Almost everyone comes into contact with asphalt on a daily basis. It is used on our roads and driveways as well as on roofs of commercial building and as a component of some types of shingles. It is made with a combination of aggregates like rock or gravel, a binder such as bitumen and a filler. Most asphalt based materials are made in plants that can heat the materials to over 150 degrees centigrade while mixing the component together.
As a building material for roads, driveways and sports playing surfaces asphalt is hard to beat.
Asphalt advantages over concrete, wood, crushed rock and other types of hard surface material includes the following:
- Smooth and comfortable to walk, run, or ride on surfaces
The surface is built in layers and the result is a flexible and somewhat cushioned surface that is easy on feet, tyres and equipment. These features are attractive for roads and driveways and are a major consideration for surfaces such as runways at airports.
- Cost effective solution
The initial cost of an asphalt surface is relatively low and there is residual value resulting from the fact that its surfaces are 100% recyclable. Building a surface with this material requires less labour than other types of surfaces as well.
- Unique applications
An asphalt surface can be designed for different climates, types of traffic and overall strength. Colours can be added as well to provide a visual signal in crosswalks or on playing surfaces.
- Durable material
As the different layers of asphalt are applied to a surface, the depth of the layers and the composition of them can be managed to accommodate everything from foot traffic to heavy equipment such as commercial airplanes. This ability to define the construct of the surface helps to ensure that a well-built surface can last indefinitely.
- Ready to use as soon as it is completed
Unlike other materials such as concrete, asphalt surfaces don’t need a curing time before they can be used. Your newly laid asphalt driveway or playing surface can be driven or played on immediately.
- Environmentally friendly building material
As mentioned earlier, asphalt can be chopped up, reheated and reused time after time. Recycled asphalt surfaces are just as high in quality, strength, and durability as virgin asphalt. It is truly a “green” product. An asphalt surface is porous to allow water to drain through it as needed, reducing the problems of run off that can be present around large areas of paved surfaces such as parking lots and airports.