There was a time when concrete was the choice material for paving projects. Today, however, builders prefer using asphalt to pave roads and create other paved surfaces. You’re probably wondering why asphalt paving, rather than concrete paving, is considered the better choice. To help you understand, let’s first look at how asphalt and concrete are made:
- Concrete: When an aggregate (like sand and crushed rock), cement and water are combined, you get concrete. The binder ingredient in concrete is the cement, which holds the aggregate together as it dries and hardens. The mixture dries into a stiff, inflexible solid that tends to crack and break if the surface beneath is not smooth.
- Asphalt: Asphalt is also made using aggregate, but its binder, bitumen, is a dark and sticky substance procured from crude oil. When asphalt is used to construct roads and other surfaces, bitumen mixed with fine aggregate (hot asphalt) is poured onto a layer of heavier aggregate. It’s then steamrolled to create a smooth surface. Traffic is prohibited on the new surface until the asphalt cools completely and becomes strong enough to withstand vehicle and foot traffic. Although asphalt is strong and hard, it’s still flexible enough to allow for imperfections in underlying surfaces.
When it comes to new roads being built, you might notice that most are constructed using asphalt. Why? Let’s review the top six reasons to use asphalt over concrete in Kentucky for roads and other paved surfaces.
- Cost effective: Of the two most popular choices for paving, asphalt is the most cost-effective option. The savings with asphalt materials can be as much as 40 percent less than concrete, and you’ll end up spending less money on asphalt maintenance and repairs.
- Durable: Even though asphalt pavement is strong and durable, it does require regular preventative maintenance to ensure it lasts many years. Simple maintenance includes road sweeping, while basic upkeep includes tasks like sealcoating and crack repair.
- Looks nice: With regular maintenance and timely repairs, asphalt roads can remain aesthetically pleasing for a long time. Additionally, once asphalt starts to discolor and turn gray, all that’s usually needed is a new sealcoat to bring back some of its beauty and luster. On the other hand, there’s not much that can be done to restore concrete that is stained and discolored.
- Avoid spalling: Spalling is something that happens to concrete, but not asphalt. It’s when the surface of concrete pavement flakes due to factors like improper installation and the concrete mixture containing excess water.
- Fast installation and accessibility: It doesn’t take long to install an asphalt road, although the timeframe depends on the type of project and its size. Because asphalt doesn’t need to cure the same way as concrete, new roads are typically accessible to traffic right away.
- Low maintenance: Asphalt pavement maintenance is cheaper and easier than maintaining concrete, and asphalt repairs usually take hours, rather than days like concrete.
This is why asphalt in Kentucky is preferred over concrete for paving new roads and other surfaces. Call K.O. Asphalt for more information or to schedule a project!
Categorised in: Asphalt Repairs