Why Asphalt Is Used So Often

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If you are looking to pave your driveway, you really have a couple of choices. There are people that will tell you to save money and just put down gravel, but gravel is not a long-term solution because it eventually gets pushed out of the way and can cause ruts in your driveway. The only real options are concrete and asphalt. You may notice that the roads you constantly drive on will be built from either of these two materials. So, if they are used for highways and freeways, they will work for your driveway. However, have you ever wondered why these materials are actually used? This article is going to discuss why asphalt is a great material for commercial and residential use.

Durability

If the material was not extremely durable, asphalt would not be used on some of the most-used roads in the world. Asphalt is built from two main constituents: limestone aggregate and bitumen. The material is engineered to be extremely long lasting, and it all starts with the limestone aggregate. Geologists and engineers look for limestone that has very little micro-porosity, which are small holes in the rock. If the limestone has micro-porosity, then water can enter, and when the water freezes, it can bust the rock. This effectively deteriorates the rock and therefore the asphalt. So, with the best limestone aggregate, asphalt is extremely durable.

The Foundation

Another reason that asphalt is commonly used is that the foundation does not need to be completely flat. It is important that the foundation is well compacted so settling does not occur, but the actual surface itself does not need to be perfectly flat. This is because of the way that asphalt is laid down. The limestone and bitumen are mixed into a very viscous solution, and then poured onto the surface. The asphalt is then steamrolled into the surface. The process pushes the asphalt into any uneven areas of the foundation.

Resurface

Asphalt is also extremely popular because it is easy to resurface. Over time, there will inevitably be cracks and pot holes that occur. For cracks, there are many different products that can be used to patch the cracks. It is also very common to use the asphalt slab that is currently in use as a foundation for a new slab of asphalt to be poured. The current asphalt slab makes a very good base and foundation for the new asphalt. 


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