Asphalt is a strong and sustainable paving solution that has been in the industry since 1870. It is also widely used for driveways, roads, car parks and walking paths. While it may have other less common uses, it remains the leading option in outdoor surface construction.
Homeowners prefer an asphalt driveway due to its durability from wear and tear, high vehicle traffic areas and safety features. Airport runways preferably use asphalt due to its strength, skid and jet fuel resistance. Additionally, asphalt is more cost-efficient compared to other solutions in both commercial and residential projects. But what exactly does asphalt have that makes it so robust?
Asphalt’s Composition And Its Benefits
Asphalt consists of a combination of unique and durable elements such as gravel, bitumen binder, filler and a mixture of aggregates. These materials are mixed at a high temperature which forms a hot mix of asphalt. This allows workers to spread them easily resulting in faster workmanship. It is made even more impenetrable by using bitumen spray which acts as a sealant, preventing water and other rubble to seep in.
In addition, asphalt promotes energy efficiency as it lessens the friction between tyre and car, facilitating better fuel consumption and reduction of carbon dioxide emission.
Asphalt vs Other Surface Options
As a homeowner, it’s important to consider factors such as maintenance, cost and materials in deciding which type of driveway to have. To help you, here are some of the options you might be considering and how asphalt stands against them:
1. Paver, Bricks And Slabs
While a paver or brick driveway may look more appealing, it is less flexible and has gaps where water and debris can penetrate. The materials are more likely to shift and separate as well which promotes the growth of weeds and nesting ground for ants. With this, your driveway is more prone to deterioration.
On the flip side, asphalt has it all in contrast. Since it is heated at a high temperature, it increases its viscosity resulting in more flexibility. The hot temperature also eliminates any moisture present in the mixture and on the surface beneath. Additionally, it gives a seamless finish and tight seal, making it more durable and less expensive in maintenance.
Like asphalt, concrete is also composed of a mixture of aggregates such as cement binder, crushed sand and rock. While it’s considerably less prone to wear and tear, when the mixture dries and hardens, it is prone to cracking, especially when the surface underneath is not perfectly smooth. Compared to asphalt, concrete is not as skid-resistant – making it more dangerous for cars to drive on during the rainy and winter season. Moreover, concrete produces more glare whereas asphalt has various colour options.
While asphalt and concrete may have similar life spans, asphalt companies in Adelaide have less difficulty with repair and maintenance. Concrete requires a more complex process so driveways need to be excavated properly to repair damages and maintain patchwork.