Debunking Myths About Asphalt

There are a lot of myths about asphalt and its use for parking lots and roadways.
Let’s briefly discuss a few of the most common:

Asphalt is an extremely valuable resource for roads, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, etc. But, it is also valuable to our environment and economy due to its eco-friendly and recyclable characteristics, which allow for less harmful air pollutants, and for taxpayers to save money each year!

Asphalt is durable, versatile, flexible, low-maintenance, and eco-friendly, making it a great material choice for your road, driveway, and commercial parking lots.

There are some popular asphalt myths floating around that may contradict this and the overall benefits of asphalt, but let’s review the facts.

MYTH: Asphalt has a short lifespan

FACT: Properly and regularly maintained asphalt can last anywhere from 15-30 years. We’d like to argue that 15-30 years is a pretty long lifespan considering the cost to install asphalt, and its low-maintenance characteristics.

While concrete may last longer (30-40 years), they are not easy (or cheap) to repair and/or maintain. A lot can happen to your business, traffic patterns and footprint in 40 years so perhaps the flexibility of asphalt is actually to your advantage. Also, asphalt repairs are relatively inexpensive and simple compared to that of concrete, and go a long way in extending the overall life of your asphalt.

MYTH: Asphalt is bad for the environment

FACT: Actually, this is quite the opposite of true. While many years ago this may have been a fact, the asphalt industry has developed many new technics to reduce pollutants far below the standards set by EPA. Today, the use of asphalt in paving is extremely eco-friendly and asphalt is actually recycled many times over. Methods of asphalt paving like milling, pulverizing and full depth reclamation focus heavily on recycling and repurposing material. This requires less manufacturing of virgin materials, meaning less greenhouse gas pollutants and waste. 

MYTH: Asphalt is expensive

FACT: While driveway paving, or parking lot paving may not be the cheapest item on your property’s to-do list, asphalt is certainly one of the cheapest options for this project. Since asphalt consists of mainly recycled materials, it is easy to produce, making is more cost effective. When considering a popular alternative like concrete, you can expect to spend as high as double what you would for asphalt installation. While concrete may last longer, asphalt is extremely durable, flexible, easy to maintain, eco-friendly, and easy to install; making for a great ROI.

MYTH: Asphalt is a hassle to repair

FACT: While we can agree that no maintenance item is ever fun and hassle-free, asphalt repair may be one of the easiest items on your list, and did we mention that it is cheap? Crack filling, which is one of the most cost effective maintenance items you’ll likely hire someone to do on your property, is, on average, less than a dollar per foot! Additionally, this method of filling cracks with hot rubberized asphalt filler will help save your asphalt’s life and ensure the longest lifespan possible. This sealing helps to avoid detrimental damages to your pavement’s base associated with moisture penetration that compromises the structural base, typically resulting in premature fatigue and wear. But, what is even better about the use of rubberized material in this repair method, is that it is flexible, which means that it is formulated to better handle expanding and contracting associated with fluctuations in temperature. 

MYTH: Concrete popular, asphalt is on the out

FACT: While concrete may be gaining some popularity, asphalt certainly isn’t a “fad” of the past. Approximately 95 percent of America’s paved roads are asphalt. The reason why asphalt is the most popular material choice is for the reasons stated above; it’s cost effective, eco-friendly, easy to maintain, durable, quick to build/construct, and requires cheap repairs.

At PRC, we know all of the ins and outs of paving and asphalt, as we have over 40 years experience in construction management! If you have any additional questions, concerns, or potential myths about asphalt you’d like to ask, we are here to help! If your property is in need of any asphalt or concrete updates, repairs, or new construction, contact us for your free consultation!

PRC is equally versed in both Asphalt and Concrete and will help you make the right choice for your project.