You drive on it every day, but what is asphalt and why is it used so often?
Asphalt is the paving on our roads and driveways. It was first recorded being used in 615 B.C. Naturally, there’s got to be some benefits to this material if it’s been around for so long.
Asphalt has gone by many names over the years, some of which are tarmac, bituminous concrete, blacktop and more. When it was first used in ancient times, it contained a mixture of asphalt rocks, sand and mud.
While the processes for laying asphalt have changed quite a bit, the recipe for making it is mostly the same. Today, asphalt is made from stones, sand, gravel, cement and an amalgam. The most common amalgam used today is called bitumen.
Bitumen is a sticky oil that mixes with all the other pieces and holds them together. The mixture is then heated, poured onto prepared roads and steamrolled.
Asphalt can be produced extremely quickly. Other types of roads, such as cobblestone and concrete, can take weeks to finish, compared to what is done in one day with asphalt.
Another benefit is that it’s often less costly than other paving options, one reason being the lower labor cost in producing it. Another reason is that all the materials are 100 percent recyclable.
Asphalt is also more durable. The top layer of the earth shifts and changes. The materials in asphalt are more flexible, which allow it to withstand some of the breakage that can occur as a result of shifting.
However, it still needs maintenance and occasional patches. Luckily, asphalt is easy to repair. If your driveway or a road gets a crack in it, you don’t have to replace the whole thing. Instead, it can be patched and continue to function for many years to come.
Now that you know what asphalt is, it’s time to start planning your next project. Whether you’re looking to pave a driveway, parking lot or your own road, asphalt paving is the way to go.
The benefits outweigh those of all other similar paving materials. The only question now is who can handle your big project?
Contact us to learn more about asphalt paving services and get a free quote.