What is Asphalt?
Asphalt vs. Concrete
Asphalt is a type of material used mainly on roadways.
In many instances, asphalt is the go-to choice because of its economical properties. It is often cheaper than other paving materials, but more importantly, asphalt’s unique properties allow it to be ready for use in a short period of time.
America’s roadways are a never-ending source of traffic and usage. When a new road or parking lot needs to be constructed or maintained and time is of the essence, asphalt is the material for the job.
Driveways and parking lots can be laid in 1-2 days and ready for foot and vehicle traffic only one day later.
Concrete, while it has its own set of benefits, can be laid in 2-4 days and requires 5-7 days to cure during which the surface cannot be used.
It’s these advantages that make asphalt one of the most popular and cost effective options in modern day construction.
Benefits of Asphalt
When appropriately constructed and maintained, an asphalt surface will never need to be completely removed and replaced. As the surface nears the end of its design life, it can be rehabilitated cost-effectively in various ways.
In many cases when an asphalt surface needs maintenance, a slurry-coating or slurry-sealing will suffice. In other cases adding a layer of new asphalt to a portion or entire existing surface is more fitting. This process is commonly called an overlay.
If there isn’t enough space to allow for an overlay, the surface will need to be cold-planed first.
Cold-planing (grinding) the top few inches off of the existing surface allows the void to be filled with new asphalt material. The work above can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost of full depth remediation.
A large portion of the asphalt grindings are utilized in recycled asphalt materials. This recycled asphalt product (RAP) mixed with new asphaltic oil accounts for between 10% to 20% of hot-mix asphalt production. Cold-planing and overlaying a surface is the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly process available.
Sometimes, it is necessary to start over from scratch. If that is the case, we are equipped and capable of removing and replacing an entire surface. While full-depth removal may be costly, it does allow for other possibilities to be explored. Concrete and interlocking paving stones are beautiful alternatives or incorporations to a new pavement surface.
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