Over the past couple of decades, asphalt has surpassed concrete as the most popular form of material used for paving roads and driveways. When you look a little bit closer at the two materials it’s not hard to see why. Concrete is a very hard substance, which you would think would make it great for roads, but that’s not the case. Since it’s so hard, it actually tends to break easier. This is because anything that forces it to move a little bit causes it to break rather than the concrete being able to bend with whatever is pushing it. Think about a sidewalk where a tree is growing. The roots of the tree push on the concrete, and because the concrete is so hard, it’s not able to bend and accommodate the root. Instead, the root causes the concrete to crack, which then opens up a fissure that will only get wider over time. This is what happens to roads in many cases. Another instance of this aspect of concrete has to do with whatever falling on the road. When snow falls on concrete and melts due to the friction of cars driving over it, the resulting water will seep down into cracks on the concrete. When that water freezes over night, the concrete will crack, and once it’s cracked, it’s all down hill from there.
These are just a few of the reasons why concrete is falling out of favor with homeowners and local governments that are in charge of the roads, but it doesn’t explain why asphalt is becoming so popular. To understand this, you have to look a little closer at asphalt itself. There are two primary reasons why asphalt is becoming more popular when it comes to paving. First, it’s very cost effective. It’s much less expensive to make a bunch of roads out of asphalt than it is to make them out of concrete. Cost alone would be enough to tip the balance towards asphalt, but when you look at the material itself it makes even more sense why it’s becoming so popular. Asphalt is a much stickier substance than concrete, and this means that it’s not as hard. Thus, it doesn’t open up cracks like concrete does, and thus an asphalt road doesn’t have the same problems as a concrete road when it comes to freezing water. On top of that, asphalt can bend with things that are pushing on it, like the roots of trees per the example above. Thus, not only is asphalt more affordable than concrete, but it’s also more durable when it comes to paving substances.
After reading this, you should have a better understanding as to why so many people are opting for asphalt over concrete. If you’re looking to have a road or driveway paved sometime soon, you should definitely choose asphalt as well. Reach out to a company like Holland Hurst and set up an appointment with them to get your driveway or road paved with asphalt. You’ll be glad you did.