You probably knew that using asphalt is one of the most popular choices when it comes to residential paving. However, did you know that there are different types of asphalt? There are different ways asphalt can be created and used. So it’s a good idea to find out what type of asphalt you want ahead of time. Your two main options are hot mix and cold mix asphalt, each of which has its own pros and cons. The following article details these differences and will help you answer the question, which asphalt is best for residential paving?
Course-graded asphalt is a type of mix that is coarse in texture. It often serves as a support for finer mixes used service lifts on driveways, parking lots, or roads. This is generally referred to as a “binder mixture” or a base layer.
Another common type of asphalt mix is porous asphalt. Porus asphalt is an environmentally friendly solution to paving. This asphalt’s porous nature allows water to travel through the paving job and into the ground where it naturally belongs. This is perfect for areas where it is especially important for water to drain.
This has led to porous asphalt being the first choice for many environmentally conscious businesses. There are also tax benefits that come from choosing an environmentally-minded option.
Top layer asphalt, also known as hot surface mix, is easily the most commonly used paving material. These mixtures are generally heated to 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit. The mix is then used as a finish layer on top of the foundation.
This mixture is aesthetically pleasing due to the number of small stones compacted to form a tight surface appearance.
Hot Mix Asphalt
Hot mix asphalt is made by mixing sand, gravel, and cement. It is then heated up to 300-500 degrees in the production facility. It is then shipped to the location to be laid down as asphalt paving.
This type of pavement material is commonly used in large-scale projects such as driveways and parking lots. Due to its durability and weather-resistant capability, it’s a great choice. While hot mix asphalt is more expensive than its cold mix alternative you’ll find that it lasts much longer. It also requires less maintenance, meaning you won’t have to worry about spending extra money on repairs.
The temperature window is something you will have to keep in mind if you choose to use hot mix asphalt for residential paving. Because the asphalt needs to cool down on location, you will likely have a small window of opportunity to lay down hot mix asphalt. On top of this, the material requires the outside temperature to be 40 degrees or higher to properly install. Take this into account when deciding which asphalt is best for residential paving.
This option is slightly more fuel-efficient than a hot surface mix. This is partly due to only being heated to 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the lower heat, more binding materials must be used when laying this mix.
The primary benefit of this asphalt solution is its little impact on the environment. During construction, this mix uses less compactive effort and therefore emits less CO2. While this solution is slightly more expensive than other options, it has been a favorite choice among those seeking “green” solutions.
Cold Mix Asphalt
This type of asphalt is very basic and is often used for small-scale or temporary repairs like potholes. Unlike its counterpart, it doesn’t require any heating meaning you can apply it no matter the temperature outside. Unfortunately, that’s where the advantages stop. While cold mix asphalt is more affordable, it is too fragile and temporary for anything more than a repair job. Cold mix asphalt tends to stay soft no matter the temperature and therefore has a short lifespan.
It should be clear by now that when deciding the best asphalt for residential paving, hot mix asphalt is the clear winner. With its high durability and weather-resistant material, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular choice for properties around America.
Have More Questions?
You can count on Walt’s Paving to complete your residential or commercial paving project in an efficient and timely manner. We have over 40 years of experience paving asphalt driveways, making asphalt repairs, and seal coating asphalt. We are located in Osceola IN and service homeowners and businesses within 50 miles of Elkhart, IN. If you have any further questions regarding our services, do not hesitate to contact us today.