Woman inside her car thumb up for choosing the best asphalt paving option

Asphalt driveways are popular because they are durable and look great. Did you know that there are several types of asphalt? They are all made differently and serve different purposes. In other words, different types of asphalt pavement are created for different quality levels. 

Asphalt is a mixture of sand, gravel, and asphalt cement. And these ingredients can be mixed in different combinations, producing different types of asphalt. By altering the sand and gravel's size, shape, or colour, you can create various types of asphalt. 

Let's look at the different types of asphalt pavement and then consider the best one for driveways. 

Types of asphalt pavement

Nothing compares to the look of a blacktop driveway. Asphalt offers a sleek look that boosts your pride in your property. But asphalt is a versatile material used for many paving and construction projects. Here are the main types of asphalt pavement. 

Stone-matrix asphalt

This type of asphalt pavement is made by mixing cement, stone aggregate, and stabilizing agents. It is designed to withstand a lot of traffic. It is an exceptionally sturdy formula. 

Perpetual pavement

Multi-layer paving is used when you want to ensure the asphalt pavement will last a long, long time. That's when you want to use the perpetual pavement type. This asphalt pavement has a strong base that is also flexible. It can withstand damage.

The next layer is designed to be permanent and placed on top of the base. The pavement is then topped with a driving surface. This layer is durable enough to last many years but can also be replaced occasionally to extend the life of the road. Because it's only the top layer that gets removed and repaved, it can save you money and time. 

Porous asphalt

As the name suggests, this asphalt pavement has small pores or holes. Porous asphalt pavement removes the hazard of pooling water. This allows water to drain rather than collect on the pavement. It's a good option for places with a lot of rain or moisture.

This helps protect your visitors and your pavement. Moreover, it is also good for the environment as it allows the water to drain down into the stone bed and then into the soil rather than draining into the sewer system. 

Hot-mix asphalt

To create a hot-mix asphalt paving material, you must mix fine and coarse aggregate with an asphalt cement binder. The result is durable asphalt pavement that is weather-resistant. This asphalt pavement gets its name from the high temperature used on it during the process.

Hot-mix asphalt is kept at 148 to 176 degrees Celsius. The heat makes the asphalt material easy to work with but tends to cool down fast. That means experienced hands must apply hot-mix asphalt. 

Warm-mix asphalt

Warm-mix asphalt is a new formula heated to lower temperatures than hot-mix asphalt. The ingredients are about the same as the hot-mix asphalt. The hottest warm-mix asphalt will be heated to 49 degrees Celsius.

However, because it is not heated to such a high temperature, warm-mix asphalt cools down slower, which means it can be used in cooler weather. It can also be transported further than hot-mix asphalt.

Another benefit of warm-mix asphalt is that it allows for less fuel consumption, and not as many greenhouse gases are released. This makes it safe for the environment and paving professionals during the installation process. 

Quiet pavement

Quiet asphalt pavement reduces traffic noise as it travels over the roadway. This type of asphalt absorbs the vibrations as traffic moves across the roadway. It's ideal for places with a lot of traffic, like apartment buildings. Reducing the amount of noise makes it more comfortable for residents. 

Thinlays (Overlay)

Thinlay asphalt is pavement that is installed over an existing roadway or driveway. The installation lays down thin layers of asphalt.

Thinlay pavement maintains the structure of your paving and gives it a fresh look. It is also one way to handle breaks and cracks in your pavement. 

MC Cold Mix

Unlike hot-mix or warm-mix asphalt, MC Cold Mix is used cold. That means it's not as strong as the other types of asphalt material. And it could be better for large paving jobs but helpful for minor repairs or fixes.

The idea is that this type of asphalt paving is for short-term use. The cold mix could be removed when a more permanent fix is available. After it's removed, the asphalt can be saved and reused. 

Dense-graded mixes

A form of hot asphalt mix created for general use is considered a dense-graded mix. The dense-graded mix will do the job, whether you need pavement for structural, leveling, or patching. 

It can help repair your pavement, providing durability and protection. It can be used in many different types of projects and traffic conditions. 

Recycled asphalt

No matter what asphalt you use, it can all be recycled, making it an excellent option for environmentally-friendly projects. The material is just as durable as freshly-mixed asphalt and can be even more affordable.

However, it does not have a dark blacktop look but rather a lighter colour. Yet, this can give your driveway a unique look. 

Best type of asphalt for driveways

While you could use any asphalt for your driveway pavement, some choices are better than others. The type of asphalt pavement is best suited depending on what they are being used for: 

  • Hot-mix asphalt (Recommended for residential and commercial)  
  • Black Tar does not recommend warm or cold mix asphalt. 
  • Perpetual pavement (Recommended for high-traffic surfaces, such as main roads and highways)
  • Porous asphalt (If you're concerned about water runoff in your neighborhood)
  • Recycled asphalt (Most asphalt in Canada is partially recycled) 

Contact Black Tar today if it's time for a new driveway or if you want to refresh your look.

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