Asphalt paving is a fairly common practice in the United States. Asphalt is a mixture of asphalt (or bitumen cement) and stone, sand, or gravel. It is most often used for roads, parking lots, and driveways. Although the process is not difficult, it is extremely important to install asphalt properly. Hiring an experienced Houston area paving contractor will ensure that the job gets done correctly, and with the right tools and machines.
Though the process is used for a variety of projects. The process may vary on each specific project. Here are a few steps that can be expected:
1. Remove the current surface.
2. Grade the slope for proper water drainage.
3. Compact the remaining soil.
4. Fill the surface with crushed rock. The amount will depend on what type of soil is underneath. And expected traffic.
5. Compact crushed rock.
6. Insert asphalt with Asphalt Paving machine (where applicable) and compact with vibratory roller.
7. Seal coat. See our seal coat page!
Now that the process has been laid out, why would a consumer or business choose asphalt over concrete? They are similar in process and even some material, however, concrete dries in a harsh and rigid way, typically making the surface course, instead of the desired smooth surface. Asphalt includes materials that are flexible. Asphalt holds up well under vehicles, while also flexing with movement and changes, which concrete cannot do.
This gives the desired smooth, quiet ride that most drivers want to experience on the road, and for off-road locations. It is also the greener option, as it has been proven to be more sustainable over the years. There are even locations that can recycle asphalt, which proves to be a cost effective solution for building new highways and restoring old ones.
Where Should Asphalt be Used?
There are many places where it would be effective and sustainable. The most common uses include: driveways, roadways and highways, and parking lots. Asphalt can also be used on roofing, sealants, caulking, brake linings, paints, and enamels.
Asphalt is growing in reputation and use, and for good reason. Whenever the population can find new and useful ways to recycle and sustain resources, it is worth taking a second look and understanding the process and uses. Although the steps to get to a smooth, quiet passageway can seem to take a long time, in the long run, it is completely worth it to take the time and energy to lay asphalt where concrete used to be the go to.
It is better for vehicles, better for the environment, and better for the economy. Asphalt is a great choice in many ways.