What Is Asphalt Paving for Driveways
Asphalt is one of the most commonly used pavements for driveways, roads, and parking areas.
Asphalt is a petroleum product. It is flexible, which makes it less prone to cracking and simpler to shape than other paving materials. It has a few basic ingredients, including a blend of crushed stone, gravel, sand, and a binding material called bitumen. Bitumen is a sticky, black byproduct of petroleum that binds the aggregate together. Asphalt is usually modified and mixed in batches at special processing plants.
Types of Asphalt
- Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
- Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
- Cold Mix Asphalt
1. Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
Hot mix asphalt is widely used in road paving and repair because of its excellent performance as pavement. Hot mix asphalt is known by different names, such as hot mix, asphalt concrete, or blacktop. It is a combination of stone, sand, or gravel mixed together with bitumen. After it is mixed at a high temperature up to 350° Fahrenheit, laid and compacted, the result is an improved driving surface for the traffic.
Additives, such as recycled tires or latex, are sometimes incorporated into the mixture design for increased durability. Other additives may be mixed in to reduce temperature and fumes. Since hot mix asphalt is a product of crude oil, the thickness and other qualities of the asphalt help minimize rutting and cracking.
Hot mix asphalt can be classified into three categories.
- Dense graded mix
- Stone matrix asphalt
- Open grade mix
2. Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
Warm mix asphalt is manufactured at lower temperatures and cools more slowly than hot mix. Warm mix asphalt can be shipped more easily than hot mix and is more environmentally friendly. Warm mix asphalt (WMA) is manufactured between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm mix asphalt is also less costly compare to than hot mix asphalt.
3. Cold Mix Asphalt
This is made by emulsifying the asphalt in water with an emulsifying agent prior to mixing with the aggregate. While it is mixed, the asphalt is less thick and the mixture is easy to work and compact. The emulsion will break after enough water vaporizes and the cold mix will, ideally, take on the properties of an HMA pavement. Cold mix is generally used as a patching material and on lesser traffic roads.
Manufacturing of Asphalt Concrete
Before mixing asphalt concrete in the plant, operators of asphalt plants need to design mix for the required asphalt. Design mix based on the project and climate at the project site.
Hot liquid bitumen is combined with heated aggregate in an asphalt plant to produce paving mix typical called hot mix asphalt. Hot mix asphalt is loaded directly into a truck to be applied to roads, parking lots, or any other site.
Maintenance of Asphalt Driveway
When considering an asphalt driveway, there should keep in mind that there will be maintenance and repairs will come with time. Generally, an asphalt driveway should be sealed after installation and then sealed again every four to five years. This will extend the life of the driveway. Many homeowners seal their own driveways.
Cracks affect asphalt driveways and must be repaired when found.
Crack filling is when the hot sealant is used to fill cracks in the pavement to prevent water from doing any more damage. The sealant will adhere to the asphalt, keeping water and other natural elements from penetrating and exploiting the weakness in the pavement.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to cracks in their pavement is waiting too long to get them filled. With time, cracks will only grow bigger.
Milling is the procedure of removing the upper layer of asphalt without disturbing the underlying base. This is an excellent option if your base is perfectly useful and only the upper layer of your asphalt needs repair work. Milling can be completed at a fraction of the price of a full reconstruction because only the upper layer is removed and replaced. The entire process can be finished in a relatively short time period.
The cost of an asphalt driveway is typically cheaper than concrete, costing $3 to $5. per square foot. Asphalt prices can fluctuate with fluctuations in crude oil prices.
Asphalt Vs Concrete
- Asphalt is an economical choice because it has a lower first cost than concrete and can be constructed as perpetual concrete.
- Asphalt is a softer material, leading it to weaken faster and easier than concrete repairs.
- With proper care, expensive repair work can be prevented.
- It needs occasional resurfacing and resealing after five to seven years.
- Asphalt is a sustainable material for constructing pavements. From the production of asphalt pavement to the placement on the road, to rehabilitation, through reuse, asphalt pavements minimize the impact on the environment.
- Asphalt pavements will consistently give the driving public the smooth.
- A major advantage of asphalt pavement is its ability to be completely recycled. Aggregates can be reused and also asphalt binder retains its adhesive properties and can be reused in a new asphalt pavement mix.
- Concrete is more durable than asphalt because it is a less flexible material.
- The only maintenance required is occasional degreasing.
- A concrete driveway offers extra opportunities for a creative look. It can be stamped with patterns, tinted to various colors, given different finishes, or etched with styles.
- It is extra durable overall when damages do take place.
- Concrete repair is harder and more expensive than asphalt repair work.
- Concrete is more expensive.