The Basics of Asphalt

You probably already know that asphalt is used in paving roads and parking lots.  Beyond that, the average person usually leaves any further knowledge to the experts or their asphalt paving contractors.  Today we wanted to teach you about some of the asphalt basics, so you can have a better understanding of it and what exactly your asphalt paving contractor is doing for you.

  • Asphalt is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid.  It’s thick and borders on being a solid itself.
  • In asphalt paving it’s used as the glue, or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete.
  • Asphalt pavement is generally composed of 5% asphalt and 95% aggregates, like stone, sand, and gravel.
  • Because of it’s highly viscous (very thick liquid, almost solid) nature, asphalt must be heated so it can effectively mix with aggregates.
  • The layering of asphalt for asphalt paving generally looks something like this:
The Basics of Asphalt: Asphalt Layers

The Basics of Asphalt: Asphalt Layers

The Basic Benefits

  1. Asphalt pavement installations are usually the least expensive and very cost effective in the long run since they requires less maintenance.
  2. Asphalt itself is pliable, making it much more forgiving than concrete during freeze and thaw cycles.
  3. Asphalt paving projects take less time to to install and cure.
  4. Asphalt finishes are smooth and black, not only making them more pleasing to the eye, but help in melting snow and ice quicker, resulting in better winter time traction.

We want you to have access to as much information as possible and answer all of your questions.  You can learn more about asphalt paving costs here or if you’re interested in how to best maintain asphalt pavements click here.

Paving Costs

If you’re thinking about beginning a paving project, one of your main concerns is probably the cost. Asphalt paving costs vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • Total square footage
  • Asphalt thickness based on load requirements
  • Possible obstructions
  • Distance to the nearest hot plant
  • Permit requirements
  • Quality of the base

Each of these components will influence the final cost for your project. If you’re unfamiliar with asphalt installation, understanding all of these elements can seem overwhelming. Top Job Asphalt’s skilled estimators can help you easily navigate the process, as well as provide answers to the questions you’ll have about your particular project along the way. When you call us for a free estimate, we’ll arrange to meet you at your project site to ensure that all of your expectations are clearly reflected in your estimate.

It’s important to keep in mind that asphalt requires regular maintenance to ensure it lasts for decades to come, and your asphalt contractor should provide you with a list of guidelines to help you keep your investment at its peak performance. Regular maintenance should include crack sealing, seal-coating, and repairs as needed.

crack sealing asphalt pavement reduces asphalt paving costs

Once your project has been completed, the asphalt will take several months to fully cure. During that time, you’ll want to treat the new pavement with some additional care. However, most projects require only 4-8 hours of cooling before they’re ready for light traffic.  

One of the most compelling benefits of asphalt is its’ cost effectiveness compared to concrete. In most cases, asphalt installation costs are about one-third of concrete, and unlike concrete, asphalt can be repairable rather than needing replacement. Asphalt also melts snow and ice much faster than concrete, which reduces snow removal costs and potential liability issues during winter months.  

TriState Paving HQ offers free, no obligation estimates for asphalt projects ranging from paving to patching and maintenance. If you’d like to know more about what asphalt paving options are available for your property, contact us today! Contact now 304-877-1254.