What’s the difference between your paving options?
If you speak to an asphalt contractor near me, they will tell you that there are three main materials that are often misidentified: asphalt, concrete, and cement. While to most people those words are interchangeable, they likely hold very different mental images. In reality, all three are related but are very distinct in what they are made of and what they are used for.
Concrete has been around since ancient times and is made mainly of small crushed rocks, pebbles, and sand mixed with water. The raw strength of concrete as well as the compressibility makes it the primary choice for large buildings. It can still be used for many paving projects, though. The light color makes it very reflective and it also tends to make cars more fuel-efficient when compared to asphalt, which is why it is the third most common roadway paver, behind asphalt and composite paving, in the United States. Asphalt contractors near me may or may not work with concrete, but it can be used to pave, so if you think it’s right for your project, it’s worth the ask!
Cement is most typically used as a binding agent for other materials and is very rarely used on its own. It can be found as an aggregate in materials like concrete or mortar for bricklaying, though. An asphalt contractor near me would likely use cement to do things like patch small cracks in concrete or for specialized masonry work rather than a big project like making a new sidewalk.
Asphalt mainly conjures images of the dark black highways with bright yellow lines, and rightly so. The Federal Highway Administration says that there are over 700,000 miles of asphalt paved roads in the United States alone. It is a far more versatile material than just that, however. Asphalt contractors near you may be able to color and press patterns into asphalt for a more vibrant paving option. Asphalt differs from concrete and cement because, instead of being made of sand and rock, it is made from an organic material produced from petroleum. This leads to it being super sticky, however, it is also super malleable. This is why it has become the primary choice for roads. It also hardens enough to be driven on in only a couple of days. This makes asphalt ideal for projects that need to be completed quickly. Asphalt is also used to patch roads, like in the case of potholes or a large crack.
Get in Touch with an Asphalt Contractor Near Me
While all three pavers seem very similar, each one is used in its own special way. It is best to contact an asphalt contractor near me to figure out which kind is best for your particular project. If you need small repairs to concrete or need something grouted, cement might be your best option. If you’re repaving your front walkway completely, concrete would probably be best. Asphalt could work best for the biggest projects or if that dark look appeals to you. Asphalt paving companies often have the ability to help you decide which material will work best for your needs. Click here to learn a little bit more about what our asphalt paving company offers and find the paver that fits your needs!