It wasn’t long ago that concrete was the primary go-to source for manufacturing transportation sectors, such as roads and parking lots. Today the favored pick is asphalt.
Why is asphalt the preferred choice for Houston asphalt contractors?
Concrete is made out of a mixture of aggregate, primarily sand, gravel, and rock, along with cement and water. Some people believe that cement and concrete are the same. Cement is actually a binder for concrete. Once the concrete mixture has dried, it becomes impermeable to the elements. Over time, concrete will begin to shrink, causing small cracks to form across the surface.
Although asphalt is made with aggregate, it is the better choice because the binder is not cement. The binder used for asphalt is bitumen. Bitumen is a thick, black substance derived from petroleum distillation. It is combined with fine amounts of aggregate, poured over a surface while heated, and then pressed with a steamroller. When the process is finished and the substance has cooled, it is extremely strong and durable enough for roads, parking lots, and other effective purposes.
The Advantages of Asphalt
There are several advantages to having asphalt over driveways, parking lots, and roads. One main advantage is that it is easy to fix. When concrete becomes damaged, it takes a lot more attention and is more expensive than asphalt. Repairing and replacing asphalt takes less time, so projects will be finished rather quickly.
Minor cracks can be replaced by a knowledgeable homeowner that wants to enhance their driveway. Alternatively, if a minor fissure becomes a gaping hole, you will need the help of craftsmen. In Houston asphalt contractors will be able to fix the damage in less time than it would take to mend concrete. Concrete would have to be completely redone, while asphalt can be patched and repaired quickly.
Another advantage to using asphalt over concrete is that asphalt is environmentally friendly. Because asphalt is a natural substance, it is 100% biodegradable. It is also reusable. When a damaged asphalt road surface is removed, that piece can be taken back to the manufacturing plant to be recycled. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, 99% of asphalt that has been removed to make way for new projects is repurposed for paving other roadways.
Other Uses for Asphalt
Asphalt is a sturdy material that is inexpensive, versatile, and flexible. It is mostly used to create roads, streets, and highways, but it has also been favored for many other projects. Asphalt has been used to cover playgrounds, airports, landfills, flooring, bicycle paths, and tennis courts.