Answering Your Asphalt Paving FAQ’s: 7 Crucial Factors You Need to Know

Considering asphalt paving as an investment often sparks questions. What exactly is asphalt paving? How durable is it? How does it fare against concrete? Is it a worthwhile investment? Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a homeowner planning a driveway upgrade, understanding the ins and outs of asphalt paving is crucial for a successful and long-lasting outcome. Like any big investment, you want to make sure you’re getting something that’s quality and worth the money! So, we’re here to answer your asphalt paving FAQ’s!

Asphalt Paving Table of Contents

So, What Exactly is Asphalt? Your Asphalt Paving FAQ’s

Let’s delve into the fundamentals of asphalt.
Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is a composite material made from various components, including aggregates and bituminous binders derived from crude oil. This mixture is primarily used for surfacing and paving various surfaces such as roads, driveways, and parking lots.

The production of asphalt involves several key steps:

  1. 1. Aggregates, which can include crushed rock, sand, recycled materials, slag, and gravel, are stored in separate bins at the manufacturing site.
  2. These aggregates are then dried and heated to remove moisture and reach the desired temperature.
  3.  After drying, the aggregates are further heated in an elevator to very high temperatures.
  4. The heated aggregates are screened and sorted based on size, ensuring uniformity in the final asphalt mix.
  5. A filler material, such as slate dust, cement, or limestone dust, is added to the heated aggregates along with a bituminous binder (commonly bitumen) to create the asphalt mixture.
  6. The final asphalt mix is either transported directly to the work site or stored in a facility for future use.

Bitumen, a crucial component in asphalt, acts as a binder that holds the aggregate particles together, providing strength and durability to the pavement. Different types of asphalt mixes, classified by their installation temperatures, include hot mix asphalt (used widely for roads and high-traffic areas), warm mix asphalt (offering environmental benefits and improved workability), and cold mix asphalt (suitable for temporary repairs and low-traffic areas).

Understanding the composition and production process of asphalt lays the groundwork for exploring its advantages and disadvantages in paving applications.

Warm Mix Asphalt Paving Faq's

The Good and Bad of Asphalt Paving

Pros of Asphalt Paving:

Durability: Asphalt is known for its durability and ability to withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions, making it suitable for high-traffic areas like roads and parking lots.

Cost-Effective: Asphalt paving is generally more cost-effective than concrete paving, both in terms of initial installation costs and long-term maintenance expenses.

Smooth Surface: Asphalt provides a smooth and seamless surface, which is beneficial for driving comfort and safety.

Quick Installation: Asphalt paving projects can often be completed more quickly than concrete projects, reducing disruption to traffic and business operations.

Recyclability: Asphalt is a recyclable material, and recycled asphalt can be used in new paving projects, making it an eco-friendly option.

Flexibility: Asphalt offers flexibility, allowing it to adapt to slight ground movements without cracking or breaking.

Hides Stains and Spills: Asphalt’s dark color helps hide stains and spills, making maintenance easier and improving aesthetics.

Noise Reduction: Asphalt surfaces can reduce road noise and tire noise, providing a quieter environment compared to some other paving materials.

Cons of Asphalt Paving

Maintenance Needs: While asphalt is durable, it requires regular maintenance such as sealcoating, crack filling, and occasional resurfacing to prolong its lifespan.

Temperature Sensitivity: Extreme temperatures can affect asphalt, leading to cracks and deterioration over time. Proper installation and maintenance can mitigate these issues.

Environmental Impact: The production and use of asphalt can have environmental impacts, such as emissions during manufacturing and the use of fossil fuels in production processes. However, advancements like warm-mix asphalt (WMA) have helped reduce these environmental concerns.

Limited Aesthetic Options: Compared to concrete, asphalt offers limited options in terms of color and texture, which may be a consideration for certain aesthetic preferences. Style limitations can be a drawback for projects where a specific design or appearance is desired.

Initial Curing Time: Newly paved asphalt surfaces require time to cure and fully set, during which they may be more vulnerable to damage.

By considering these factors, individuals and organizations can make informed decisions when choosing asphalt paving for their projects, balancing the benefits of durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of maintenance with the potential limitations in style options and environmental considerations.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Paving


Asphalt vs Concrete

When deciding between asphalt and concrete for a paved driveway, several key factors come into play, sparking the ongoing debate about which option is best.

Installation Time and Lifespan: Concrete and asphalt differ quite a bit in their installation time and lifespan. Asphalt driveways are typically ready for use within 24 hours of installation, whereas concrete driveways require a curing period of 3-7 days before they can be used.

Although concrete typically has a longer lifespan, lasting around 30 years compared to asphalt’s average lifespan of 15-20 years, although environmental factors like weather can influence concrete’s longevity.

Flexibility and Weather Resistance: Asphalt has more flexibility, making it better for extreme weather conditions, especially cold climates where concrete may crack or buckle due to its lack of flexibility. However, concrete performs well in hot climates, with its light color aiding in heat reflection rather than absorption.

Visual Appeal and Customization: Asphalt offers limited options for customization compared to concrete. Concrete driveways can be easily customized through stamping techniques to resemble stone or brick, colored to match specific themes, or adorned with decorative patterns and materials, enhancing their appearance and versatility.

Cost Considerations: While concrete generally lasts longer than asphalt, its installation costs can be up to four times higher. However, when considering the overall lifespan and maintenance costs, the difference in initial installation expenses may be offset by the longevity of concrete and the potential maintenance costs associated with asphalt over time.

Ultimately, the decision between asphalt and concrete for your driveway hinges on factors such as climate, budget, desired aesthetics, and long-term maintenance considerations. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Concrete Facts

Your Asphalt Paving FAQ’s About Paving

  1. How long does it typically take to install a paved surface?

The installation time for a paved surface depends on various factors such as the size of the project, weather conditions, and the type of paving material used. Generally, asphalt paving can be completed within a few days, while concrete paving may require a longer curing period before it can be used, typically around 3-7 days.

  1. What maintenance is required for maintaining a paved driveway or parking lot?

Regular maintenance is crucial for preserving the quality and longevity of paved surfaces. This maintenance includes sealcoating to protect against water damage and UV rays, crack filling to prevent further deterioration, periodic resurfacing to address wear and tear, and routine cleaning to remove debris and stains.

  1. What factors should I consider when choosing between different paving materials for my project?

When selecting a paving material for your project, consider factors such as climate conditions, budget constraints, expected traffic volume, desired aesthetics, maintenance requirements, and environmental considerations.

Each material, whether asphalt, concrete, or others, has unique characteristics that may suit specific project needs better. Consulting with a professional paving contractor at Faith Paving can also provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your project requirements.

  1. Is asphalt paving cheaper than concrete?

Yes, in most cases, asphalt paving is cheaper than concrete. The initial installation cost of asphalt is generally lower than that of concrete due to factors such as material costs, labor costs, and installation time. However, it’s important to consider long-term maintenance costs and the lifespan of each material when comparing their overall cost-effectiveness.

  1. Does an asphalt driveway increase property value?

Generally, having a well-maintained and visually appealing driveway can enhance the overall curb appeal of a property, which can positively influence its perceived value. An asphalt driveway that is properly installed, maintained, and complements the property’s aesthetic can contribute to a favorable impression on potential buyers or renters.

  1. Can you put asphalt over concrete?

Yes, it is possible to overlay asphalt over an existing concrete surface in certain circumstances. This process is known as asphalt overlay or resurfacing. It involves preparing the concrete surface by cleaning it thoroughly, filling any cracks or voids, and applying a bonding agent to promote adhesion between the asphalt layer and the concrete substrate.

Asphalt Paving FAQ's

Contact the Asphalt Paving Experts at Faith Paving

In conclusion, when it comes to paving solutions in Southwest Missouri, Faith Paving stands out as a reliable and experienced partner. Call us and we will help answer any other asphalt paving FAQ’s you may have, or questions about our other services, too!  With a commitment to quality, expertise in asphalt paving, concrete services, and a range of other offerings, we have the tools and knowledge to transform your property into a durable and aesthetically pleasing space. Whether you need a new driveway, parking lot, or other paving projects, our team is ready to deliver exceptional results.

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