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Creative Uses for Asphalt

Creative Uses for Asphalt

Utah roads are commonly paved with asphalt, but there are some cool things you can do with asphalt in addition to driving on it. Check these ideas out:

Use it for waterproofing or a moisture barrier – Builders sometimes use asphalt-based paint when they need help protecting against leaks and drafts. They commonly use it in basements to deter ground moisture from getting into a home. And they can use rubber asphalt around windows or doors to prevent outside drafts.

Easily cover up graffiti – It’s common for cinderblock or brick buildings to get tagged with graffiti, and when this happens, it’s hard to get rid of it. The process usually requires stripping agents or other harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the building. Vandals can still graffiti an asphalt wall, but the remedy is much easier. If the exterior is asphalt-based paint, it can be quickly covered up with another layer of paint without it being noticeable.

Protection for trees – Open wounds on trees can be treated with liquid asphalt. It can be used as a bandaid after an insect infestation, when you’ve pruned some branches, or if limbs have broken off a tree. A tree is prone to additional damage or bacteria when it’s damaged and sealing the wound makes it less vulnerable to more problems.

A reduction in driving noise – Did you know vehicles are manufactures with some asphalt components? It’s called liquid-applied sound deadeners, and they’re applied to different parts of a car to minimize vibrations through the metal body when the driver goes over a rough surface. Sometimes melted asphalt pads are added to specific areas and sometimes liquid coating is sprayed onto the desired areas.

Useful for art projects – For some cool asphalt art projects around the country that uses asphalt as a canvas, check out our other blog here. But another way it’s useful in the art world in by utilizing bitumen, which is the primary binding agent in asphalt, as an additive to paint. This enriches dark tones and adds texture. The technique became popular in the late 1800s and it’s still used today, especially in oil paintings.

Protect outdoor wooden structures with asphalt sealant – To protect features like decks, wooden fencing, and playhouses, you can add a coat of asphalt sealant to keep the wood from getting wet. This isn’t always necessary, but for some areas that get a lot of moisture, it can be a creative and helpful way to keep wood outside stay strong.

Has been used in auto painting – Asphalt-based auto paint was once a desirable technique because it’s durable, fast drying, and cost effective. It’s not very common in these days, but Ford’s Model T from the early 1900s used the standard “Japan Black” as its main color. This beautiful, rich black was achieved by adding liquid asphalt to the paint. Today, the “Japan Black” liquid asphalt is more commonly used on steel and iron products.

As you can see, there are lots of creative uses for asphalt. If you plan to take on a new project and have questions about how to use asphalt, give us a call.

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