There are a lot of things that go into asphalt paving that many are not quite aware of. Asphalt is a very versatile material that can be used for many different purposes, but there are some interesting facts about asphalt that you may not have known. You may be investing in asphalt for your driveway, parking lots, walkways, and other structures, but if you’re not sure what quality materials are included in the making of asphalt or what things are gone into the process to make it beautiful, then here are 7 things that you didn’t know about asphalt.
What Type of Material is Used in Asphalt to Make it Last Longer?
Asphalt is made up of many different types of materials. Most asphalt includes aggregate such as sand and gravel, petroleum products and binder to form the base mix and a variety of additives such as special polymers that are used to increase its durability and longevity. The components used in asphalt are carefully selected and blended together to make sure that the asphalt can withstand heavy traffic, extreme weather conditions, and wear and tear.
Do You Know that Asphalt Occurs Naturally in Lakes?
Many people don’t realize that asphalt occurs naturally in certain lakes around the world. It is a type of petroleum that is found mostly in saltwater and can be found in deposits on the ocean floor. The asphalt is known to be very thick and can also be used in asphalt paving projects. The largest natural deposit of asphalt is located at the bottom of Lake Peigneur in Louisiana. On average, if you just take 100 acres in size, it comes to an estimate of around 100 million tons of asphalt.
What Kind of Maintenance Does Asphalt Require?
Asphalt is a great investment because it is relatively low maintenance, but there are still some things that need to be done. Regular inspection and maintenance are key to keeping asphalt in good condition and making sure that it can last a long time. This includes inspecting the surface for any cracks, potholes or damage that could cause problems and repairing it immediately. Regular seal coating and crack filling are also recommended to extend their life. Additionally, it’s important to keep the surface clean from debris and weeds.
Do You Know That Porous Asphalt Can Help with Drainage?
One of the biggest challenges with asphalt surfaces is controlling water run-off and drainage. Porous asphalt is a great solution for this problem because it allows water to drain through the asphalt surface and into the sub-base materials. It not only helps with hydroplaning but also with the puddles on the pavement. In certain cases, it also helps to prevent soil erosion. Porous asphalt can absorb precipitation to assist you in preventing flooding and more.
Do You Know There Are Different Types of Asphalt Cracks?
While a crack may appear as just a crack but they are actually different. Different cracks occur differently and they are mostly as follows:
- Transverse Cracking: Perpendicular cracks that occur as a result of too much stress on the asphalt from traffic.
- Reflection Cracks: These are parallel cracks that reflect the cracks underneath the asphalt surface.
- Fatigue Cracks: These occur from heavy loads and repeated traffic over a long period.
- Edge Cracks: Edge cracking is usually the result of a poor foundation or lack of support at the edges.
- Slippage cracking: Crescent-shaped cracks can turn into potholes when moisture gets into the asphalt layer.
Do You Know Grass Can Grow Through the Asphalt?
You probably think that asphalt has a solid mass that covers the ground like concrete but this is not true. In fact, it can be quite porous and allow water and even grass to grow through the asphalt layer. This is due to the lack of compaction at installation or shrinkage due to temperature changes. Asphalt can be porous enough for grass and weeds. All asphalts have 10% air voids and if a contractor does not pay attention, grass and weeds can grow through.
Do You Know Asphalt Can Be Recycled?
One of the best things about asphalt is that it can be recycled and reused. Asphalt is made up of 95% aggregates and 5% asphalt cement which can easily be retrieved, cleaned, and combined with new materials to create a fresh pavement. This process is not only cost-effective but sustainable. It also helps to reduce emissions and conserve natural resources.
Asphalt is a versatile and durable material that can be used in many different applications. While it may require some maintenance over time, its durability and low-maintenance make it a great choice for many pavement projects. Its recyclability and ability to help with drainage are also advantages that must be considered when looking into asphalt paving. There’s a lot more to learn about asphalt, but these seven facts are just the beginning.