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Everything You Wanted to Know About Asphalt

What is asphalt?

Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binder and filler, used for constructing and maintaining surfaces such as: parking areas, roads, playgrounds and sport areas. Some of the types of aggregates that are used to make asphalt include: crushed rock, gravel, slags or sand. Most commonly, bitumen is used a binder to hold everything together when making asphalt.

How is asphalt pavement made?

The process of creating asphalt pavement is like baking a cake. You measure the ingredients and then mix them together. They are then heated to form the final product.

To install the asphalt pavement, a series of different layers are necessary. These layers include the subsoil, aggregate base, asphalt base layer, asphalt intermediate layer, and the top, or visible layer is the asphalt surface.

Are there other options instead of total asphalt replacement?

If the road surface already has asphalt installed that is in decent condition, it may not be necessary to start new. Installing an asphalt overlay is a great option as opposed to tearing everything up and incurring the cost of total replacement. But, before an asphalt pavement overlay can be installed there needs to be a solid, stable surface to build upon. Damaged or distressed areas in the pavement can cause premature cracking or wear on new pavement that is installed depending on the degree of the damage. If the overlay is done on pavement with too many cracks or waves, then the new overlay will fall into that same pattern shortly after installation. The overlay is a great option if the owner is needed the project to be done in a shorter amount of time and in a cost effective way.

Your asphalt contractor can evaluate your parking lot or roadway to ascertain whether total replacement is necessary or if an asphalt overlay – or even pothole repairs can be made to delay the expenditure of total replacement. 

How long will asphalt last?

Once the initial asphalt has been installed it can last up to thirty years and even longer with proper maintenance. The quality of the products and the workmanship of the asphalt company needs to be of the utmost quality to help ensure the longevity of the asphalt.

Asphalt is the predominant material used for road construction and maintaining the road network both in the United States and Europe. It is sometimes referred to as a flexible pavement due to its ability to resist the stress imposed by slight settlements of the sub-grade without cracking.

 

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