5 Top Common Asphalt Paving Myths

March 20, 2023

5 Top Common Asphalt Paving Myths

There are many misconceptions within the asphalt paving industry. These myths often stop residential or commercial readers from learning about asphalt, asphalt repairs, or asphalt contractors.

1. Asphalt Is Only Good For Cold Weather

Asphalt is a popular choice for roads, driveways, and parking lots because of its durability, flexibility, and eco-friendliness.  It’s a great option for anyone who wants to keep their property looking great while keeping costs down. However, asphalt’s durability comes at a price, especially when it’s subjected to harsh winter conditions and temperature fluctuations that can significantly degrade its long-term performance and lifespan. Cold weather can significantly reduce asphalt’s flexibility, which makes it prone to cracking, damage, and deterioration. When a snow or ice patch freezes, it can create a gap in the surface that water can enter. It can also weaken the binding agents in asphalt aggregate, which will allow water to penetrate the surface and cause internal structural damage.

2. Asphalt Isn’t Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt is considered to be not environmentally friendly because it requires a lot of energy and emits dangerous levels of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for global warming and affect productivity, sleep and disease. However, the industry has made a few strides in reducing its environmental impact. For instance, in 2018, 82.2 million tons of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) was used to produce new mixes. Another example is the invention of warm mix asphalt, which reduces the temperature of the paving process to save energy and improve working conditions. The process also helps reduce fuel emissions and odors.

3. Asphalt Doesn’t Need A Foundation

While it may seem like asphalt can be laid anywhere, it does require a solid foundation. Without this, it is not strong enough to withstand the rigors of heavy traffic or years of shifting. This can lead to a paved surface that is cracked, pitted, or even crumbling. Proper grading and excavation, ground compaction and base materials can greatly increase the life of an asphalt pavement surface. But if your contractor doesn’t follow these procedures, your paving surface will be compromised from the start. That being said, it is important to make sure your contractor has the expertise to ensure your asphalt base is prepared properly before paving.

4. Asphalt Is Too Expensive

While asphalt paving doesn’t come cheap, it is often well worth its price tag. It involves many factors, including a lot of materials that must be transported from the production plant to the project site. A basic asphalt mix is made from aggregates like crushed rock, sand, gravel and slag, which are mixed with a binder that holds everything together. It’s a black substance that is typically mixed in batches. The cost of this mixture is based on a variety of factors, including the climate where the pavement will be used. The cost of transportation and the time required to prepare the materials may also affect the price of asphalt paving. The price of crude oil is another factor that can impact the long-term costs of an asphalt paving project. Since the price of oil is largely unpredictable, it’s important to leave extra room in your budget for oil-related project price increases.

5. Asphalt Doesn’t Last A Long Time

Asphalt is an extremely durable material that holds up to the weight of vehicles and other heavy loads. It’s also highly adaptable to fluctuating temperatures, making it ideal for a wide range of pavement applications. However, it’s important to remember that asphalt doesn’t last forever! The life expectancy of an asphalt surface actually depends on a variety of factors including climate, traffic, and maintenance. But more often than not, asphalt should be able to last 25-30 years or longer with regular use!

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