Asphalt is a highly versatile material that is well-suited to a seemingly endless array of road, driveway, and parking lot applications. It creates clean lines, wears well, and does not create significant dust. However, not all asphalt is the same. It is very important to understand the different types available when choosing the right asphalt for your project.
What Are The Different Types Of Asphalt?
Different mixes and base structures are specially designed for specific applications, and may not function as well under very different conditions than those for which they were created. For the best results, it is important to choose the right asphalt for your specific project.
Best Asphalt For Paving Roads
Perpetual pavement is an ideal choice for heavily traveled roads. The base is extremely strong, to handle the wear and tear of traffic, yet it is flexible enough to avoid cracking. A thick middle layer is strong enough to remain permanently. Finally, a high quality, smooth, rut resistant top driving layer is added. While the driving layer will last for many years, it is designed to be replaced periodically without disturbing the middle and bottom layers, minimizing repair time and pricing. Additionally, the material is recyclable, lowering costs and making perpetual pavement a highly eco-friendly solution.
Best Asphalt For Standing Water Areas
Porous asphalt has been used to solve the problems of storm water since the 1970s, but its environmental benefits are only fully coming to light today. Traditionally, it is most often installed in parking lots, but it can be used successfully in playgrounds and other areas where standing water would be problematic.
The idea is that poor drainage leads to cracking and potholes, so the solution is to give the water somewhere to go. Porous asphalt is built on an open-graded stone bed of 18 to 36 inches in depth that lets water filter naturally into the ground. The upper layers of asphalt have a strong porous network that allows the water to easily reach the stone bed.
Environmentally, the asphalt creates a sort of natural filtration system that helps to remove toxins before the water reaches the soil. It also alleviates the need for a retention pond, since storm water simply returns to the earth. Practically, it minimizes the risk for cracks and potholes, creating a smooth surface that can last for decades. It is more expensive up front, but soon pays for itself in the lack of ongoing repair bills.
Best Asphalt To Reduce Noise Pollution
Noise pollution is a fact of life in the modern world, and road noise can be extremely aggravating. Quiet pavement is comprised of a stone-matrix asphalt mix (SMA) or open-graded friction course mix (OGFC), both of which have been proven to reduce road noise by as much as 50 percent. If you need to build a road through a heavily residential area, quiet pavement might be your best choice. In fact, research shows that quiet pavement is at least as successful as other noise dampening solutions, such as noise barrier walls, and at a fraction of the cost.
Best Asphalt For The Environment
Warm Mix Asphalt
Warm mix asphalt is basically hot mix asphalt that has been engineered to lower the required temperatures for mixing and paving. It is considered greener than hot mix asphalt, because the lower heating requirements mean that processing consumes less fuel and emits fewer greenhouse gases. In addition, warm mix asphalt lengthens the paving season and creates better and smoother compaction.
Best Asphalt For Driveways
Hot Mix Asphalt
Hot mix asphalt is still considered the top choice for driveways and other small projects. It creates a clean, finished appearance that complements any home. It is highly durable, readily withstands the expansion and contraction involved in freezing and thawing, and is not susceptible to damage from winter salting. Hot mix asphalt is easy to repair, and is relatively inexpensive to install and maintain.
Asphalt comes in many types and styles, and not all forms are ideally suited to all projects. Your asphalt professional will assess your project and the unique challenges of your site, and will make the recommendation that is best for you.
Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!