Asphalt Parking Lot

Why should you choose an asphalt parking lot for your business? Among the many decisions, you’ll make for your business is what kind of parking lot you want for your customers. While you also have options like gravel or concrete, asphalt is arguably the best choice for parking lot paving due to its versatility, cost, safety, and longevity.

Compared to concrete, asphalt parking lots cost less to install and repair, take less time to install, last nearly as long, are better for the environment, and look equally as professional as their counterparts. Asphalt also performs better than concrete in climates subject to freeze and thaw. Overall, asphalt parking lot paving simply offers more benefits and a better value for your money than the other available options.

Read on to learn nine essential elements of the asphalt parking lot paving in this comprehensive guide.

How much does it cost to pave a parking lot with asphalt?

The ultimate cost-determining factor is the project’s square footage, but with an asphalt cost calculator, you can do the math for how much your project will cost per square foot. While the price fluctuates with the market, in general, you can expect to pay between:

Cost per square footmaterial
$2 to $4.50Asphalt paving
$4 to $7Concrete paving
$1.25 to $1.80Gravel

Several other factors could impact your project costs, such as density of asphalt, recycled vs. virgin asphalt, required site preparation, drainage needs, and more. Your contractor should explain any issues affecting your price.

Further Reading — Asphalt solutions — Residential, public, and commercial paving

Asphalt parking lot cost calculator

The following asphalt cost calculator helps you determine the volume of asphalt you’ll need for your project by using the area’s dimensions, desired thickness, and type of asphalt to figure the total cost. You can calculate your project’s asphalt weight by multiplying the length by the width by the thickness by the asphalt density. On average, expect a tonne of asphalt to cost between $80 and $200, varying with your location, quality/density, and current oil price.

You should also consider the cost of preparing your future parking lot before asphalt is applied. Debris must be cleared, the area leveled, herbicide applied, a layer of gravel laid down as a solid base material, and a drainage system put into place, all of which you should factor into your budget. After the asphalt sets, you must hire someone to paint the pavement striping to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians on your property. 

Further Reading – Parking lot sealcoating – What are the benefits and costs?

Recycled asphalt: an option to consider

Asphalt is the most recycled product in America. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) has long been incorporated into new asphalt along with other recycled materials. In addition to its significant environmental impact, asphalt created with RAP incorporated has proven stronger and more durable than virgin asphalt alone.

    Important Facts About Recycled Asphalt

  • Minimizes environmental impact
  • Produces a stronger product than virgin asphalt
  • Significant cost savings, even as oil prices rise
  • Recycled asphalt saves taxpayers up to $2.5 billion per year
  • Less space taken in landfill with material that will never biodegrade
  • Promotes the conservation of other natural resources with less aggregate mining
  • Decreased probability of cracking and less frequent future maintenance
  • Can be used for roads, roof shingles, parking lots, landscaping, driveways, etc.

The Federal Highway Administration declared its support for using RAP materials in pavement construction to “preserve the natural environment, reduce waste, and provide a cost-effective material” for paving construction.

How often should you seal an asphalt parking lot?

To give your lot the best protection possible, you should reseal it every two to four years as a routine part of your asphalt parking lot maintenance. Pay attention to the oxidation levels and general health of your parking lot to decide when your parking lot needs a sealcoat application.

If your business is in an area with heavy rainfall or frequent freezes and thaws, you may notice more cracks in your parking lot and might want to consider sealcoating more frequently to prevent future repairs. 

Further Reading — Parking lot sealcoating — What are the benefits and costs?

Does sealing asphalt extend life?

Sealcoating your asphalt will extend its lifespan by preventing major cracks from forming in your parking lot’s foundation. Always ensure cracks are properly repaired before sealcoating, as it is only a protective measure for the surface

Further Reading — Proper asphalt paving & maintenance extend the life of asphalt surfaces

Sealcoating not only renews the appearance of your parking lot but also reduces oxidation levels and water entry, provides oil and gas resistance, makes it easier to clean and maintain, and offers a more pliable surface to drivers during hot weather.

Further Reading — Parking lot cleaning — Steps to keep your lot clean

Sealcoating the asphalt parking lot

Asphalt parking lot maintenance

According to the experts, proper asphalt parking lot maintenance can extend the life of your lot to as much as thirty years. Your parking lot is often the first aspect of your business a potential customer sees. A properly maintained lot conveys the impression you care about the appearance of your property. 

Maintenance tasks range from simply sweeping the asphalt parking lot and weeding any vegetation growing through cracks to patching cracks before they become potholes and flushing your draining system if necessary. Set a schedule and stay consistent in caring for your parking lot to reach its maximum longevity.

Further Reading — How parking lot maintenance can save you money.

The life expectancy of an asphalt parking lot

An asphalt parking lot won’t last forever, even with perfect site preparation and maintenance. Like most things, your parking lot has a general life cycle it will follow. With proper maintenance, you can expect your asphalt parking lot to last between fifteen and thirty years, at the extremes. Your parking lot will go through several phases during its life. 

  • 0-5 Years

Your asphalt parking lot will require little maintenance or repair during the first phase. The parking lot surface should have no trouble standing up to heavy traffic and inclement weather— as long as you have proper drainage. Keep it clean and free of debris, and remove any vegetation you see to prevent future issues. 

  • 5-7 Years

Routine maintenance is key. Properly fill any cracks before seal coating your asphalt parking lot. Sealcoating and crack sealing will extend your parking lot’s lifespan, especially if you start early and stay consistent with maintenance. Continue to keep the lot clean and free of weeds.

  • 7-15 Years

As your parking lot reaches roughly middle age, you may need to do some more intensive maintenance and repair. Cracks may expand to become holes if not dealt with promptly. A neglected asphalt parking lot will show rapidly in the form of growing cracks and potholes. 

  • 15-25 Years

Repairs will become more frequent and intensive. You will likely face large cracks and potholes. Customers may complain about the risk of injury or damage to their vehicles. It may be time to consider resurfacing your parking lot. 

  • 25+ Years

If your asphalt parking lot made it to 25 years or beyond, you got a fantastic value for your investment. At this point in your parking lot’s life, repair and maintenance costs will be similar to the cost of a new parking lot.

Further Reading — Estimated parking lot life — Get the most out of your lot

Asphalt parking lot repair

Asphalt parking lot repair

You may be wondering what issues you might face with asphalt parking lot repair. For the most part, cracks and potholes are the bulk of repairs, both of which can be dealt with easily if you take swift action. A parking lot in disrepair gives your potential customers a poor impression of your business before they ever make it through the door.

Cracks are the most common type of asphalt parking lot repair. They can be longitude cracks, which appear in a long straight line; block cracks, which look like a rectangle or square shape and may intersect at right angles; or alligator cracks, which are haphazard patterns. Cracks between a quarter-inch and one inch can be repaired with crack sealing. 

Further Reading — Asphalt alligator crack repair — How to fix long term

Potholes occur when water seeps down through cracks and erodes the roadbed beneath the surface. Vehicle traffic then breaks the surface asphalt and pushes it into the cavity. Potholes can be filled or patched using premium hot or cold mix asphalt after cutting a square around the hole down to the aggregate sub-base. Compacting the new asphalt properly and sealing the repaired area, preventing further water damage is critical.

Further Reading — Asphalt parking lot repair — What to look out for

Asphalt Vs. Concrete: Value Comparison

After learning about the many benefits of choosing asphalt over concrete for your parking lot, it can be useful to see a side-by-side comparison. This chart compares several factors impacting the overall value of your paved parking lot.

Value factorAsphalt Parking LotConcrete Parking Lot
Aesthetic Appeal✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
Installation Time✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
Longevity✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
Environmental Impact✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
Maintenance Frequency✶✶✶✶✶✶✶✶
Maintenance Intensity/Cost✶✶✶✶✶✶

The United States Geological Survey conducted an in-depth study on the potential environmental benefits permeable pavement has on the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. Asphalt and concrete are included in the study, showing the many ways your paved parking lot can help the environment if you have a proper drainage and runoff system

Further Reading — Eco-friendly parking lot — 10 Ways to be sustainable

Conclusion

When you need a place for your customers’ cars, an asphalt parking lot is the clear choice in terms of value, reliability, speed, and cost. With proper maintenance, repair, and cleaning, you can extend your asphalt parking lot’s lifespan to nearly equal to a concrete lot, with far less time and money invested.

Concrete Vs Asphalt Roads

If it is better to use concrete vs asphalt roads is not always so easy to determine. While both concrete and asphalt are popular materials for roads, there are a few pros and cons to each that can make one a far better material for the job at hand than the other. 

Concrete roads are more environmentally friendly and have more longevity compared to asphalt roads, though asphalt is more cost-effective and can be a safer alternative to asphalt in areas that get a lot of snow.

Read on as we go through the pros and cons of concrete vs asphalt roads. 

What Are Concrete Roads?

Most concrete roads are a combination of aggregates (gravel, sand, and rock), water, and cement. Cement is in the mix as a binding agent to hold the aggregate together. The stiff, unforgiving slabs of concrete form when the mixture dries. Construction crews will often try to refrain from making the surfaces of concrete roads perfectly smooth, as perfectly smooth concrete is often more prone to breakage. 

To reinforce concrete, construction crews will often use steel bars.

The Pros of Concrete Roads

Longer Lifespan

When it comes to concrete vs asphalt roads, concrete roads have a much longer lifespan. In fact, many concrete roads can last up to 20 to 40 years with minimal maintenance; it is around two to four times the average lifespan of asphalt roads. This is one of the many reasons people also use concrete to make catch basins, especially in areas with heavy rainfall. 

The pros of concrete highways

Better For Highways

Our national highways are under the constant pressure of large freight trucks that travel over them every day. Concrete handles weight much better than asphalt, meaning it is less prone to rutting or dips. If you’re planning on paving roads where there will be a high volume of large trucks, concrete is the better material.

Of course, the one major downside to using concrete on long stretches of highway is that it can get expensive very fast, which is something to consider in any road-building project.

Safer For Motorists

Thanks to the longevity of concrete roads and the strength to hold more weight without dips forming, there is a smaller chance of potholes forming. Not only does this make it safer for motorists, but it also helps traffic to flow much smoother too. 

Better Fuel Efficiency

According to a number of studies of concrete roads vs asphalt roads over the past decade, concrete roads can reduce CO2 emissions and increase driver fuel efficiency. It is said that drivers get anywhere from 1-7% better fuel efficiency when driving on concrete roads compared to asphalt roads. This is because concrete roads don’t fold as much under the weight of vehicles.

More Environmentally Friendly

In general, the production of concrete roads is more environmentally friendly than that of asphalt roads. Essentially, concrete uses less energy during the construction process with fewer vehicles and passes, giving the construction process a small carbon footprint. 

It is also worth noting that concrete does not produce any sort of toxic runoff like asphalt does, meaning it is not a threat to local waterways. With its unique permeability, concrete allows rainwater to pass through it so that groundwater can be replenished, just as grass would allow water to pass through.

Of course, neither of these options is sustainable options, though that does not mean one isn’t better for the environment than the other. 

Saving On Resources

Concrete, which is made from cement, is produced from limestone. Limestone is readily available and a very abundant resource that does not need to be imported in.

No Oil Damage

Unlike asphalt roads, concrete roads do not suffer damage from oil leaks.

Pros and cons of concrete vs asphalt roads

Better For Colder Temperatures

Concrete is a better choice for areas with colder temperatures, as it is more resistant to the freeze-thaw cycle. This also makes it a much safer choice for drivers in snowy or icy conditions. 

Recyclable

Many consider concrete to be recyclable, as old slabs of concrete can be ground up and used as gravel in other projects, such as gravel driveways

Coloring and Stamping

One of the biggest aesthetic advantages of concrete is that it can be stamped and colored much easier than asphalt. You’ve likely been in urban settings where the concrete is colored in certain places to section off bike lanes or to promote safer crosswalks. The number of aesthetic possibilities is much greater with concrete than with asphalt. 

Light Color

One of the main reasons you’ll often see concrete roadways in hot areas is that the lighter color is more reflective than asphalt. This means that it reflects the radiation from the sun instead of absorbing and storing it as asphalt does. 

With a cooler surface, concrete can help surrounding buildings, meaning businesses and homes, cut back on their energy costs. It doesn’t get as hot in urban settings with concrete compared to those with asphalt, either. 

Cons of Concrete Roads

Difficult Repairs

Repairing concrete roads if they do get damaged can be an arduous process. It is impossible to patch holes and cracks on concrete roads vs asphalt roads. Instead, to repair concrete, the entire slab must be replaced. 

Concrete Vs Asphalt Roads: costs of concrete roads

Costly

Concrete costs a lot more than asphalt, both in terms of the construction process and the potential repair process.

Bumpy Rides

Concrete slabs can sit at different levels, causing rides to be bumpier than asphalt. It is also often the case that drivers can feel the expansion joints in the road when driving on concrete, especially if they don’t have newer cars with high-quality suspension. 

More Road Noise

During the construction process, the texture is brushed onto the concrete’s surface. Beyond drivers feeling the rhythmic bump of each suspension joint they pass over, it is also often the case that these roads are incredibly noisy. 

Less Grip

Compared to asphalt roads, concrete roads don’t offer that much grip. When roads get extremely wet, it becomes far more likely that vehicles lose traction quickly. It is also the case that water does not evaporate as fast, nor does snow melt as fast, as concrete has a much lower heat absorption rate than asphalt. 

High Reflectivity

If you’ve ever driven on a long asphalt road on a very hot, sunny day, you’ve probably noticed the high reflectivity characteristic. Driving on asphalt roads in this kind of heat and sunlight for a long time can be a major strain on the eyes. 

Non-Absorbant

While asphalt has a great way of absorbing spills, such as oils, chemicals, and other pollutants, concrete does not. 

Long Cure Times

After it is poured, concrete typically has to sit for seven days before it is cured. Of course, there are high-early-strength varieties of concrete too, which can cure in a day to three days, though these are much more expensive. If you’re looking to get a job done quickly, asphalt is a much better choice. 

When To Use Concrete Roads

While concrete roads can be used in a number of different projects, they are best for:

  • New construction
  • Urban road expansion
  • Build new roads in urban regions
  • Underground utility repair

It is also worth noting that concrete is a 100% recyclable material. It is pretty common for construction companies to break concrete down and use it to build new bridges and roads or use it for other construction projects entirely. 

Because concrete does not require as much maintenance or repairs, there are fewer costs to maintain it, including machinery costs, fuel costs, labor costs, etc.

Concrete Vs Asphalt Roads - Which Is The Better Choice?

What Are Asphalt Roads?

Asphalt roads are often made up of aggregates (gravel, sand, and crushed rock), filler, and binder (bitumen). Bitumen is a very different kind of binding agent than cement, as it is a dark and sticky substance that is derived from crude oil. 

When roads are built using asphalt, fine aggregate is mixed with bitumen while heated up before it is poured onto a bed of large aggregate. Once it is laid down, it is pressed into place using a steamroller.

The beauty of asphalt is that it is ready to be driven on once it cools down to the surrounding air temperature. It is also much more flexible than concrete, allowing it to better mold to the imperfections of the ground underneath. 

Pros of Asphalt Roads

Cost-Effective

When it comes to concrete vs asphalt roads, the materials for asphalt roads cost less than they do for concrete. Plus, since the construction process moves a lot faster for asphalt roads, it requires less time and energy to build, meaning less spent on labor and machinery. 

Easy To Repair

Unlike concrete, it is possible to repair asphalt in patches. If there is a small crack or dip somewhere in the road, filling it up and patching it over is quite easy. 

Better Traction

There are many people who deal with dynamic driving situations, especially those who live in hilly areas or regions that have inclement weather. Compared to concrete roads, asphalt roads offer far more traction and skid resistance, making them a safer option in many ways.

Less Noise

While concrete roads can be very noisy to drive on, asphalt roads are generally quiet. This is especially true for brand-new asphalt roads. 

Better Heat Absorption

Though asphalt can get really hot, the good thing is that it has excellent heat absorption for those who live in snowy areas. After a long bout of inclement weather, snow and ice will melt much faster off the road than concrete. Rainwater will also evaporate much faster on asphalt. 

Recyclable

Many consider asphalt recyclable as well, as you can melt asphalt down and re-use it to surface new roads.

Cons of Asphalt Roads

Cons of Asphalt Roads

Shorter Lifespan

Asphalt roads have a much shorter lifespan than concrete roads. On average, asphalt roads last around ten years. Maintaining an asphalt road requires it to be re-laid and repaired on a more regular basis. 

Easily Damaged

When heavier weather approaches, asphalt tends to take on more damage. In regions with heavy snowfall or monsoons, this can be a huge problem. Oil leaks can also have an impact on damage when asphalt absorbs it, as it can weaken the binding agent. When the binding agent is weakened, the roads can soften, leaving them open to further damage. 

Not Great For Certain Types of Roadways

Because asphalt is prone to cracking and breaking under stress, it is not the best choice for high-turning points or stopping points. Of course, to reduce rutting, it is possible to mix asphalt with harder oil. However, this can also make it more brittle, which can lead to the asphalt breaking when temperatures get low.

Less Environmentally Friendly

When asphalt is melted during the construction stage, it can emit greenhouse gases. Compared to concrete roads, building asphalt roads can cause far more pollution.

More Prone To Freeze Damage

When winters roll around and the freeze-thaw cycles begin, it can wreak havoc on asphalt roads. These kinds of roads become far more brittle in extremely cold temperatures due to their less flexible makeup.

Uses More Natural Resources

Asphalt is made from bitumen, which is produced from imported petroleum. Every day, the reserve of bitumen is reduced more and more, meaning it will eventually cost us more to import and use for major roadways.

When To Use Asphalt Roads

  • New roads in rural areas
  • Low-volume roads
  • Jobs that require cost-efficiency

Final Thoughts – Concrete Vs Asphalt Roads – Which One Is Best?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for which of these materials is better for building roads. It’s crucial to consider the specifications of your project when trying to choose the better material. 

Concrete is a more sustainable option that promotes better fuel efficiency and longevity. But it can also be expensive and difficult to repair. It is also worth noting that many governments are shifting to the use of concrete roads thanks to the reduced chance of potholes and added longevity.

On the other hand, asphalt can be more cost-effective and safer for drivers due to its skid-resistant nature, though it is less environmentally friendly and more prone to damage. 

Consider the parameters of your road-building project and the pros and cons of each when making your next decision.

Driveway

Whether your driveway is made of concrete or asphalt, it will age and crack over time as the materials degrade. However, this degradation will occur much sooner than expected if you ignore or misuse your driveway.

So, if you’re considering replacing your driveway, you should first learn about the reasons for the degradation so you can take preventative measures.

In a nutshell, if your asphalt driveway is beginning to show signs of wear, then a replacement is the more sensible and lasting solution rather than repairing it.

But how do you replace asphalt driveway?

There is no time too late to learn something new. Concurrently, when it comes to replacing an asphalt driveway, there are many things that homeowners, business owners, and municipal personnel may not know.

So, when your asphalt ultimately wears out, and periodic repairs and maintenance can longer keep it safe, appealing, and smooth, then use the steps below to have it replaced:

  1. Demolition of an existing pavement 
  2. Grading and sloping the ground 
  3. Installation of the sub base to provide a stable surface
  4. Tack coating the sub base to create a solid bond between the incoming asphalt layer and the sub base
  5. Laying and compacting of asphalt

Many things might cause driveway damage, including icing materials, motor oil or gas, freezing temperatures, and your vehicle’s weight. In most circumstances, replacing an asphalt driveway is a better investment than making hasty repairs or resurfacing, which will only serve you for just a few years but end up costing you more in the long run. 

Asphalt driveways that have been properly replaced can last 20 years or more; however, resurfacing, which isn’t a good option, can only last 3-7 years.

Signs your asphalt driveway needs repairs

Signs your asphalt driveway needs repairs

The present condition of your driveway surface can tell a lot about whether you should resurface it or do a complete overhaul and replacement. The following guide will lead you through some of the warning indications that you need to replace asphalt driveway for your property:

 Standing water

Potholes, large cracks, and portions of a sunken asphalt driveway can all collect rainwater. So, if you allow water to penetrate the foundation of your driveway, it can result in permanent structural damage.

At the same time, standing water can trigger the surface of your driveway to erode if it cannot drain correctly. Although standing water is not only an indication of structural damage, it can also lead to more pavement issues if left unchecked.

In a nutshell, poor drainage can signal that you need to replace your driveway. 

Alligator cracks 

 When a sequence of overlapping cracks appears in your driveway, they begin to separate the pavement into small, fragmented portions. This issue is what is referred to as alligator cracking.

This type of crack could indicate that the subbase beneath your pavement is no longer stable. And when this lower layer breaks, it can lead to damage to the surface layer. 

If this type of problem occurs, it is an indication that it’s time to rip out the old driveway and replace it with a new sub-base and topcoat. 

Raveling

Asphalt is made up of a binder and aggregate mix. However, the aggregate can break away from the binder with time. This is evident when loose gravel is on the driveway’s surface, or you may notice that your driveway is beginning to pit.

Raveling can be treated, so address it right away if you notice it early enough because if the situation isn’t addressed, it can quickly become out of hand. Initially, raveling loosens fine aggregate particles, but the surface gets rougher when larger pieces split away. You can either choose to replace asphalt driveway if resurfacing or seal coating can not remedy the issue. 

Missing chunks

Large cracks that evolve into alligator cracks can rip pieces of your driveway apart, leading to large potholes, which is the last thing anyone wants on their asphalt. 

These spots are hazardous to automobiles and small children or homeowners who may fall or injure themselves when crossing the driveway.

Therefore, if you notice a larger chunk falling off your driveway, it may be time to replace your asphalt driveway.

When Should You Seal, Resurface, or Replace Your Asphalt Driveway?

When Should You Seal, Resurface, or Replace Your Asphalt Driveway?


Resurfacing, seal coating, or replacing is what you should consider before your driveway issues get any worse.

Here are more details on when your asphalt driveway should be sealed, resurfaced, or replaced, so you can figure out which type of repairs your property requires:

Sealcoat

Sealcoating is the process of applying a liquid sealant to an old asphalt pavement surface in order to seal it and fill cracks. The procedure protects the sublayers and base from the elements while also delaying the need for a new driveway.

You should consider seal coating if the lustrous appearance of your asphalt driveway is fading. You should also consider applying a sealant if there are minor surface flaws, like cracks, that render your driveway uneven or rough in appearance.

Resurface

Resurfacing is the process of removing the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with a new one. Resurfacing your driveway can help it last an additional eight to fifteen years. It is different from when a contractor replace asphalt driveway.

When your driveway has enormous ruts, significant cracks, and potholes but is still functional, you should consider resurfacing it.

Repaving

When an asphalt driveway is replaced, the whole surface is demolished and removed to the ground level. All of it will be taken out and replaced with new material.

So, if your driveway has been fully damaged by negligence, weather, or heavy use to the extent where it is no longer functional, you will require a complete replacement. Concurrently, you can also consider a replacement if you want to make substantial modifications to your property. For example, suppose you want to shift your driveway to a different location. 

Installing a new driveway offers a smooth,  comfortable, safe surface that you will enjoy every day.

What is the Cost to Replace Asphalt Driveways

Asphalt driveways typically cost between $2 and $5 per sq foot to lay. However, many factors influence the pricing, including location, material quality, the required depth of material, driveway size, and contractor.

Asphalt driveway installation costs around half as much as concrete, making it a cost-effective choice for homeowners looking to make the most of their budget. This price may be the same or differ from when you want to replace asphalt driveway; ultimately, a seasoned paving contractor can advise you accordingly.

Conclusion

Replacement is a good choice, especially if your asphalt driveway has deteriorated to the extent that it can not be managed. However, it is wise if you seek the assistance of an expert paving contractor to advise you accordingly. A professional contractor will advise you on the exact installation cost, the perfect timing for the project and can also help you carry out the project so it can withstand the test of time.

Gravel vs. asphalt driveway: A guide to choosing the best option for your next project

Driveway installation offers many options when it comes to the material needed to get the job done effectively, leaving lots of property owners in a dilemma when deciding which option is best suitable for them. 

If you are building a new home or simply renewing portions of your existing property, using the correct driveway material is vital. You will be needing a dependable and long-lasting material that will resist even the harsh weather conditions irrespective of whether you are installing a new driveway or resurfacing an existing one.

There are many options available when it comes to the materials needed for a new driveway installation. It includes asphalt and gravel, which are the most commonly used choices for the different pavement projects. 

The type of material you choose for your driveway can have a significant impact on not only how it appears, but also how it functions and lasts. Both asphalt and gravel are made out of a mix of stone and other materials that give them different levels of durability and attractiveness. While gravel is commonly used for sidewalks and patios, pavers utilize asphalt to build driveways and parking lots. Regardless of their variances, both materials make great driveways.

Asphalt is a very attractive and long-lasting material, but it requires more upkeep and is more expensive, whereas gravel is less expensive but does not look as beautiful as asphalt and will wash out with time. Nonetheless, it is difficult to state whether gravel is better than asphalt or vice versa since the best product is determined by your needs, property, budget, and other factors.

Both asphalt and gravel driveways are good choices for your home. However, to help you narrow down your choices, we’ll pit gravel vs. asphalt driveway against each other to discover which is better in different conditions and which offers more advantages or disadvantages than the other.

So, what are the differences between asphalt and gravel driveway?

The below highlights are the main differences between asphalt and gravel driveway which will guide you in deciding which material to choose for your next project:

  • A gravel driveway is more cost-effective to install than an asphalt driveway.
  • When it comes to appearance, an asphalt driveway offers more aesthetic appeal than a gravel driveway.
  • Asphalt driveways can melt hazardous ice and snow faster than gravel driveways; hence, it is more suitable for snow/ice.
  • The beautiful appearance of an asphalt driveway can add value to your property compared to a gravel driveway.
  • Gravel will inevitably wash out if it is used in areas that are susceptible to flooding, while asphalt will not.
  • A gravel driveway can be displaced by weight from heavy equipment and gravels, while asphalt can withstand heavy weights without displacement.
  • The roughness of gravel makes it more difficult on vehicles compared to asphalt.
asphalt driveway

What do Asphalt Driveways do well?

  • Asphalt driveway offers a smooth and comfortable surface
  • An asphalt driveway is aesthetically pleasing.
  • An asphalt driveway is flexible
  • An asphalt driveway is durable
  • An asphalt driveway is very suitable for snow/ice
  • It is cost-effective to install

Asphalt is the most widely used paving material for residential driveways, as well as roadways and highways. It has several advantages that make it ideal for constructing driveways and offering a surface for other projects. Hence, asphalt is used to cover 94 percent of America’s roads, and it’s easy to see why. To better analyze the difference between gravel vs. asphalt driveway, let’s look at the following main pros of asphalt driveway:

Asphalt driveway offers a smooth and comfortable surface

Asphalt driveway offers uniform, even surface that can not be matched by other pavements like gravel and concrete. Rough driveway surfaces are less safe compared to smooth driveways since uneven surfaces enhance driver fatigue and decrease control. 

In addition, a smooth asphalt driveway also decreases rolling resistance (the friction between a vehicle tire and the driveway’s surface), which equates to improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Smooth roads offer better tire contact, making for a safer (and more fun) ride. This feature is also very beneficial to airport users. Because asphalt taxiways and runways are smoother and easier to maintain, they allow for safer landings and takeoffs.

An asphalt driveway is aesthetically pleasing.

For many individuals, asphalt is the preferred paving material for aesthetics, even over concrete. The smooth black surface of the asphalt driveway creates curb appeal and is hard to be compared to gravel or poorly laid, dirt brick pavers. In addition, a driveway paved with asphalt creates lines that add a sense of style, elegance, and grace, complementing practically any home or business. 

So, whether you’re contemplating various driveway arrangements for a new home or resurfacing an old driveway, the style you choose can add a lot of curb appeal and resale value to your business or home.

An asphalt driveway is flexible.

When it comes to weighing between gravel vs. asphalt driveway flexibility, asphalt takes the lead. Asphalt can be engineered to provide appropriate solutions for various types and sizes of driveways, roadways, lanes, cycling paths, and lots more.

Because all asphalt pavements have a bridging effect and are flexible, they can be custom-formulated and built to support the traffic load and climatic conditions of a particular driveway. There are unique asphalt mix solutions for highways, suburban, urban, and rural roads, and their flexibility is especially effective in dealing with the pressures of heavy traffic loads on bridges.

In addition, due to the flexibility of bitumen, asphalt surfaces can be engineered to withstand high-temperature cycles in places where roadways are subjected to repeated freezing and thawing. They can be made to fit any traffic, soil, or material requirements.

An asphalt driveway is durable.

An asphalt driveway can span for 12 to 35 years if properly maintained. Although the length of time your asphalt driveway lasts is dependent on your local climate, installation, use, and other factors. However, you should expect a service life of 10 to 20 years. In addition, it is worthy of note that the better you care for it, like most other aspects of your home, the longer it will last.

An asphalt driveway is very suitable for snow/ice.

The blacktops of the asphalt driveway surface absorb the sun’s heat, making them an excellent choice for chilly climates. Asphalt driveways are capable of melting hazardous snow and ice faster than gravel driveways.

It is cost-effective to install

In terms of installation cost comparison between gravel vs. asphalt driveway, gravel is less expensive than asphalt; nonetheless, asphalt is still a viable paving option. With just a few dollars you can install a sleek, aesthetic appeal asphalt driveway for your home or business area.

gravel driveway

What do gravel driveways do well? 

  • Quick to install
  • Very inexpensive to install
  • It can easily be maintained
  • A gravel driveway is tough and rugged

The following are some of the main advantages of installing a gravel driveway for your residential or commercial properties:

Quick to install

For many homeowners who reside in places where there is a limited window of opportunity for home improvement, owing to weather concerns, having a speedier installation time makes a significant difference. Gravel is one of the simplest driveway materials to install; it takes less than one week to install a gravel driveway and allow it to settle. Consequently, It would be ready for use as soon as it’s installed.

Very inexpensive to install.

The greatest asset that gravel has is its affordability. It is one of the most cost-effective surface material solutions, particularly for homes with long driveways. Therefore, gravel is a wonderful option to consider if you have a large-scale rural property or roadway and need to conserve money.

It can easily be maintained

Many people believe that a gravel driveway is just as easy to maintain as an asphalt driveway. Gravel doesn’t require much maintenance work. Besides, it can not chip, crack, and most importantly, gravel driveway does not develop potholes. Hence, it is a common choice if you are considering creating a driveway or back road that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. 


Also, in weighing the environmental benefits between gravel vs. asphalt driveway, gravel is a more environmentally favorable product than asphalt, since it is permeable, allowing groundwater to be replenished.

A gravel driveway is tough and rugged

Gravel is simply crushed stone, and we all know how tough stone can be. As a result, a gravel driveway can withstand daily traffic as well as farm equipment and heavy loads. 

In addition, due to its toughness, it is of less concern regarding whether it will break or not. Consequently, the more the traffic, the more it simply becomes gravel. Gravel durable features make it a popular choice to consider when heavyweight vehicles or industrial equipment is involved.

asphalt driveway problems

What are some problems with asphalt driveways?

The below are some of the main drawbacks associated with asphalt driveway installation:

  • It can be damaged during intense heat
  • It requires regular maintenance.
  • Limited customizing style
  • Susceptible to damage under heavy Loads

It can be damaged during intense heat

Temperature fluctuations, especially during intense heat, can damage asphalt driveways. Therefore, when asphalt heats up, it softens and becomes malleable, causing warping and indentations. 

As the temperature rises in the summer, your asphalt driveway may become more pliable and vulnerable to damage. Due to these concerns, homes in warm locations may be vulnerable to driveway damage induced by temperature fluctuations, particularly intense heat.

It requires regular maintenance.

As a homeowner, it is ideal that you get your asphalt driveway cleaned using a power washer and a broom at least twice a year to get rid of debris and dirt. It is also recommended by experts that you seal coat your pavement every two to five years, and repair cracks and holes immediately they are identified. The maintenance cost for gravel vs. asphalt driveway differs. Although asphalt is inexpensive when it comes to maintenance, it can chip, divot, and needs to be sealed regularly to stay strong.

Limited customizing style

If you have much interest in style and color when it comes to beautifying your landscape, an asphalt-paved driveway will offer certain limitations. Even though asphalt complements the tone and color of most homes, black is the only available option for asphalt installations.

Susceptible to damage under heavy Loads 

While the flexibility of asphalt enables it to handle most large loads, such as a garbage truck, it can still be vulnerable to damage from heavy loads, especially during periods of extreme cold or heat.

gravel driveway problems

What are some problems with gravel driveways? 

The following points highlight some of the main drawbacks of gravel driveways: 

It can develop ruts and sinkholes

Gravel driveways with a lot of traffic are more likely to create ruts. Ruts are voids or holes in the surface that must be filled immediately you notice it, to keep the portion smooth and attractive again.

It can be rendered ineffective during extreme weather.

If you’ve ever tried to clear snow or ice from a gravel driveway, you know how difficult it is. Not only is it difficult, but it also takes an inordinate amount of time. Gravel does not hold up in the face of harsh weather. As a result, ice can readily become lodged between each piece of gravel, making the surface uneven and slick. In terms of performance comparison between gravel vs. asphalt driveway, asphalt is much more prone to damage during intense weather.

It can become dirty.

It is an obvious fact that dirt and dust are displaced each time you pull into your gravel driveway. However, this not only leaves an ugly grey film on your automobile, but it also discharges dust particles into the air rendering your home’s exterior unclean, requiring constant cleaning.

Weeds thrive in gravel.

If you want a weed-free driveway, a gravel driveway isn’t going to cut it. It’s no surprise that weeds thrive in this type of driveway. Even if you eliminate it manually or with cans of weed-killing chemicals, regrowth is almost unavoidable, and it can seriously detract the appearance of your driveway.

It can wash out

Gravel isn’t as well-fixed as asphalt, therefore it will eventually wash away. For that reason, a gravel driveway is not a perfect option in areas that are susceptible to flooding if you don’t want to lose your driveway after a few strong downpours.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Gravel Driveway?

Your gravel driveway can span up to 100 years if you take proper care of it. Gravel has the advantage of being able to be repaired and renewed regularly. On the other hand, if asphalt and concrete driveways experienced wear and damage, it can be difficult to fix, and replacement is somewhat cheaper than costly repairs.

In addition, gravel is also less susceptible to frost heave, or yearly freeze-thaw cycles, which can cause considerable cracking and settle in solid road materials. The life expectancy of gravel vs. asphalt driveway has a big gap; without a doubt, gravel driveway lasts longer.

Conclusion

Gravel driveways are a low-cost option, whereas asphalt driveways offer a strong, flat surface that is easy to shovel in the winter and comfortable to park on all year. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each surface option before deciding on a material to use for your next paving project. Evaluate your choices and seek the advice of a skilled professional to help you make the best decision for your property.

So many materials suit both commercial and domestic paving problems and demands. For domestic paving, homeowners have a long list of options to choose from. The list of these materials is almost endless. However, although concrete paving has a place at the top, asphalt paving topples it as the bigger industry owing to its longevity and durability. 

The composition of asphalt paving materials include sand, bitumen and aggregates. If you properly maintain these materials, asphalt paving lasts nothing less than 10 to 35 years. This makes it a highly preferred choice among homeowners. However, the knowledge of how long asphalt paving lasts significantly informs budget planning in relation to construction and repair. In this article, you will learn all you need to know. 

Factors That Affects How Long Asphalt Paving Lasts

Installation Quality

Apart from the blueprints and designs that you must have created for your driveway, one thing you shouldn’t fail to observe is the quality of installation. The installation quality goes a long way in determining how long asphalt paving lasts. It requires the expertise and ingenuity of the contractor who considers the landscape, weather and surface before commencing installation. 

The expert’s experience is needed to grade the surface for easy drainage, raking for even distribution and spread of debris. It is also relevant for determining the compact positioning of aggregates to avoid breakaway or future cracks. 

Traffic

Another unavoidable factor that affects how long asphalt paving lasts is the pressure it absorbs over time. Even though this pavement is made to serve specific purposes, either as a driveway or parking lot, it should not be abused. For instance, if you choose to use asphalt pavement to serve as a surface for a car park, you should not park heavy-duty trucks on it, as that causes increased pressure on the asphalt.

Alternatively, if you choose it as a driveway, parking on the same spot every time can affect the longevity of the paving.  It follows that the more the traffic intensity on the asphalt pavement, the shorter its lifespan.  

Maintenance

One of the things that asphalt paving assures is durability. It is reputable for this and gives it advantages over others. But despite this, if you do not carefully maintain it, such maintenance attitude may have adverse effects on the durability. Thus, you must always observe proper maintenance practices to enhance the pavement’s longevity in any weather. These maintenance practices include constant inspection, quality repair, cleaning and so on.

asphalt sealant

Climate

The weather or climatic condition that an asphalt paving endures is also an essential factor affecting how long asphalt paving lasts. The best climate for asphalt paving is little rain, warm temperature and constant interchange between these two. 

When asphalt paving faces too much heat, it cracks, and this allows rain or any other water spill to penetrate. This eventually leads to potholes and destruction. Exposure to rain and warm temperature should not be excessive as it reduces the lifespan of the asphalt pavement. Another thing to consider concerning climate is the condition during installation. 

The most appropriate time of the year to pave asphalt is during summer or spring. The reason for this is simple: in cold temperatures, the asphalt takes so much time to get set and this might cause it to crack. However, it takes little or no time under warm temperatures. So, if you are in a cold region, this is something to consider. For instance, experts advise not to pave during the rain,  as that will affect your asphalt adversely.

Materials 

If your asphalt pavement is good, it is a testament to the type of materials used. So, you should not displace the role of quality materials in asphalt paving. As a matter of fact, getting suitable materials is the first step to having a long-lasting asphalt pavement. 

So it is necessary to get manufacturing companies that produce quality materials for asphalt. It is almost easy to guess the materials which make up the composition of asphalt paving. As easy as it sounds, where there is a missing composition, or the asphalt is poorly heated, this can affect the longevity of the asphalt. 

asphalt materials

Maintenance Practices To Help You Achieve Asphalt Paving Longevity 

  • There should be a routine inspection for cracks that must be sealed to avoid moistures from entering the paving. Once these cracks are filled, every possibility for a pothole or crack deterioration is eliminated.
  • Avoidance of driving on the pavement edges to avoid edge cracking usually develops due to a lack of support at the sides.
  • If your car leaks oil or other fluids, these substances should not be allowed to last longer on the pavement as they can affect it.
  • Sharp objects should not be dragged on the pavement’s surface to avoid alligator cracks or further destruction.
  • The pavement should be seal-coated as often as following possible recommendations. This ensures the protection of the top layer of the pavement.
  • Avoid parking on the same spot every time, and heavy-duty trucks should not be parked on it as it puts so much pressure on the pavement.

Some Benefits Of Asphalt Paving

Asphalt paving is so famous for their longevity and durability that it is possible to think those are the only benefits of choosing it. However, when you choose asphalt paving for your driveway, here are some other benefits you also get to enjoy: 

  • Smoothness – One of the most attractive benefits of asphalt pavement is its smoothness. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, it is also safe and makes driving fun.
  • Environmentally Friendly – The current awakening towards actions that threaten the environment has pushed for innovations in all fields, which is evident in asphalt production. Materials used are recyclable, and it consumes less energy in production. The pavings themselves can be recycled and used to make new paving.
  • Quiet – Asphalt paving eliminates all forms of noise that can cause an unnecessary distraction for drivers due to its smooth terrain. The terrain offers silence when vehicles move over it.
  • Durability – A key feature of asphalt pavement is its durability. It can withstand occasional pressure for an extended period as long as you ensure adequate maintenance. This accounts for why many homeowners love to use it.
  • Cost efficiency – One would think the cost of having asphalt pavement is more than other pavings, but that isn’t the case. The value it offers transcends the cost of construction. For example, it reduces wear and tears on vehicles, thereby saving you from unexpected expenses. As such, choosing asphalt paving is choosing less risk and expenses for your cars.
  • Quick Installation – This is a very dominant benefit as compared to other pavings. Asphalt pavings are very fast to install, and this gives it flexibility and swiftness that does not adversely affect its longevity but somewhat improves it.
asphalt paving benefits

Final Thoughts

As remarkable as asphalt paving is, its value is tied to and solely dependent on quality maintenance. If you do not observe this, you might not get the value for your money, which would defeat your choice of asphalt paving in the first place. 

So, ensure you choose the right experts and carry out adequate maintenance. That way, you can rest assured that you’d enjoy your asphalt paving seamlessly. 

Stamped asphalt became popular in the mid-1990s. Today it is rapidly replacing paver surfaces as the chosen method of enhancing the surfaces of driveways, walkways, and even parking lots at a reasonable cost.

Many homeowners and business owners now use stamped asphalt all over the world in all kinds of climates as a decorative, long-lasting, and less expensive option to brick, cement, and stone.

Although interlocking stone or brick pavers are still the most common decorative hardscape surface for driveways, many people cannot afford them. 

While standard asphalt pavement is practical and cost-effective, many people find it unappealing compared to the looks that can be accomplished with other decorative hardscapes like stamped or imprinted asphalt.

Stamped asphalt gives your driveway or parking lot surface the look of laid cobblestone or brick, and it can be a significant improvement to your home or commercial business.

But what is a stamped asphalt driveway?

Asphalt stamping driveway is a decorative material created by converting ordinary asphalt into a style similar to the appearance of brick, slate, or stone. The procedure involves making an imprint into an asphalt pavement surface using a combination of heat, a plate compactor, and a stamping template. It gives your landscape a very stylish aesthetic appeal.

With stamped asphalt, you can add a pattern into your asphalt driveway paving and color it to fit your desired appearance and landscape. Therefore, if you want something that offers flexibility during the winter season, lasts the test of time, and has a fantastic look that is a total eye-catcher, this is really a game-changer for you.

stamped asphalt driveway

Stamped or imprinted asphalt driveway, what really it is?

Stamped asphalt is a form of texturing mechanism implemented to driveway, parking lot, or other pavement surfaces to create a look that is identical to stone, brick, slate, and other designs impacts on an asphalt foundation.

A grid created out of many different materials (most of which are wire) is used to imprint a number of different textures into the asphalt. The surface is then painted with a colored epoxy coating to guarantee a safe and stable driving surface after the desired pattern has been imprinted onto the asphalt.

Since asphalt becomes extremely soft when heated, imprinting many different patterns is relatively easy and beneficial to the material’s overall longevity. Also, it adds a more incredible amount of toughness to the respected surface.

In addition, you can achieve the impression produced on stamped asphalt driveway on a new asphalt application and the surface of the existing newer asphalt. 

Although conventional asphalt driveway, parking lot, walkway, etc., is predominantly dark, it can be painted in a variety of colors ranging from soft to bold. In addition, it will last for many years if maintained properly.

Stamped asphalt has several advantages, including low-maintenance requirement, a long lifespan, much less expensive than using hand-laid materials. In addition, it is ideal for those who live in colder climates.

Since stamped asphalt combines asphalt’s strength and flexibility with cutting-edge coating technologies and involves a fast process, you can get a cost-effective, long-lasting driveway surface that looks like brick or stone in a short amount of time, requiring minimal maintenance.

Stamped asphalt is the most preferred surfacing alternative for homeowners and business owners since the process involves unique heating equipment and advanced coatings engineered to work together. In addition, it allows you to be as creative as you like with your decorative driveway, parking lot, or other pavement design. 

In addition, the cost advantage it has over alternatives such as stone or brick can be considerable, so you can get more done for lower prices. 

washing driveway

Why should you want stamped asphalt?

  • It is cost-effective
  • It is durable
  • It is customizable
  • It is easy to install
  • Lower maintenance cost

There are many reasons why you should want stamped asphalt driveway parking lots, etc., for your residential or commercial property, as it has some advantages over traditional interlocking systems, which involve brick, stone, or slate.

Cost-effective

Asphalt is much less expensive and faster to install and stamp, unlike brick and stone that are expensive and require lots of time to install. In addition, since asphalt is less porous and more flexible compared to most hardscape pavers, it requires less maintenance and fewer repairs, making you save on unplanned costs.

Durability

Asphalt driveways, parking lots, and other paving surfaces are highly sturdy, resilient, and long-lasting. Also, stamped asphalt paving surface is flexible and resistant to cracking caused by substrate moving, and since it does not change over time, the resulting surfaces are more resilient than stone and brick.

Unlike conventional materials such as brick and stone, stamped asphalt is composed of a single continuous surface, rendering it more resistant to erosion, shifting, and weed growth. In addition, the Epoxy film, which is applied to the imprinted asphalt, traps harmful sun rays, extending the life of the asphalt.

Customizable

Asphalt stamping can act as a decoration to small or large areas of your driveways, walkways, parking lots, etc. You can even customize stamped asphalt to showcase your company logos and many other eye-catchy designs that add beauty to your residential or commercial properties.

With stamped asphalt, you can choose from the varieties of colors, interlocking patterns, and textures to create a look that complements your property.

The wide variety of patterns and colors of a stamped asphalt driveway can be combined to create amazing and eye-catching designs that improve the look of your house, adding value to it. 

Easy to install

Stamped asphalt is an excellent alternative to more expensive products such as pavers and stamped concrete. It is quicker, less labor-intensive, and easier to install compared to other decorative pattern paving surfaces without compromising durability, aesthetics, and quality. In less than 48 hours, you can install an asphalt driveway or other pavement that will be safe to use almost instantly.

Lower maintenance cost

Asphalt stamping can last for a good number of years, and you can easily re-coat it, resulting in a lower overall cost of maintenance. The surface also holds up to temperature fluctuations better than pavers, which usually shift during freeze-thaw cycles. There’s also no need to worry about vegetation that commonly grows through cracks in the conventional brick.

laying driveway

What is the cost of installing a stamped asphalt driveway?

When determining which product or service to use in any project, particularly home improvement projects, price and cost play a significant role.

The cost of installing an asphalt stamping driveway differs based on the labor, materials, and prep work required. For instance, if the driveway requires resurfacing or other preparation work.

In addition, the quantity of the decorative asphalt used in the driveway, the size of the driveway, and the precise pattern and trim selected are all factors to consider. Because of these variables, estimating the cost of building a stamped asphalt driveway can be challenging. So, it would be best if you speak with a reputable paving contractor about your requirements, and they will provide you with a quote for the job.

However, it can cost up to $3-$9 a square foot to imprint and paint a pattern on an existing or new asphalt driveway based on the precise pattern and trim selected, the extent of pavement stamped, and the level of prep work and resurfacing needed. This estimate is for imprinting the asphalt topcoat.

Also, it can take up to $5-$12 a square foot to build a stamped driveway from afresh depending on the site prep required, local rates, and any challenges, such as slopes, curves, etc.

How long does it take to install a stamped asphalt driveway?

The length of time it takes to build a new stamped driveway is primarily determined by the amount of prep work needed. For instance, ripping out an existing driveway and using gravel to make the correct pitch and grade add more time to the work. 

Many driveways can be completed in two days or less and ready for use nearly instantly after the site has been prepared.

Stamped asphalt takes less time, effort, and money to install than other decorative pattern paving surfaces. Furthermore, it can be built on existing asphalt that is in excellent condition, saving money on pavement removal.

In comparison to conventional surfaces such as brick pavers, the asphalt foundation offers superior stability and longevity. Besides, a stamped asphalt driveway is simpler, quicker, and less laborious to install when compared to other decorative paving surfaces.

How long does a stamped asphalt driveway last?

When it comes to asphalt longevity, many factors play a role in determining how long it will last. These factors include the quality of installation, the usage they get, the climate, and how well you take care of it.  

The better treatment you give your asphalt driveway, like most things, the longer it will last.

If adequately built by a seasoned contractor, an asphalt driveway can last up to 20 years, and it is easily repaired. There’s no reason why your asphalt driveway shouldn’t last 30 years if a competent contractor does their jobs effectively and you, the property owner, do your part in maintaining it.

mallet driveway

How you can care for your asphalt stamping driveway

It is not just enough to install your imprinted asphalt driveway. Proper care should be given to it so the driveway can last for the expected number of years. If you fail to take care of your stamped driveway, it will begin to wear out within a short time, which can call for costly repair work. Below are a few tips on how you can adequately care for your stamped driveway:

  • Routine cleaning: Occasionally clean your stamped asphalt by sweeping and washing the surface to prevent buildup of dirt using a garden hose, push broom, and a mild detergent. 
  • Applying protective sealer: You can also apply a protective sealer to block chemicals, grease, dirt, oil, and other substances from penetrating your stamped asphalt driveway. The sealer also makes it easier to have the stamped asphalt cleaned, and it prevents color fading caused by UV exposure. For the best result, you can reseal your stamped asphalt every 2-3 years, based on your weather conditions. 
  • Do not use deicing salts on outdoor surfaces, especially during the winter months after installing the driveway. This is because sealers for decorative asphalt usually fail in portions where deicing salts are applied or collect drip-off from parked vehicles. 
  • Do not allow automobile traffic on your stamped driveway for at least three days after installation.
  • Always ensure to limit heavy-duty truck from accessing your driveway
  • Avoid heavy parking trucks for a long time
  • Avoid the use of antifreeze, gasoline, oil, or transmission fluids on asphalt

What is the process of asphalt stamping?

Stamping asphalt can be performed on both fresh and old asphalt. In both cases, the procedure is essentially the same. The newly built pavement is first heated to the point that it can be molded. Then, a template with the desired pattern is forced against the asphalt surface and removed quickly. This final step is replicated multiple times until the pattern is imprinted successfully. 

Sealcoating is added after the asphalt has retained its desired shape to achieve the desired texture and color as well as to protect the fresh asphalt from the damage that may be caused by sun and weather. Stamped asphalt driveway, when properly built, can be a modernizing addition to a variety of properties and landscapes.

Can I still imprint and texture my existing asphalt driveway?

The answer is yes, as long as your current asphalt driveway is in good shape. Even if your driveway needs fixes first, imprinting old asphalt and partial patches produce a nearly seamless cover for deteriorating asphalt. Then, after priming and prepping the current asphalt, a polymer-infused cement mix can be applied to give your existing and aged driveway a fresh new look.

Conclusion

Acquiring a stamped asphalt for your residential or commercial driveway can be pretty beneficial due to its beauty and strength. Stamped asphalt has the same aesthetic appeal as hand-laid materials like bricks, slate, and stone, but at a lower cost. Considering how important it is to save money when it comes to improving your home, It can be advantageous if you opt for stamped asphalt.

.

Asphalt Alligator Crack Repair is simple once you know the basic rudiments of using asphalt for paving. Many people go for asphalt when they think of longevity in paving. This is because an average asphalt paving has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. That is some decades over many other options available.

However, the longevity expected of asphalt may be endangered by some circumstances. As a home or business owner with asphalt paving, you have to be on the lookout. Whenever you see any of those circumstances, look into it and fix it as possible. 

One of such circumstances that may endanger your asphalt paving is alligator crack. For a public road, regular inspection is important to know when the asphalt cracks. Research has shown the various ways in which people can detect asphalt cracks.

Alligator crack is when your asphalt paving is cracked in certain places such that it resembles an alligator’s back. Some people also call it the eggshell crack or spider web. When you see this, repair it immediately before it expands. Now, to the most crucial question:

What is Asphalt Alligator Crack Repair?

Asphalt alligator crack repair is the process of repairing alligator cracks on asphalt paving. You can do this by yourself if the damage is of low or moderate intensity. However, if it is of high intensity, it is better to hire professionals. If you intend to do it by yourself, you can get a gallon of alligator crack patches. For high-intensity cracks, pavers will remove the top coat and fix the problem from the sub-base.

asphalt crack repair

What Causes Alligator Cracks in Asphalt?

To know what causes alligator cracks in asphalt, you must understand what alligator crack is. Alligator crack is the type of damage in asphalt when the surface is cracked like the back of a gator. This is common on highways and roads but is also seen in private places. Several reasons cause asphalt alligator crack, and here are some of them:

Driving Heavy Vehicles On The Road Before It Is Cured

While it takes about two to three days for asphalt to dry, curing it is a different matter entirely. Experts agree that it takes between six to twelve months for asphalt to cure fully. The difference between dried asphalt and cured asphalt is basically in the firmness. When an asphalt pavement dries, it becomes suitable to drive on. However, the surface is not yet strong enough to withstand heavy loads.

A cured asphalt, on the other hand, is solid and ready to withstand the weight. It takes between six to twelve months to achieve this status. It is, therefore, vital that you take proper care when using your asphalt pavement within the first year. 

It is advisable to avoid parking in the same spot every day if it is a private space. If it is a public road, you can put a notice for drivers to slow down when they reach the path. If there is another way, you can divert heavy-duty trucks to take that.

Leaving Some Cracks Untreated

Once you start noticing small cracks in your asphalt pavement, make moves to fix it immediately. Leaving those small cracks for a long time will expand the cracks and make them more challenging to deal with.  Asphalt alligator crack repair does not come cheap, especially if it is left for too long.

Inadequate Pavement Thickness

Many reasons determine the quality of asphalt pavement. One of those reasons is the thickness of the asphalt. When the asphalt is spread too thin, it becomes easy to develop problems. Such problems include depression, unraveling, alligator cracks, and so on. Alligator cracks often occur when the asphalt isn’t durable. This is because it is unable to withstand weather conditions and heavy loads.

Leaving The Asphalt Pavement Uncared For

Asphalt is known to last a long time, usually between 20 to 30 years. If the pavement receives adequate care, it will increase its lifespan. The maintenance of asphalt pavement requires preventing snow and ice from accumulating. 

Whenever it snows, use a shovel to lightly scrape the snow without putting too much strain on the asphalt. Other ways to care for asphalt include removing plants from the asphalt and applying sealants occasionally.

Cold Weather Conditions

Before installing asphalt, you should know the number one enemy of asphalt. It is none other than cold weather and all its attendant occurrences. During the cold weather, asphalt pavements suffer more damage than during other seasons. 

It is also more challenging to care for asphalt during the cold seasons. This is why asphalt pavements in cold territories tend to crack more often. Cold weather phenomenons such as snow, ice, and water seep into the asphalt cause cracks.

Weakened Sub-grade

A weak base course or subgrade is one of the most common causes of asphalt alligator crack. When the base is weak, it caves in under the pressure of heavy load and weather changes. 

To put it in context, installing an asphalt pavement is like building a pyramid. When there is a problem with the base, it affects the surface. This results in issues such as alligator cracks.

The International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures opines that the primary cause of alligator crack is the weakness in the sub-base. This weakness is emphasized when the weight on the asphalt is unevenly distributed. The weight near cars’ wheels tends to make indentures in the asphalt, especially before it is cured. 

Improper Installation

Most of the problems with asphalt pavements come from mistakes made during installation. Installing asphalt may look simple at first, but it is not always so. A lot of people take the do-it-yourself way and install their asphalt by themselves. This is especially the situation if it is in a private space such as driveways. 

However, a mistake in laying the sub-base may result in cracks later in the future. This way, it may be better to hire a paving company when you need a space paved.

A Combination Of Several Factors

Any of the factors listed above may cause alligator cracks. However, there are times when several of these factors come together to result in a crack. When this happens, it becomes very urgent to get the crack treated. This is also why it is crucial to take proper care of your asphalt pavement. You should constantly be on the lookout for the above-listed causes. 

weakened sub grade

Why You Should Get Asphalt Alligator Crack Repaired

It is advisable to have asphalt alligator cracks repaired as soon as possible. This is because leaving the damage untended can lead to several mishaps.  Here are some reasons you should get asphalt alligator crack repaired swiftly:

It Is Dangerous For Cars

Here is the most obvious. When you leave alligator cracks unrepaired, it endangers the cars driving on it. Cars and their drivers can suffer damages while going on cracked asphalt. It also damages vehicles, and the damage may accumulate over time. It may also cause accidents and loss of properties.

It Puts People At Risk

Alligator crack on asphalt is not only dangerous to cars but also pedestrians. People walking over a cracked pavement may trip and sustain injuries. In addition, if the asphalt pavement happens to be in a business environment, it may lead to financial loss.

It Worsens Over Time

When asphalt alligator crack is left untreated for a long time, it worsens. What started as cracks may degenerate into potholes or worse. It is no brainer that potholes are more dangerous than cracks. They are also more expensive to fix.

How to Repair Them

Asphalt alligator crack repair is easy once you know what to do. To properly repair asphalt alligator cracks, you need to understand the intensity of the crack. Alligator cracks can either be low-intensity, moderate-intensity or high-intensity. 

For low-intensity crack, you can repair it by applying a gator patch. You can also do this for moderate-intensity crack. However, high-intensity cracks require you to hire paving companies.

If you are looking to repair alligator cracks by yourself, here are the steps to follow:

  • Prevent crack from expanding: The first step is to apply crack filler or asphalt sealant to the affected area. This is to prevent the crack from expanding.
  • Assess the damage: The next thing to do is look over the damage. Check how far and how deep the crack is. This will allow you to know whether you can fix it yourself or hire experts.
  • Hire a paving company: If you realize that the crack is more than you can fix, hire professionals. They will evaluate the problem and see what needs to be done.
  • Go to the base course: Alligator cracks mainly originate from the sub-base so that is where you should go next. When you know the cause of the problem, you may move to the next step.
  • Remove the damaged parts: Either you or your contractor will have to remove the damaged parts and replace them with a new sub-base. Make sure it is stronger this time and appropriate for the intended use. A new sub-base can last up to 20 years.
  • Repair the asphalt surface: With the new sub-base ready to go two more decades, it is time to repair the surface. Once you have the surface fixed, allow it to dry before use. Also, ensure that the asphalt is given time to cure.

If you follow the proper steps, it does not take long to repair alligator cracks. On average, it only takes a couple of days. However, if you use recycled asphalt, it will take just a few hours.

aspahlt drill

Cost to Repair Alligator Cracks

Repairing alligator cracks is not necessarily expensive. Depending on your budget and the intensity of the crack, you can fix it quickly. If you plan to repair the damage by yourself, it would not cost you much. All you have to do is buy the necessary materials and get to work.

Materials

The materials needed to repair a gator crack include:

  • Alligator asphalt patch
  • Asphalt sealer
  • Asphalt squeegee

Labor

The cost of the repair goes up if you have to hire some labor. You may have to pay per hour for hired hands, but it will make your work faster. Hiring labor would also reduce the workload on you and allow you to work more effectively.

If you are hiring a paving company, it may cost slightly more. However, the cost is justified in the quality of the work. Paving companies usually charge per square foot. Ask your contractor for a quote.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure. This goes to say that it is better to prevent your asphalt pavement from getting cracks. It is undoubtedly cheaper to maintain the space before it gets cracked than to fix cracks. You can extend the lifespan of asphalt surfaces if you take proper care of them. Here are some of the ways to extend the life of asphalt surfaces.

To prevent asphalt alligator cracks, you need to care for your asphalt surface properly. This is especially important during cold weather. The cold weather can significantly damage asphalt pavements, and you must be on alert. It is also more difficult to repair asphalt during cold weather. Therefore, you should try to know more about repairing asphalt in cold weather.

Even if you have experienced asphalt alligator cracks, you can prevent it from happening again. You can do this by applying a sealant to your asphalt pavement occasionally. You can seal your asphalt every two to three years.

Paving Companies Around

If you are looking to hire experts to pave your driveway or fix alligator cracks, look no further. There is a list of paving companies in our directory to help you. Our directory contains paving companies from every state in the country. Next, you can look through the websites of the ones closest to you. After that, all you have to do is sit back and let the experts do their job.

Conclusion

By now, you must have seen that asphalt alligator crack repair is no rocket science. Once you know the cause and intensity of the crack, the rest is simple. Fix the crack either by yourself or hire a paving company. 

Also, fix alligator cracks before they expand to prevent them from worsening. You may save costs if you know how to maintain the asphalt pavement so it may last. You should also take preventive measures where necessary. 

Before deciding what type of paving material to choose for your paving project, you might have questions regarding asphalt paving material. 

Even residents and businesses that have owned asphalt driveways, parking lots, or surfaces don’t know everything about asphalt installation, maintenance, and repair. 

We have scoured hundreds of asphalt paving faq entries to find answers for you.

Why choose asphalt for your paving project?

  • The majority of communities and government agencies prefer asphalt pavement for their roads because of its durability and performance during heavy traffic conditions with regular asphalt maintenance.
  • Asphalt pavements provide a more uniform, smooth road surface that makes the road safe and saves money.
  • Pavement designed with asphalt creates quiet and smooth rides with pleasant aesthetic and low rolling resistance. 
  • Asphalt also has excellent waterproofing, flexibility, and adhesive properties to bind and hold the pavement’s aggregates. 
  • Here is a fun asphalt pavin faq. What is the most recycled material in the U.S.? The most frequently recycled material in the United States, which is 100% reusable. In potential paving projects, old pavement can be removed, squashed, and blended with fresh asphalt for reuse, lowering its impact on the environment. 
  • Asphalt pavement is eco-friendly, safe, and tolerates a range of temperatures and weather conditions. 
  • Asphalt is used more frequently than other surface types because it is more cost-effective with regular asphalt maintenance.  In many areas, a square foot of concrete is nearly twice the price of a square foot of asphalt.

How long do asphalt surfaces last?

Another common asphalt paving faq asked by many has to do with longevity.

An asphalt pavement’s expected lifespan depends on various factors, such as installation quality, weather, adequate maintenance, type of materials, and much more.

Most asphalt types offer almost  90% of their original structural integrity level after ten years. fter twenty years, the pavement will only have 55% of its original durability. Correctly maintained asphalt pavement surfaces could last 20-30 years.

How long does asphalt take to dry?

We have been asked this about asphalt roads, parking lots, and asphalt driveways. 

Asphalt drying time is influenced by many factors such as weather and the thickness of the asphalt pavement. 

Paving experts suggest 48 to 72 hours as the optimal time to allow vehicle traffic on your newly paved driveway. You may choose to wait longer during hot weather. 

How long does asphalt take to cure?

Is curing the same as drying? Although not a common asphalt paving faq, curing is not the same as drying. 

Asphalt curing means the time the material needs its molecules to fuse and the oxidation to complete. 

On the other hand, drying means when your asphalt driveway or pavement is ready to endure vehicle and foot traffic without suffering damage.  

Asphalt is an oil-based product,so  it doesn’t fully cure until all the liquid in the mix hardens. The curing process can take 6 to 12 months or even longer.

aspalt curing

How are asphalt surfaces installed?

You may find it challenging to install asphalt yourself but understanding the installation process will ensure it is done correctly by your hired contractor. 

There are several methods a contractor can use to install asphalt :

REMOVE THE EXISTING PAVEMENT AND INSTALL A NEW AGGREGATE BASE.

The best method is to install a new aggregate base for the asphalt. 

Any hot asphalt mix can be partially replaced by an aggregate base. 

Typically, a six to eight inches of aggregate would be placed under three inches of asphalt paving mix.

REMOVE AN EXISTING ASPHALT PAVEMENT AND PAVE ON THE SOIL.

 A faster and less costly asphalt installation method is to completely remove the current pavement. 

When removal is complete, four to six inches iof hot asphalt mix is placed directlyon top of the soil. The soil option is not as reliable as using an aggregate base.

Are there any helpful maintenance tips for asphalt?

The best answer to this is proper asphalt maintenance is more of a program combining several tips. 

A proper asphalt maintenance program includes removing oil stains and weeds, sweeping, preventative crack filling, pothole repair, and seal coating.

  • Oil spots are a typical issue that your roadways and parking lots may encounter. 

Before sealing, these areas need to be handled; otherwise, the oil and chemicals can seep through the freshly applied material, making the sealed surface inefficient.

  • Remove grasses and weeds. Parking lots and driveways that are poorly maintained will cause the grasses to often grow up through the cracks. So, ensure you clean the cracks before sealing them.
  • Pavement Sweeping: While most people don’t think of sweeping in an asphalt paving faq, it is one of the first things necessary before paving can begin. After pavement installation, regular sweeping protects the pavement. Sand and grit that accumulate over time are abrasive and will eventually wear away the surface.
  • Crack Sealing: Cracks should be the first thing addressed when scheduling maintenance. Cracks ¼ inch or larger should be cleaned with high-pressure air and then sealed with a hot rubber crack sealer fortified with polymer.
  • Seal coating: Protective seal coating will significantly extend the life of pavements. Seal coating is critical for eliminating the damaging effects of the sun, oxidation, and water. Most experts recommend seal coating asphalt every few years.

What is asphalt sealcoating?

One of the more typical asphalt paving faqs’ involves explaining what seal coating is and why it is necessary.

What is seal coating? Asphalt seal coating is a preventative treatment intended to ensure maximum asphalt pavement longevity. 

Seal coating helps seal small cracks in the surface that could become larger cracks. 

Seal coating helps keep water from permeating tasphalt. Seal coating also restores the dark color of fresh asphalt.

Why seal coating is necessary. Seal coating protects and preserves the structural integrity of your asphalt pavement. 

Once cracks have been repaired, you need to follow up with seal coating. Seal coating provides a protective barrier against water, salt, gasoline, and oils. 

Think of seal coating as insurance.

Seal coating fills surface voids and helps prevent oxidation or fading due to excess sun exposure. 

When seal coating, the temperature and weather dictate the best time it should be performed. 

How often should I seal coat my asphalt surface?

After explaining what seal coating is, the next asphalt paving faq regarding seal coating involves its durability. 

After the initial seal coat application, seal coating should be performed every 24 to 36 months. 

Seal coating shouldn’t be applied immediately after paving. 

It would be ideal if you let your newly paved parking lot, road, or driveway cure for an entire year before seal coating it.

What causes asphalt to fail?

One of the more interesting asphalt paving faqs we have received is what causes asphalt to fail. 

Assuming that the initial asphalt pavement was designed and constructed properly, the primary cause of failure is the penetration of water into the asphalt base. 

Asphalt failure often begins with the oxidation of an untreated pavement surface which causes the asphalt to become dry and brittle. 

The top layer of fine particles erodes, exposing the larger aggregate and leading to small cracks on the surface. 

These cracks will grow if left untreated, allowing water to penetrate to the base of the pavement. 

When water enters the base of the pavement, the base material shifts and settles leading to further cracking and a depression in the surface. As water pools in the depressed area, the asphalt further deteriorates and becomes unstable. When the pavement reaches this stage, removal and replacement of the old asphalt is often the only remedy.

asphalt cracking

What issues are common for asphalt pavements?

(1) Longitudinal and Block cracks

  • Longitudinal cracks show up in a long, straight line on asphalt. 
  • Block cracks take a rectangular or square shape and can intersect at right angles. 

We receive many questions regarding cracking. 

Cracks in an asphalt pavement allow water to seep into the underlying soil or aggregate.  

When exposed to winter weather the pavement collects water inside the asphalt that freezes and thaws repeatedly, causing the expansion and contraction of cracks

The cracks widen and break up the surrounding asphalt. Before you know it, the potential for slips-and-falls or other injuries exists. 

It is crucial to perform asphalt crack sealing as soon as feasible. 

When cracks are less than one-inch wide, sealing them help prevent water infiltration. 

If left untreated, water permeates through openings in the asphalt and erodes the sub-base. 

Sealing the crack is the best defense and the most cost-effective prevention against further damage. It helps prevent water from seeping into the base and destroying the asphalt. 

    (2) Alligator Cracking

Alligator Cracking is a pattern of interconnected lines or cracks that signal structural failure. 

This cracking typically begins as lengthy cracks, which will eventually spread and deteriorate into alligator cracking. 

Like rutting, cracking comes from a surface or base that is too thin or weak layers of top asphalt, base, or subgrade.

An asphalt paving faq we have commented on is how to repair alligator cracking. 

If alligator cracking is caught early on, cracks can often be filled with crack seal material and seal coated to protect against moisture. 

Once cracks deteriorate to Alligator Cracking, the only accurate repair is removing the asphalt and base and repaving.

(3) Potholes

Potholes are bowl-shaped cavities that result from the localized break-up of the pavement. Here is a little-known asphalt paving faq. Moisture is the leading cause of pavement deterioration. Rainwater seeps into small cracks in the asphalt and puddles between the asphalt layer and the road. Low temperatures freeze the water, forcing the asphalt upwards.

Once the ice thaws, the water is absorbed into the weakened roadbed and leaves behind a cavity. Vehicle traffic breaks the surface apart and pushes it down into the weakened roadbed. Larger cracks and potholes form when the crumbling asphalt fills the cavity. 

We have addressed pothole repair in a prior asphalt paving faq.  If you have existing potholes or widespread cracking, these areas can be filled or patched using premium hot or cold mix asphalt. 

(4) Rutting

Rutting is funneled tire ruts in an asphalt road surface that occur over a period from surpassed weight limits and incorrect base design. Rutting is caused by multiple vehicles driving on the roadway over an extended period.  The result is visible areas of degradation where tires travel most frequently.

If rutting develops in an asphalt road surface, the foundation must be fixed or restructured to allow heavy vehicle traffic. Pavement rutting indicates that the road surface needs to be replaced. 

asphalt driveway

Which is Better: to Replace or Repair Asphalt?

Repair or replace is sometimes challenging to give a definitive answer to. It’s a tough decision as to whether you should have your asphalt pavement resurfaced or have it entirely replaced. The primary factor for you to consider is the age of your asphalt surface. If your asphalt surface is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, it makes sense to go ahead and install a new one.

How much repair your asphalt surface needs is another factor to consider. If your driveway is in serious need of repair, it can be more affordable to replace it than try to fix each problem.

Hopefully, this asphalt paving faq and answers have addressed your concerns about asphalt paving. Asphalt is durable, flexible, solid, and when used to build a pavement, it can last for a surprising number of years. Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in how long an asphalt pavement will serve you. If you plan an asphalt paving project for your commercial or residential property, it is best to use a professional contractor. They are experts in the field of pavement and can recommend the best solution for your pavement needs.

Asphalt has always been the most preferred choice of many homeowners and business owners planning to install a new parking lot or driveway in their residence and business spaces. 

Asphalt solutions are numerous due to asphalt unique characteristics; hence, most contractors preferred it for the various paving projects needed in commercial, residential, and public spaces.

But what solutions does asphalt offer residential, public, and commercial spaces?

Asphalt’s ability to bind aggregate together creates a durable, smooth, and appealing surface for both parking lots, driveways, roads, walking paths, etc. It can also be used to fill cracks and potholes formed on pavement, including pavement resurfacing.

Additionally, asphalt offers comfort during the harsh winter season, as its black color efficiently absorbs heat caused by the sun, keeping roads free from snow and ice during the winter. This implies that the snow melts quicker, thus lowering labor cost and the effort of upkeeping it. 

Furthermore, asphalt offers practical solutions to erosion, water storage, flood control, and other conservation problems.

But is asphalt used only for residential and commercial purposes?

Certainly not! Lots of architects make use of asphalt in an aquatic application, including the construction of reservoir liners, groins, dikes, dams, parks, and sea walls to prevent soil erosion in fish hatcheries, beaches, and industrial retention ponds. 

Besides, farmers use it in livestock contaminants pens and to line the retention ponds’ bottom, where they raise fish. Asphalt solutions also involve vehicle manufacturers, as they depend on asphalt to prevent road noise and rust in fenders and hoods of vehicles.

asphalt paving

Residential Paving

Asphalt is one material commonly used for paving residential surfaces. It doesn’t matter if you plan to install a new parking lot, roadways, walkways, driveway, or resurfacing new ones. Asphalt can offer the most effective solutions that guarantee durability, smoothness, and aesthetic appeal you can ever dream about.

Driveway Installation

A driveway is the most popular residential asphalt paving project that lots of homeowners usually carry out. Paving or resurfacing your asphalt driveway can enhance the appearance of your home and surrounding landscape as the glassy asphalt blends in well with the surrounding environment.

Additionally, asphalt driveway offers your home a seamless and welcoming entrance for visiting guests and family members. It is normally less expensive to install than concrete driveways, but they require a little more maintenance. Your paved driveway will look great for years if you carry out routine seal coating and good maintenance.

Advantage of asphalt driveway

The benefit of installing an asphalt driveway can never be overemphasized. Its unique characteristic has become a top choice of many paving contractors for driveway projects. The advantage of asphalt are listed but not limited to the following;

  1. An asphalt driveway is less costly to install
  2. It stays attractive always with routine maintenance
  3. Asphalt driveway offers a smooth and comfortable riding experience
  4. It is easy to maintain and repair
  5. An asphalt driveway can last for a protracted number of years
  6. An asphalt driveway can hold up salt treatment used during the winter months to clear snow and ice.
asphalt parking lot

Commercial Paving

The commercial paving project is also one of the asphalt solutions. As you know, commercial paving is an integral part of the corporate world, and it isn’t just for the sake of appearances alone. 

If your parking lot is poorly built, it can be challenging to navigate and create huge safety hazards. Hence, if you want to boost your company’s first impressions and have a secure, friendly environment for employees and customers alike, prioritize your business lots’ condition.

Business Parking Lot

The first thing that customers see when they drive down your business premises is your parking lot. And how they feel or what they think about your business is the message that the condition of your lot passes to them. 

Thus, a well-paved parking lot, free from cracks and potholes, makes your customers feel you are concerned about appearances. It also says you are prioritizing customer safety and would always want to protect their vehicles from any form of damage when they pay a visit to your business. 

So, if you care about sending the right message to your customers, then make a lasting impression by paving your business lots with asphalt.

Advantage of an asphalt parking lot

The list below highlights the benefits of an asphalt parking lot

  • Asphalt parking lots can last for a very long time with occasional maintenance.
  • It is environmentally friendly due to its recycling characteristics
  • Asphalt parking lot requires low maintenance
  • It is inexpensive to install and maintain, thus saving money
asphalt bridge

 Public Works Paving

Asphalt is also an ideal material used in paving high traffic public surfaces, like highways, churches, schools, hospitals, etc. Due to its tendency to withstand high traffic, it is often preferred by most paving companies over other alternatives on the market.

Asphalt Roads

Construction of roads, major highways, and other public areas are also part of asphalt solutions. In fact, there is no place you go that you won’t see that glassy, deep black surface. Before now, concrete has been used for various pavement installations, but as time proceeded, most contractors switched to asphalt because of its many advantages.

Advantage of asphalt roads

  • Properly paved roads reduce erosion, maintenance, and watershed pollution
  • A properly constructed paved road can serve you for years without maintenance after constructing it.
  • Since asphalt is black, it takes advantage of the sun’s natural heat to help keep the roads clean following storms.
  •  Heat absorbed by asphalt provides a perfect environment for melting snow and evaporation of moisture
  • asphalt roads improve road safety, as they are skid resistant with better traction
  • It takes less time to lay an asphalt road
  • Asphalt road offers a smoother and quieter ride even when it’s relatively new

Common Asphalt Repair services

Regardless of how well you maintain your asphalt pavement, it will inevitably need repair due to the damaging effects of weather, traffic, emissions, and, particularly, if it is heavily used daily. As time goes on, you will begin to observe some signs of normal wear and tear on the surface.

You ought to maintain your asphalt pavement routinely to avoid minor damages on its surface from becoming severe. Inspection of the pavement for minor damages like cracks, potholes, raveling, etc., is a vital aspect of maintenance. 

The most challenging aspect of repairing asphalt is deciding which form of repair method is needed. After that, you can obtain the appropriate materials and equipment for the job to achieve satisfactory and long-term results. 

Some asphalt solutions, like repairs, are more costly than others, but having to redo or patch a bad asphalt repair job is the greatest waste of money. With that said, let’s look at some of the most common asphalt repair services.

Sealcoating

Since significant damage to asphalt parking lots or driveways can be difficult and expensive to fix, maintaining it is the best and least costly way to avoid making significant repairs. So, if you want to prolong your pavement life, seal coating is your best bet.

Sealcoating is a simple and low-cost method of keeping your pavement in good shape, extending its service life. It can add a layer of shield, keeping harmful elements like water, oils, and UV rays out. Furthermore, seal coating also offers a slip-resistant surface with a dark black polish that brightens the parking lot or driveway when applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If asphalt isn’t sealed, sunlight, wind, and water can cause it to harden and oxidize over time, making it more fragile and susceptible to cracking. It would be best if you occasionally seal asphalt pavement to prevent severe damage over the space of a few years. 

asphalt pot hole

Crack Filling

Sadly, cracks can appear in your pavement at any point during its lifespan. Small cracks in your asphalt’s surface may appear to be insignificant at first, but they’re actually a sign of a much more severe issue. 

A crack filling also falls under asphalt solutions. Cracks are often the product of long-term asphalt deterioration caused by heavy vehicular and even pedestrian traffic. So, if you find cracks appearing on your asphalt, don’t ignore them. 

You should look into the problem and figure out what’s causing it. In the meantime, cracks ought to be fixed before they transform into potholes, which are less attractive.

If cracks are not filled, rain and moisture can flow through the surface, eroding the base materials and eventually causing potholes and pavement failure. Filling cracks with filler helps keep rain and moisture out of the pavement, preventing corrosion and failure.

Pothole repair

A pothole is a form of asphalt pavement defect induced by the presence of water in the fundamental soil structure and traffic traveling through the area affected.

Potholes often begin as cracks in the driveway or parking lot. And during the winter months, these cracks expand and contract due to freezing and thawing cycles. As cracks expand or become more prominent, more moisture – rain and melting snow – penetrates the pavement surface. 

Moisture erodes the base and subbase, and when it loses power, it may change as traffic passes over it, resulting in potholes.

It’s critical to fill potholes as soon as they appear to avoid even more road deterioration. Potholes, if left unchecked, can lead to wider areas of pavement failure and vehicle damage, including potentially costly liability for your property.

Although potholes are almost inevitable, it’s important to remember that they can be reduced with proper pavement design, construction, and a routine maintenance program that includes crack repair, seal coating, and timely overlays. Asphalt solutions for pavement repair and installation are reliable and have been tested and proven to be ideal for all paving projects.

What is the difference between asphalt crack filling and crack sealing?

Cracks present a much greater danger to the health of asphalt parking lots and driveway than many people know. A base lies underneath the pavement, giving it the strength to withstand the weight of traffic. 

So, suppose water passing through open cracks clears away or dislodges the base materials. In that case, the structure may be jeopardized, leading to the formation of alligator cracks, huge cracks, potholes, etc., on the pavement. 

Repairing all of these issues would be more costly than repairing a crack in a timely manner. 

The following highlights the only difference between crack sealing and crack filling;

  • Crack filling is a technique that involves inserting filler material into a carefully cleaned and prepared hole. Since filler material cures to a rigid, brittle state with little flexibility, it can become eroded during seasonal temperature variations. As a result, this method is normally just a temporary remedy that must be replicated yearly.
  • Crack sealing utilizes a material treated or coated with rubber that flexes with the shifting of the pavement. While sealants may be applied within cracks, they are often applied over the top of the crack and spread about 12 inches onto the surrounding pavement. 

Asphalt crack sealing is the best approach for fixing working cracks since it lasts longer.

parking lot drainage

How Does Sealcoating work?

There are various types of seal coating materials, but they all follow the same process of cleaning and patching the old surface before applying a liquid sealer to the entire surface of the asphalt. This creates an impenetrable barrier once dry. The various asphalt solutions for both residential and commercial use pave the way for effective seal coating.

Sealcoating shields asphalt from the effects of sunlight, wind, and water, which may weaken and harden it, causing it to crack and crumble if the surface seal coat is left untouched

Benefits of asphalt seal coating for driveway

  • Sealcoating act as waterproof to your asphalt pavement against damage from harmful elements
  • It shields your driveway from the effect of UV rays
  • It protects your driveway from contaminants such as gas, oil pill, etc.
  • It is cost-effective to apply
  • It helps your driveway to last for a long duration of time
  • It is easy to maintain
  • It offers appealing sight to your driveway

Conclusion

Asphalt is often used for many purposes, including residential, commercial, and public pavement, due to its excellent characteristics. It is also frequently used to address the various parking lots, driveway, and roadway challenges, such as cracks, potholes, etc. 
Hence, if you are planning a new pavement installation or fixing the existing one, asphalt can efficiently and correctly take care of that. You may also contact a professional paving contractor to advise you on the type of asphalt that best suits your paving project.

Modern asphalt pavement is a mixture of stone aggregate and mineral filler such as crushed rock, sand, gravel, slags, and recycled materials. 

That mixture is combined with a small amount of heated asphaltic cement binder to form a cohesive surface mix suitable for roadways, parking lots, and driveways. With proper asphalt paving and maintenance, an asphalt surface should last 30 years or more.

Types of asphalt

extending life of your asphalt

Porous Asphalt

Porous pavement is composed of a thin layer of asphalt poured over a base of aggregate. It is a cost-effective pavement solution that would last for more than two decades with proper asphalt paving and maintenance.

Porous pavement is excellent for rainy areas, parking lots, and paved surfaces requiring adequate drainage. Porous pavement is often used in parking lots to allow the water to drain through the pavement after heavy storms. 

Perpetual Pavement

A perpetual pavement uses a multi-layer durable design process that provides a smooth, safe, and long-lasting surface. The perpetual pavement base is a flexible layer that absorbs wear and tear.

It has a solid middle layer which supports stability, while the smoother top layer of asphalt mix is designed for heavier traffic. The perpetual pavement is effective for quick patch and repair suitable for roads that can’t be shut down for long construction projects.

With the proper asphalt paving and maintenance, you can enjoy a perpetual pavement for at least 50 years. 

Quiet Pavement

Quiet pavement is one made of a stone-asphalt mix that reduces noise pollution by traffic.

Warm Asphalt mix

Warm asphalt mix is manufactured at a lower temperature, 50 to 100 degrees cooler than hot mix asphalt.

The manufacturing process reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas generation. It is an appropriate mix to add reclaimed asphalt pavement to, which can provide better durability with regular asphalt paving and maintenance. 

Thin Overlays

Thin overlays are thin asphalt pavement layers that preserve a pavement by being positioned over existing asphalt paved surfaces.

If there are minor imperfections, thin overlays can help cover them up and improve its appearance.

Additionally, a thin overlay can boost the quality of ride, decrease distress and noise level in the pavement, and improve life-cycle cost by preserving pavement ‘s top shape for years to come with regular asphalt paving and maintenance. 

How is asphalt pavement installed?

proper asphalt paving

1. Remove the existing pavement surface.

The first step in installing asphalt pavement is the removal of the existing surface.

No matter how much scheduled asphalt paving and maintenance is performed, these surfaces are often older asphalt, concrete, or paving stones.

Usually, a reputable paving team will begin the demolition process to remove all of the existing surface, providing a clean canvas for the new asphalt. Removing the paving surface requires forklifts, bobcats, front loaders, and dump trucks.

2. The Grading and Sloping Process

Once the demolition process has begun, and the existing surface has been completely removed, the pavers can begin the grading and sloping process.

The grading and sloping steps help to create a pavement that boasts excellent water drainage in the event of high rains.

Depending on the company you hire to do your asphalt paving and maintenance, pavers will usually use automated laser transits and  motor graders for the best outcome.

Since water is the primary source of damage to asphalt, grading and sloping should be done with precision and carefulness.

3. Prepare the Sub-Base

As soon as pavers have created a surface that yields excellent water drainage, it’s time to prepare the sub-base. In asphalt roadways, driveways, etc., the sub-base gives support to the new pavement.

Additionally, the sub-base provides a frost barrier for the winter season.

The frost barrier helps reduce the likelihood of sustained damage during winter’s harsh temperature. During the prep phase, workers have to carefully measure the thickness of the sub-base, its stability, and compaction.

If the measurements don’t line up, it can cause the asphalt surface not to be as durable as it should. No amount of asphalt paving and maintenance can make up for a poorly prepared sub-base.

4. Sub-Base Repair

As the sub-base is compacted to the proper standard, the pavers will execute what is known as a “proof roll.” A proof roll secures the underlying surface to ensure that it’s strong enough to hold up the top layer of asphalt. If the pavers find a spot that is not sturdy during the proof roll, they will take the necessary steps to repair the sub-base.

5. Binder and Surfacing

Once the sub-base has been adequately repaired for any weak spots, the pavers can start the binding and surfacing. The binding agent is usually made of aggregate that’s mixed with oil. The mixture makes the binder industrial-strength and sturdy to withstand asphalt paving and maintenance.

6. Install the Asphalt

After the first five steps are completed with precision, the pavers can install the top layer of asphalt.

If the old asphalt meets with new asphalt ends, butt joints should be installed to ensure a smooth transition between both pavements. Once complete, the whole surface is smoothed and compacted down.

Once all steps have been completed, the new asphalt will boast smooth driving and years of durability with the proper asphalt paving and maintenance.

Proper maintenance for asphalt surfaces

A proper asphalt paving and maintenance program includes crack filling, pothole repair, sealcoating, and many other surface applications, depending on the pavement condition.  It should also involve sweeping and periodic line striping.

proper asphalt maintenance

Three main types of asphalt pavement maintenance:

1. Preventive Maintenance: 

This type of asphalt paving and maintenance is the most effective to extend pavement life cost-effectively.   Preventative maintenance is a way to ensure the effectiveness of surface treatments when the asphalt is in fairly good condition. 

From crack sealing small cracks to seal coating parking lots, preventive maintenance addresses minor issues before they become serious issues.

Pavement Sweeping: Regular sweeping protects the pavement. Sand and grit that accumulate over time are abrasive and will eventually wear away the surface.

Crack Sealing: Cracks should be the first thing addressed when scheduling maintenance. Cracks ¼ inch or larger should be cleaned with high-pressure air and then sealed with a hot rubber crack sealer fortified with polymer.

Seal coating: Protective seal coating will significantly extend the life of pavements. Seal coating is critical for eliminating the damaging effects of the sun, oxidation, and water.

2. Corrective Maintenance: 

This type of asphalt paving and maintenance is performed when the pavement needs repair and is usually more costly.  Repairs could be structural overlays, mill, overlays, minor pothole repair, patching, rutting ,or extensive cracking.  Corrective maintenance is also termed “reactive” maintenance.

Asphalt Repairs: Surface repairs can involve a thin overlay of compacted hot mix being applied to fill low areas or to replace lost surface fines. This process is also known as “skin patching” and is an essential part of asphalt paving and maintenance.

Asphalt Removal and Replacement: Removal and replacement are recommended for areas exhibiting base failure or “alligatoring.”

asphalt cracking

Alligator Cracking is a pattern of interconnected lines or cracks that signal structural failure.

This cracking typically begins as lengthy cracks, which will eventually spread and deteriorate into alligator cracking. Like rutting, cracking comes from a surface or base that is too thin or weak layers of top asphalt, base, or subgrade.

If it is caught early on in the asphalt paving and maintenance cycle, cracks can often be filled with crack seal material and seal coated to protect against moisture. Once cracks deteriorate to Alligator Cracking, the only accurate repair is removing the asphalt and base and repaving.

This process involves saw cutting and removal of the distressed area. The base material is then either recycled or replaced and a new compacted hot mix
asphalt completes the job.

Asphalt Overlay: An asphalt overlay is simply the process of installing a new surface layer. A hot mix asphalt layer is laid directly over existing asphalt on either parking lots or roads.

Pavement should be relatively sound to be a candidate for an overlay due to regular asphalt paving and maintenance without large areas of base failure.

Fabric Overlays: Fabric overlays form a barrier between the existing surface and the asphalt, protecting the sub-grade from water intrusion, reducing asphalt paving and maintenance costs, and extending pavement life. If the pavement condition has deteriorated to requiring an overlay of new asphalt, an inner layer of fabric should be considered.

Milling: Milling is the process of removing a selected, precise thickness of asphalt pavement with a large rotating drum that grinds up and removes the surface. Milling is recommended when an asphalt pavement’s deficiencies are primarily surface distresses.  Milling may offer an effective solution in addition to regular asphalt paving and maintenance. Once the milling is removed, the asphalt is often recycled as aggregate in new pavement.

3. Emergency Maintenance: 

Emergency asphalt paving and maintenance is performed during an emergency, such as a blowout or severe pothole that needs repair immediately for safety reasons or to allow traffic to utilize the roadway or parking lot.

Emergency maintenance also describes temporary treatments designed to hold the surface together until more permanent repairs can be performed.

Proactively planning preventive asphalt paving and maintenance is the best way to prevent costly corrective or emergency maintenance.  

asphalt pavement

Advantages of Asphalt Pavement

  • The majority of communities and government agencies prefer asphalt pavement for their roads because of its durability and performance during heavy traffic conditions with regular asphalt paving and maintenance. 
  • Asphalt also has excellent waterproofing, flexibility, and adhesive properties to bind and hold the pavement’s aggregates. Asphalt has been widely used for paving and road construction.  
  • Asphalt pavement is eco-friendly, safe, and tolerates a range of temperatures and weather conditions. 
  • Asphalt is used more frequently than other surface types because it is more cost-effective with regular asphalt paving and maintenance.

Disadvantages of asphalt and common issues

  • Asphalt is a complex mixture of thousands of chemicals.  Asphalt’s characteristics provide easy access to weather, salts, and other chemicals to attack and disintegrate the asphalt molecules.  As the asphalt molecules disintegrate, the pavement loses much of its original properties, such as binding and waterproofing. Regular asphalt paving and maintenance can help counteract the weathering and disintegrating effects.
  • Moisture is the biggest enemy of asphalt. Once it seeps into the foundation, it can wash away critical pavement components over time that make up asphalt and keep it strong.
  • Freezing and thawing will cause some shifting in asphalt and, as the snow melts, it causes moisture, asphalt’s primary enemy.
  • Motor oil, diesel oil, and grease contain petroleum that can weaken and penetrate asphalt. Weakening leads to structural breakdowns of asphalt followed by cracking. This situation can be avoided by cleaning up oil and grease spills as soon as possible during asphalt paving and maintenance.

The cost of paving and maintaining an asphalt surface

Your location and the type of asphalt surfacing project you need done, such as installation, repair, or repaving play a role in determining an asphalt surface’s final cost. 

If you are planning to pave a new asphalt surface, you can expect to pay between $3 to $4 per square foot.

The entire cost of an asphalt pavement installation also includes construction, working, time, and other project factors. The final price would consist of ripping out the existing pavement, hauling it away, and doing other work that the area needs before laying down the asphalt mix.

Repairing or repaving asphalt paving and maintenance does not cost as much as a total installation. Service costs for the asphalt pavement on a repaving project would cost about $1.75 to $2.25 per square foot.

Asphalt pavement surfaces that are properly maintained by regularly scheduled asphalt paving and maintenance can last over 20 years. Even if a patch, repair, or repaving service appears costly initially, it would likely extend the life of your road or paved surface. If your parking lot or road needs replacing, you will often only need to repave the top layer of asphalt for it to look new again.