Asphalt Pavement 101: Everything You Need to Know

asphalt pavement

Paving your driveway or parking lot with asphalt not only looks better, but it also lasts longer and can be quickly installed. If you’re curious about asphalt pavement and if it’s the right choice for your next paving project, keep reading. We got you covered with a complete guide that breaks down everything you need to know about asphalt. 

Asphalt Vs. Concrete 

You might be wondering what’s the difference between asphalt and concrete, so let’s break it down. While these two types of pavements may look similar at the surface, they are actually very different. 

Concrete is made with aggregate which are materials like crushed rock and sand and also cement and water. Cement binds the concrete holding the aggregate together. When the mixture dries, it becomes stiff and solid, but it’s also prone to breaking and cracking, especially if the surface underneath isn’t smooth. 

Asphalt is also made using aggregate, but it’s bound with bitumen, which is a dark sticky substance made from crude oil. It’s very durable and hard but is also flexible enough to accommodate an imperfect underlying surface, unlike concrete. 

Asphalt is also easier to remove or replace compared to concrete. And maintenance and repairs for concrete are not only faster but less expensive than concrete. It’s pretty much a no brainer that asphalt is a much better pavement option than concrete. 

Benefits of Asphalt Pavement 

Asphalt pavement is environmental, travel and business friendly. As well as long lasting, cost-efficient, and noise reducing. Keep reading to learn more. 

Traveler And Business Friendly

You can pave asphalt roads a lane at a time, which decreases road traffic disruption during this process. Asphalt projects can usually be completed over the course of a short day or overnight, so there are more routes open for travelers. 

Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt is one of the most recycled products in the country, as nearly 100 million tons of asphalt pavement are recycled each year. This saves taxpayers roughly 1.8 billion dollars a year.

You can even use waste like used tires and shingles to make new asphalt pavement. Asphalt mix that is recycled is actually long lasting, stronger, and has a higher resistance to rut than virgin asphalt mix.

Smooth asphalt roads also help reduce the friction between tires and pavement, which leads to better fuel economy and less carbon dioxide emissions. There are even special warm asphalt mixes which reduce the energy needed to heat asphalt because it can be made at lower temperatures. 

Durable And Long Lasting

Asphalt lasts longer than most other types of pavement. An asphalt road, driveway or parking lot, when installed properly, can last for about fifteen to twenty years. This lifespan can even lengthen if you regularly perform preventive surface maintenance.  

Noise Reducing

Asphalt pavement is a quiet pavement option, especially when you compare it to a gravel road or driveway. This is because of asphalt’s open-graded and fine-graded surfaces. The materials used to make asphalt essentially absorbs road noise.

Cost Effective 

Asphalt is more cost efficient to install when compared to concrete. This is because crude oil is one of the main components in any asphalt mix, which is very cost efficient. 

An asphalt road also gives less wear and tear to vehicles, because there are fewer bumps in the road. So your asphalt road will also lower your vehicle maintenance costs. 

Since asphalt makes your road smoother, it also extends your road’s lifespan by twenty-five percent. Asphalt roads also only need periodic maintenance to keep the pavement in good shape.  


Asphalt pavement also makes your property more safe in a number of ways. Mostly because asphalt has water managing abilities which help reduce the skid on your pavement. Asphalt’s dark color also helps in melting snow and ice on your pavement, making it safer for pedestrians and vehicles. 

Asphalt pavements have an incredibly smooth surface which gives your vehicle’s tires better contact to the road, lending for a safer and more enjoyable ride. Asphalt that’s open-graded can also minimize spray and splashes during rainstorms, which helps reduce car crashes. 

Types of Asphalt

There are various different types of asphalt. Keep reading to find out which type is right for you. 

Porous Asphalt

This type of asphalt is environmentally friendly, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s the best pavement option and can even give you business tax benefits.

Porous refers to the tiny holes in the asphalt that are not only good fit the environment, but also help manage stormwater. These holes let the water travel to the ground beneath where the water goes through a natural water cleaning process. 

All asphalt is good for water drainage, but Porous asphalt has the best water drainage.

Cold Mix Asphalt

This type of asphalt remains soft in cold temperatures and is good at repelling water. Cold mix asphalt is mainly used for pothole repairs, since it’s mix process is simple and can be made at almost any temperature. 

Hot Mix Asphalt

On the other hand, hot mix asphalt or HMA is made to be poured and heated between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. HMA is the most common form of asphalt and can be made into dense-graded mixes, stone matrix asphalt, and open grade mixes.

Warm Mix Asphalt

Warm mix asphalt or WMA can be made between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. WMA is more environmentally friendly since fewer fossil fuels are needed to make WMA as compared to HMA. WMA also costs less than HMA. 

Coarse Graded Asphalt

This type of asphalt is mainly used and a base or binder to give support to fine graded dense mixes used for the surface of roads, driveways and or parking lots.

Pave Your Driveway With Asphalt Today! 

Now that you understand that asphalt pavement is better than concrete since it’s more cost efficient, durable and longer lasting. Asphalt can be installed quickly and it’s also safe, and environmentally friendly.

Discover which type of asphalt is right for your next pavement project, and start paving today. For more information on asphalt paving, contact us today! 

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