For many people, choosing asphalt over cement for their Lakeland parking lot paving is a weird choice. After all, most houses and buildings are made of cement, so it has been tested for years, right? Pavement, however, is a different matter because it is exposed to complicated weather patterns and environmental components.
To understand why almost a hundred percent of parking lots are made of asphalt material, you have to know how asphalt and cement are constructed.
Concrete is made using aggregate like crushed rocks and sand. These components are bound by a material called cement, which is then mixed with water. Since it is acting as a binder in concrete, the cement holds the aggregate together. When the mixture dries, it forms a stiff and unforgiving solid material that is prone to cracking and breaking, especially if the surface isn’t that smooth.
Like concrete, asphalt, too, is made of aggregate. But the binder is different. Called bitumen, it is a dark and sticky substance derived from crude oil. During the construction of roads, Lakeland parking lot paving, and driveways, hot asphalt (bitumen mixed with fine aggregate) is poured on a bed of heavier aggregate. Afterward, it is pressed with a steamroller to make it more compact and to prevent water and heat from entering the pores.
When the asphalt cools down, it will be strong enough to withstand automobile traffic, including heavy vehicles like those being used for constructing high-rise buildings. Like concrete, asphalt also hardens and toughens up. But unlike concrete, it offers enough flexibility to accommodate the imperfections underneath the surface. This is a feature that concrete lacks, and that makes asphalt the choice of many road and parking lot builders.
But another thing that separates asphalt from cement is the ease of maintenance and repair. The removal and replacement of damaged asphalt is simple and relatively easier compared to concrete. With asphalt, you can simply cover up the cracks on the surface by pouring hot asphalt mixture into the breaks. Cement requires breaking down the surface, flattening it, and putting a new surface.
Asphalt is also 100% recyclable, which makes it the perfect fit in today’s issues of environmental degradation. This only means you will be able to reuse the asphalt materials that have been removed from the previous parking lot or road surface. There is a high demand for recycled asphalt paving materials, so rarely does the material take up valuable space in landfills.