Why Use Asphalt Instead of Concrete?

Though concrete once was used for paving roads, parking lots and other projects, asphalt paving is the preferred choice today. To begin to understand why asphalt paving is superior to concrete paving (also called cement paving), one should know how asphalt and concrete are made.

Concrete is made using aggregate (like crushed rock and sand), along with cement and water. The cement acts as the binder in concrete, holding the aggregate together. As the mixture dries, it forms a stiff, unforgiving solid that is prone to cracking and breaking, especially if the surface beneath it is not perfectly smooth.

Like concrete, asphalt is made using aggregate. Its binder, however, is bitumen, a dark, sticky substance derived from crude oil. When roads, parking lots or driveways are built using asphalt construction, hot asphalt (bitumen mixed with fine aggregate) is poured onto a bed of heavier aggregate and then pressed into it with a steamroller. Once the asphalt cools to the surrounding air temperature, it is strong enough to withstand automobile traffic. While asphalt is extremely hard and durable, it offers enough flexibility to accommodate imperfections in underlying surfaces, a feature that concrete sorely lacks.

The other advantages of asphalt paving over concrete or cement paving are plentiful. One of those advantages is that removal and replacement of damaged asphalt is a simple and relatively easy process compared to concrete. Asphalt is also a 100% recyclable product. Due to the heavy demand of asphalt for recycling purposes, you will rarely find this material taking up valuable and limited landfill space. Asphalt construction projects can be finished and opened for traffic much faster and with a lot less expense than concrete construction projects. Maintenance and repair of asphalt pavement is faster and less costly than that of cement pavement, as well.

Repairing minor cracks in asphalt driveways and walkways can be so easy that homeowners can tackle this maintenance project themselves. Asphalt crack repair can be done by a single person in one afternoon, and this simple, inexpensive task can increase the longevity of an asphalt surface significantly.

When more than just simple asphalt crack repair is needed, however, the solution still requires less time and money if one chooses asphalt paving over cement paving. Unlike concrete, which needs to be removed and replaced when significant cracks appear, asphalt can be resurfaced in much less time, and at a fraction of the cost.

Asphalt resurfacing simply involves applying new asphalt over the old. Damaged areas are filled with fresh asphalt, and a steamroller goes over the entire surface to yield smooth, even pavement.

Complete asphalt resurfacing is fast and extremely cost effective. Even better, asphalt resurfacing, while returning the asphalt to its original smoothness, also adds structural integrity so that it can continue to provide a durable, pleasant driving surface under higher traffic volumes and increased vehicle weights.

From new construction to all types of repairs, asphalt paving beats concrete or cement paving every time. Count on asphalt for attractive, long-lasting performance and a substantial savings of both time and money.

Dykes Paving is a leading supplier of paving supplies and services throughout metro Atlanta and southern Georgia. No job is too big for Dykes. Call them at (770) 448-3392. In Macon and surrounding areas, call (478) 745-8171. You also can email Dykes by clicking here.