Of the nearly 2.6 million miles of paved road in the United States, just over 94% are paved with asphalt. There’s no question that asphalt can withstand the tests of time and wear and tear, but it can be used on more than just roads.
Just about any paving project can be completed with asphalt, which has several advantages over concrete. While most people think asphalt only comes in plain, parking-lot style black, it’s actually a really versatile construction material. Because it’s flexible, it won’t crack like concrete. Plus, asphalt can be stamped and pressed to resemble concrete, making it a popular choice for front yard sidewalks and backyard patios alike. But that’s not the only benefit of paving with asphalt.
If you’re faced with a paving project, be it driveways, a new backyard patio, or a parking lot, here are four reasons you should consider using asphalt instead of concrete.
Believe it or not, asphalt pavement is actually 100% recyclable, and fresh asphalt frequently contains reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). RAP is old asphalt that has been milled off of roads and other forms of pavement that need to be resurfaced. By reusing that old asphalt, fewer natural resources are consumed in the paving process.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Off the bat, asphalt paving costs less than concrete paving. Not only that, but projects like asphalt driveways and roads can be completed in less time, allowing traffic to resume in a matter of hours rather than days. In addition, asphalt driveways can melt snow more quickly, and the repairs are simple and inexpensive in the long run.
More Versatile Choices
Asphalt, unlike concrete, can be completed in stages as money and other conditions allow. If you begin with a solid, clean base, asphalt can be added in layers as time goes on. This will not only increase the life of asphalt paving, it will give the overall project a more finished look.
Asphalt is Safer
Asphalt, in addition to all of its other properties, is safer than concrete for various reasons. Asphalt has a smoother surface than concrete, it’s more skid-resistant, it can reduce the amount of splash during rainstorms, and its dark surface helps make lane markings on roads more visible.
Over 90% of parking areas in the United States are paved with 18 billion tons of asphalt, and for all of the reasons listed above. Simply put, it’s a great material that provides roads, driveways, and parking lots with countless benefits to drivers and pedestrians.