There are some things that people should know when it comes to paving a driveway. According to This Old House, the steepness of a driveway shouldn't be more than 15 feet per 100 feet. Otherwise, you risk being able to slip on it when it snows. When it comes to the paving material, most people choose between asphalt and concrete. There are some myths floating around out there about asphalt. We're here to debunk them. Let's take a look for more information!
1. Asphalt Is Bad for the Environment
When environmentally conscientious people hear about asphalt paving, they worry that it's going to harm the environment. In the past, there was some truth to it, but the asphalt industry has worked hard to make it sustainable. One of the ways that they did that was by making it one of the most recyclable materials around. You should feel good about using asphalt when it comes to environmental friendliness, knowing that the asphalt used to pave your property can be recycled in the future.
2. Asphalt Is Not Durable
Another myth is that asphalt is not durable and constantly needs repair. It's actually quite strong as long as you maintain it. It's far easier to maintain an asphalt driveway where one or two vehicles drive on it regularly than it is to maintain a highway that is hundreds of miles long and has hundreds of millions of people driving back and forth on it daily. On a highway, you're going to see more than your fair share of potholes and other damage. A residential asphalt surface can last up to 20 years or more with proper care, according to the Spruce. That's pretty good for supposedly not being durable!
3. Asphalt Is Expensive
One complaint that people have about asphalt paving is that it's supposedly expensive. When you're getting something that you want to last a long time, you should expect to pay for it. If you try to cut corners, you're going to wind up paying for it down the road. Despite costing less initially than concrete, asphalt can last for decades, according to our team. Its durability and relatively inexpensive installation costs add up to significant savings for many homeowners.
4. Asphalt Is Toxic
This is another talking point against asphalt paving. The people who don't like it point out the smell it gives off when it's being laid out, especially on a hot summer day. Yes, admittedly, the smell can be strong enough to clear even the stuffiest of noses. Despite this, it won't contaminate water or soil. If people don't dispose of it properly, then there are issues, but otherwise, it's much safer than many other materials that are used.
5. Anyone Can Pave Asphalt
Some people may scoff and say that asphalt is easy to install. Unless they are professionals themselves and have the right equipment, they really don't have a leg to stand on here. You need to have the proper equipment and the right amount of training. It would take a lot of practice to be able to do it yourself. That time and money could be better spent having the experts do it for you. That way, it'll be guaranteed to be better looking and last longer.
6. You Don't Need a Foundation to Pave Asphalt
This one is just plain false. There has to be something under it to help it stay durable. A driveway needs to be able to withstand bad weather and heavy traffic. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of potholes and cracks. You don't want to have to be repairing it a lot. Have the experts prepare the site before installing the asphalt for the best results.
7. Asphalt Is Hard to Repair
This myth is also a laughable one. It's much easier to repair asphalt than it is to repair concrete. There are a lot of solutions that you can use to fix it. Also, if you maintain it, fixing any problem is pretty simple. You'll pay a lot less to repair asphalt than to repair concrete, too. This makes asphalt an overall winner.
Like a lot of myths, the ones about asphalt are based on things that were observed decades ago. That was back when the technology for making it was nowhere near as good as it is today. Today's asphalt can be environmentally friendly, durable, and relatively inexpensive to install. This makes an asphalt driveway the perfect solution for many homeowners.
There's a reason asphalt is still a wildly popular paving material. Over 94% of the highways in America are paved with it, according to Asphalt Magazine. It can be difficult to get highway repair people to a site to fix potholes and cracks, but there's an exceptionally good reason for it. There are millions of miles of highway and a limited number of people. But once they get there, they won't have to spend a lot of time fixing it afterward or repaving it.
That leads to another thing about asphalt. It literally creates lots of jobs! There are people who make a very good living paving with it. If the government spends $1 billion on highways, that opens up 28,000 jobs, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Additionally, when the roads are recycled, that can save the taxpayers plenty of money every year. When the road is smooth due to freshly paved asphalt, drivers can get more miles per gallon, according to CleanMPG.
Will anything replace asphalt as a widespread paving material? Well, there are two things to think about here. Yes, researchers may be able to create something that is just as durable, easy to repair, and inexpensive. That being said, the first question is, who would want to have to wait while millions of miles of asphalt are broken apart and then new material is paved over it? Many Americans hate being inconvenienced enough as it is. Second, wouldn't it be a waste of money that could have been spent elsewhere in the country's budget?
Speaking of budgets, you'll likely have a much better budget if you get asphalt over concrete. There is even porous asphalt which can hold up a lot better if it rains since it encourages run-off rather than absorption. That can prevent cracks later on when it rains or if it gets cold since the water that asphalt absorbs can freeze and make it crack. Porous asphalt prevents that.
These myths have hung around long enough, though not as long as asphalt itself. Yes, asphalt is still widely used for a variety of things, but there are some people who could really benefit from having their driveway paved with it. Hopefully, if you're on the fence about using it yourself, you can consider it as a great option. Then you can enjoy having an asphalt driveway that will last for decades.
Are you looking for an asphalt paving company in your area? We can pave both residential and commercial areas. Contact us today at A-One Asphalt Paving LLC to learn more about our services. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the near future!