A lot of people today when having driveways done are opting for asphalt rather than the other option of concrete. This is because asphalt has several advantages compared to concrete in terms of its durability, the likelihood of cracking and how easy it is for asphalt paving contractors to lay down. In fact, concrete was once the first choice for such needs so let’s look in more detail at why things are changing and what to look for in a great contractor.
What are they made from?
Concrete – Cement, water, sand aggregate, and crushed rock are what goes into the making of concrete. Once poured the concrete sets and goes stiff and solid. If not poured onto a completely smooth surface, it can over time break and crack.
Asphalt – It also uses sand aggregate but uses bitumen as the binder material, not cement. Bitumen comes from crude oil and is sticky and dark. To make a driveway with asphalt contractors will add in heavy aggregate first, then pour over that the asphalt and then use a steamroller to press it down. When the surface cools down asphalt paving is strong and durable. It is better able to handle imperfections on the underlying surface, unlike concrete.
Other asphalt advantages
As well as the less cracking, other advantages to asphalt paving include;
- When it comes to removing asphalt and replacing it, the process is a lot easier, quicker and less painful than when you need to remove concrete.
- Asphalt is the greener option. It is recyclable and it is very rare that it ever ends up in a landfill.
- It is more affordable for roads, paths, and driveways to be made from asphalt.
- Laying asphalt is quicker than laying concrete.
- Repairing and looking after asphalt is easier, less costly and again quicker. Small cracks can be repaired by just one person rather than a team if they know how.
- Since asphalt paving is easier to repair it can have a longer life span.
Finding a reliable contractor
It is not always easy when you are looking at potential asphalt paving contractors to know which are the most skilled and reliable. Try first talking to neighbors, friends, and family to see if they have any recommendations. You can also do an online search and check in local phone books. With the list of options there you can then cross of those that are not quite right. Ask for a free quote and compare them.
Good contractors should want to come and see the site and talk to you about any special needs you might have. Before you make a final choice make sure they are insured and licensed. Also, ask to see references. Talk to them about drainage to make sure water does not collect on the drive.