10 Surprising Facts About Asphalt Pavement

Asphalt is everywhere in our modern age. It covers public roads and private driveways, makes up the surface of parking lots, and is used at racing circuits around the world. But how much do you know about this incredible material? Asphalt may seem mundane from the outside, but it actually has a surprising amount of history and seemingly random trivia facts. Gain a new appreciation with these ten surprising facts about asphalt pavement!

1. Asphalt Pavement Has Been Used for Centuries

While asphalt may seem like a modern invention, it actually has a long history that dates back to ancient times. The Egyptians were the first to use asphalt as a waterproofing agent for their buildings and ships. In fact, the word asphalt comes from the Greek word asphaltos, which means secure or safe.

2. It’s an Eco-Friendly Choice

Contrary to popular belief, asphalt is actually an environmentally friendly material. When roads need to be repaired or replaced, the old asphalt can be recycled and reused in new pavement projects. This not only reduces waste but also saves energy and resources that would otherwise be spent on producing new materials.

3. It’s Flexible

Unlike rigid materials such as concrete, asphalt has some flexibility to withstand temperature changes and heavy traffic loads. This flexibility allows it to expand and contract without cracking or breaking, making it an ideal choice for road surfaces in areas prone to extreme weather conditions.

3. Asphalt Helps Reduce Noise Pollution

If you’ve ever walked next to a busy road paved with concrete, you’ll know how loud traffic noises can be. However, roads made with asphalt have been found to reduce noise levels by up to 7 decibels compared to concrete pavements! This is due to the porous nature of asphalt which helps absorb sound waves rather than reflecting them back into the surrounding environment.

5. Not Just for Roads

Contrary to popular belief, asphalt isn’t just used for roads and highways. It can also be found in a variety of surprising applications such as athletic tracks, airport runways, bike paths, playgrounds, and even roofs! With its excellent durability and flexibility, this versatile material provides a smooth surface that enhances safety and performance in various settings.

6. Asphalt Isn’t Permanent…

Despite its durable nature, asphalt pavement is not indestructible. In fact, it requires regular maintenance and repair to prevent cracks and potholes caused by traffic wear and tear and extreme weather conditions such as freezing temperatures or heavy rainfall.

7. …but it Does Last a Long Time

When properly maintained, however, an asphalt roadway can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years before needing major rehabilitation or reconstruction, making it a cost-effective choice for transportation infrastructure projects.
8. Asphalt Has Superior Grip Capabilities

Asphalt surfaces provide greater skid resistance compared to other types of road surfaces like concrete due to their better texture design properties. This leads to improved vehicle control during wet conditions.
9. Aids in Snow Removal

The black color of fresh asphalt pavement isn’t just for aesthetics; it also helps absorb sunlight and melt ice faster during winter months, aiding in snow removal efforts by accelerating the melting process.

10. Asphalt Doesn’t Just Come in Black

However, while most people recognize asphalt as a dark, black substance, it can actually come in a variety of colors. Colored asphalt pavement is created by adding pigments to the mix during production. This allows for more creativity and customization when it comes to designing roads, parking lots, and other paved surfaces. Imagine driving on a vibrant red or blue road – it would certainly make for an interesting sight!

Contact Pro-Pave for Your Next Asphalt Paving Project

At Pro-Pave Incorporated, we have a team of experts adequately equipped to handle your asphalt pavement questions and problems. We have the skills and expertise needed to properly install and maintain asphalt, as well as fix any cracking or other issues that you may be experiencing with your current surface.

For more information about residential and commercial paving projects, call us directly at 703-433-9500 or fill out our contact form today!

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