition or climate but does require more frequent compaction than hot paving. This could result in the cracking of your new pavement if the asphalt is not compacted sufficiently.
3. Low maintenance
Paving an institutional parking lot, private driveway, or any large area with asphalt can solve various maintenance problems. Asphalt paving can be sealed a few months after installation to prevent cracks from occurring. The sealant protects the surface from exposure to the elements as well as oil stains. You can also seal small areas that have been repaired to prevent further damage. Choosing to pave an area with asphalt is a great alternative to a lawn because it requires less maintenance and it is a durable surface that will last for decades, and It won’t require the time and effort that watering and mowing would.
Asphalt has been the most preferred paving method for decades, largely due to its affordability and cost-effectiveness. Asphalt paving is up to 40% cheaper than concrete paving. Asphalt is inexpensive for manufacturers to produce so it, in turn, makes it a budget-friendly option for consumers. Its recyclability is another factor that reduces the cost. Recycled asphalt or asphalt millings can be used as a sub-base to reduce cost.
Another factor that makes asphalt paving more affordable is the reduced labor cost. Asphalt paving is quick and easy to install so you won’t be left with a large bill for labor costs.
Asphalt paving is cost-effective in the long run too. Whereas concrete paving needs to be completely replaced once it cracks, asphalt cracks can be repaired without replacement. DIY repair kits are readily available so you could avoid the expense of calling in a professional to repair small cracks. The lower cost of asphalt does not make it an inferior product though so it means you receive excellent value for money. This is why asphalt paving is a cheaper alternative to concrete and you won’t need to worry about regular maintenance. This makes asphalt an affordable option for both homeowners and businesses alike.
- Eco friendly
Asphalt paving is an eco-conscious choice as it is recyclable. It is America’s most recycled product with 80 million tons recycled per year. This means that 80 million tons of new aggregate are saved and less petroleum energy is needed. Asphalt requires 20% less energy to produce than other paving materials. Waste materials such as used tires and shingles can also be reused in new asphalt pavement, reducing landfill space. When you choose an asphalt paving option, you'll be able to breathe easier knowing that this product releases less than 10 pounds of volatile organic hydrocarbons into the atmosphere while other materials release up to 40 pounds of hydrocarbons.
Asphalt is very flexible as it consists of multiple layers with a continuous flow and it does not require joints so it is a far smoother surface. The smooth finish reduces damage to the paving, necessitating fewer repairs. It also improves fuel efficiency and reduces wear and tear on vehicles. Asphalt pavements are very quiet in comparison to concrete. This is because there is less surface noise, vibration, and harshness with asphalt paving compared to other materials which means you can enjoy a more peaceful drive or walk on your new pavement. Another reason you'll love the smooth surface of asphalt is that it does not accumulate water. This means when it rains, there will be no puddles to avoid and when it's hot outside, your feet won't stick and in moist conditions and you won't have to worry about slipping or falling.
The smoothness of asphalt paving ensures maximum tire contact with the surface, which greatly reduces the risk of skidding. It also allows for better water drainage and runoff so there will be less water spray for increased driver visibility. The dark color of asphalt reduces glare and has the added benefit of melting ice faster due to the increased absorption of heat from the sun. In addition, asphalt paving is much less slippery in icy conditions when compared to other materials because of its rubber particles and high friction. This makes it a safer option for those who live in snowy or icy climates and want to ensure their safety on the road.
Asphalt pavements are also more resistant to damage from weather and chemicals such as gasoline, oil, or antifreeze which means there will be a reduced risk of accidents when they spill onto the pavement.
Asphalt’s versatility makes it ideal for just about any construction project. It is a viable option for driveways, roads, parking lots, and even runways. Asphalt paving can be used in both commercial and residential projects which means you’ll have the opportunity to save money on installation costs when it comes time to repave your driveway or garage. Moreover, asphalt paving is suitable for both flat and sloped surfaces.
Asphalt can also be formed to your desired shape, which means it’s possible to create the curve you desire when repaving a driveway or road. This makes asphalt pavements a great choice in any area that needs extra traction such as slopes and hillsides where other materials cannot perform well since they are too rigid.
The load-bearing capacity of an asphalt surface can easily be increased simply by adding additional layers. Asphalt paving can also be installed in almost any shape or pattern, making it a versatile choice to pave driveways, patios, paths, larger surfaces, and more.
8. Aesthetically pleasing
Traditional black or gray asphalt paving creates a clean and modern look. However, it is now possible to find asphalt paving in different colors. This will give you the chance to express yourself and create a paved area that reflects your taste. Color can be added to asphalt in different ways. Additives can be introduced in the asphalt binder or the surface can be coated with a material like Street Print or Asphacolor. Red, yellow, green, brown, or orange tints can be produced by adding iron, slag, or recycled glass to the asphalt mix.
Asphalt paving can also be stamped for a limitless array of designs. Imprinted asphalt started gaining popularity in the mid-90s. Today it is used around the world as a decorative, durable, and lower-cost alternative to brick or cement.
The process of stamping asphalt begins with the pattern which is pre-formed forms special steel or woven wire templates. These templates are then laid out on the hot or reheated asphalt surface. Once in place, a vibrating plate compactor is applied to the pattern. After compaction, the templates are removed and an imprint is left on the asphalt surface. Stamped asphalt is preferable to the traditional interlocking systems because it allows for faster installation. Both old and new asphalt surfaces can be easily stamped. Brick or stone paving can be prone to shifting over time, whereas stamped asphalt will last.