A lot of us likely take the roads we drive on and the parking lots and driveways we park in for granted. What do all these have in common? Well, they are usually made of asphalt— the unsung, everyday hero of roadway construction. Why are our asphalt roads important? What are the benefits of asphalt?


Benefits of Asphalt


Asphalt makes construction faster

Pavements made of asphalt are very fast to construct. This is because the material needs 0 “cure” time, which ultimately means usable roads as soon as the last construction truck rolls out.


Asphalt is smooth

The smooth uniformity of asphalt pavements creates a safer and more enjoyable ride for all drivers— which can’t be said for other pavement types. Rough and uneven roads interfere with driver’s control over their vehicle, which can prove dangerous for everyone in the vicinity. The smoothness of asphalt roads also assists in the reduction of rolling resistance (i.e. the friction between pavement and tires), which ultimately means greater fuel economy and minimized carbon dioxide emissions.


Asphalt is durable

Asphalt pavements are flexible and have a bridging action— meaning that they are able to withstand occasional overloading without suffering concerning damage. They typically are constructed to last for very long periods of time, only needing to be repaired every 25-30 years to guarantee their extended lifetime.


Asphalt is cost-effective

The smooth, durable nature of asphalt roads saves money for everyone involved. Asphalt’s nature reduces wear and tear on all vehicles on the road because of the fewer bumps involved. Additionally, increasing a road’s smoothness by an estimated 25% extends its overall lifespan— up to about 10%— which ultimately saves taxpayers from having to pay for brand new road and highway construction.


What Are Our Other Paving Options?

While the benefits of asphalt make it stand out as a versatile and efficient paving material, it’s worth exploring other options available in the market.


Concrete is a common alternative to asphalt. It offers durability but often comes with a higher initial cost. Concrete surfaces may require more time to cure, impacting construction timelines. Unlike asphalt, concrete tends to be less forgiving in freeze-thaw cycles, leading to potential cracking.


Gravel is a cost-effective solution with easy installation. However, it lacks the smoothness of asphalt and can create dust and maintenance challenges. Gravel roads are also prone to erosion and may not be suitable for high-traffic areas.

Brick or Interlocking Pavers:

These visually appealing options provide a unique aesthetic but come with a higher installation cost. The interlocking nature allows for flexibility but may result in uneven surfaces over time, requiring maintenance.

Crushed Stone:

Crushed stone provides a rustic appearance but may not be as durable as asphalt. It can shift and become uneven, impacting both aesthetics and functionality.

The Superiority of Asphalt

In comparison, asphalt emerges as a superior choice due to its quick construction, smooth surface, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Its ability to withstand varying loads and weather conditions makes it a reliable option for roads, driveways, and parking lots. The consistent, well-maintained finish of asphalt ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience for drivers, setting it apart from the limitations of other paving alternatives. Choose the enduring benefits of asphalt paving from RCM Paving for a reliable and efficient paving solution.