Asphalt is made from sand, gravel, or crushed rock and is glued together with a binder known as bitumen. Asphalt paving in Stockton, CA, is an excellent solution for roads, parking lots, and similar applications. Unfortunately, most people do not know much about this instrumental paving material. Here are 10 things you should know about asphalt.
Naturally occurring asphalt has been used for roads since early 600 BC. It was a valuable and essential trade product that ancient Egyptians used for mummification. Commercially produced asphalt today is used for an estimated 90% of residential and commercial parking areas.
Although you can obtain virgin asphalt at a higher price, recycled material makes up most of today's asphalt. Were you aware that asphalt is one of the most commonly recycled products in the world? With recycling rates of 80% or more in most locations, recycled asphalt works just as well as virgin asphalt and is a sustainable choice for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Hot mix asphalt and warm mix asphalt are the best choices for the majority of paving projects. It is essential to mention that both types of asphalt require warmer weather to set appropriately. On the other hand, cold mix asphalt can be used in emergency winter repairs but will likely need to be replaced by a more permanent hot mix patch once the weather is warm again. It can be helpful to plan your asphalt projects anywhere between late spring and early fall to have the proper temperature for proper curing.
Asphalt has many advantages over its competitors. These advantages include noise reduction, aesthetic look, and durability. Asphalt is also inexpensive and relatively simple to lay and repair. In addition, white road striping is much easier to see against black asphalt, making it a safer choice for most applications.
Even though the curing time of asphalt is only 2 to 3 days, it still needs to be protected. Keeping objects, people, pets, and vehicles off new asphalt for at least 48 hours- preferably 72- is essential. Never park heavy equipment on asphalt for the first 30 days. Asphalt is prone to showing marks during the first year. Make an effort not to park in the same spot daily and avoid leaking solvents, oil, or gas onto the surface. Place a board underneath kickstands and other sharp objects to protect your asphalt surface. The marks that develop will fade with time, but it's still essential to avoid them if possible.
Though asphalt is generally maintenance-free, regular care can help ensure that it lasts longer. For example, sealcoating new asphalt within the first year and then every three to four years after can benefit its life.
Seal coating asphalt helps minimize water damage repair, replenishes the binder that gradually wears away from age weather, and helps reduce color fading.
Be sure to inspect asphalt for cracks twice per year and fix cracks right away, so you can extend the life of the asphalt.
Small cracks, holes, and divots need just a simple liquid crack filling compound to patch. More severely failed sections of asphalt can be patched using a process known as dig out patching. Dig out patching is when the failed portion is replaced with new asphalt. If damage is more extensive, resurfacing is much less expensive and complex than a complete replacement.
Four forms of asphalt are particularly suited to specific applications. For example, perpetual pavement is an excellent choice for highly trafficked roads because only the top layer needs replacing over time. Using porous asphalt can help to minimize the problems of poor drainage in an area. In addition, quiet asphalt significantly reduces road-noise, making it the perfect choice for suburban roads. An asphalt contractor can help you decide what asphalt is suitable for your project.
With regular care and maintenance, asphalt is highly durable and long-lasting. Under many conditions, you can expect newly laid asphalt to have a lifespan of at least 35 years.
Do-it-yourself projects with asphalt are very rarely the best choice. Laying asphalt requires equipment knowledge and specialized skills to be done correctly. A paving contractor can help you choose the suitable grade of asphalt, perform any needed prep, and lay asphalt professionally and durably.