Asphalt has become a prized paving material for contractors and homeowners. It’s durable, flexible, and eco-friendly.
It’s also a lot cheaper than concrete. Yet there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding asphalt pavement installation, repair, and maintenance. Here are five of them:
1. Asphalt is Not Eco-Friendly
Asphalt is often falsely accused of being an environmentally unfriendly paving material. The fact of the matter is that asphalt has made huge strides to reduce its carbon footprint over the years, especially when compared to other paving materials such as concrete.
Despite the fact that it is made from petroleum, asphalt does not contribute to global warming because it does not release any Greenhouse gases (GHGs) during its production process. Unlike concrete, asphalt can also be recycled and reused again and again, which greatly reduces its need for non-renewable resources.
In addition, the asphalt industry has also implemented innovative methods for reducing its environmental impact. For example, it uses reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and warm mix asphalt to decrease its use of oil. This, in turn, helps to reduce its carbon footprint and makes it a much more sustainable option for paving roads, driveways, and parking lots. It also allows asphalt to adapt better during temperature changes, which minimizes its cracking potential and prolongs its life. This is a huge advantage over other paving materials that are less flexible and require more energy to be installed and maintained.
2. Asphalt Does Not Need a Foundation
Asphalt is one of the most common paving materials around and has come a long way in recent years. However, old myths about asphalt persist. They keep many people from using asphalt pavement services that can give their business a much-needed boost!
Asphalts are a complex mixture of saturated and unsaturated aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon compounds with up to 150 carbon atoms. They also contain traces of oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other heteroatoms. These heteroatoms form interlocking polymer-type networks. This is what makes asphalts pliable and gives them their unique tensile properties.
Unlike concrete, asphalt does not need a foundation to support it. It can be placed directly over a firm, well-draining substrate, such as gravel or crushed rock. However, it is important to hire a professional contractor for asphalt paving. This will ensure that the foundation is laid properly and will help to reduce the risk of cracks and potholes. This will also extend the lifespan of the asphalt.
3. Asphalt Cracks Easily
Asphalt is used by the Mesopotamians to waterproof their temple baths and the ancient Egyptians used it to line their water tanks. It’s also the material of choice for paving roads and highways. Asphalt is black, viscous and tactile. It’s a polymer-type substance that softens when heated and hardens when cold.
Asphalt cracks easily when it’s exposed to recurrent foot and vehicle traffic, harsh weather, and other environmental elements. If the cracks are left untreated for any length of time, they will expand and expose the underlying layer, which can lead to severe damage.
To avoid this, it’s important to have your asphalt paved with high-quality materials and have your cracks repaired promptly. However, repairing asphalt cracks requires a bit of planning since the temperature needs to be just right for the crack filler to adhere properly. Generally, it’s best to wait until the area isn’t too hot or too cold for several days in a row. It’s also essential that the asphalt cracks are cleaned out and dry before starting. Otherwise, the crack filler will not set and the cracks will reopen.
4. Asphalt Does Not Last Long
Asphalt is a very durable material that will last for years, especially with proper maintenance. This is why it is used on roads, driveways, parking lots and other commercial projects.
The reason asphalt is able to resist wear and tear so well is because it has a high ductility. It is a thermoplastic, meaning it softens when heated and hardens when cooled. It also has a viscoelastic structure, which means it has properties of both a solid and liquid.
Its polar molecules bind easily with aggregate particles, which gives it strong adhesion strength and a high bond force. These properties make it a good sealer and waterproofing agent.
Asphalt is derived from petroleum, but the asphalt industry has made great strides in reducing its environmental footprint. Today, asphalt plants meet EPA standards and are more energy efficient than ever. They have also been able to reduce the amount of contaminates they release into the air. This has helped to decrease the negative effects of asphalt production on climate change. Moreover, asphalt millings and chunks are 100% recyclable, which helps to decrease the number of waste materials that are sent to landfills each year.
5. Asphalt Is Not Affordable
Asphalt is the preferred paving material of highway engineers and road designers across the world. It offers a cost-effective solution and is incredibly versatile, allowing roads to be built in less time with minimal construction delays. It also provides a smooth, quiet ride and is skid resistant. Its versatility makes it a top choice for asphalt driveways and parking lots as well.
It’s true that asphalt is a byproduct of oil, but this does not mean that it is not sustainable or environmentally friendly. The paving industry has made major investments in new technologies that have helped to reduce its carbon footprint, and asphalt now boasts the lowest emissions of all paving materials.
It’s also important to note that asphalt is not as expensive as some may believe. It costs significantly less to install than concrete, and it also lasts longer. Furthermore, it is easy to maintain and can be easily repaired when necessary. Furthermore, asphalt is now available in a range of colors other than black and can be topped with color additives or sealant for a more customized appearance.