As one of the largest countries in the world, Canada has over a million kilometres of two-lane public roads. Astonishingly, only 40% are paved.
Of the paved ones, the preferred material is asphalt. In fact, in Ontario, one of the four provinces that account for 75% of these paved roads, 95% is asphalt.
This black, sticky substance from crude oil is certainly not the only paving material. But why does it remain a popular choice by homeowners, businesses, and the government?
Here are the top six benefits of asphalt:
1. It Is Cost-Effective
Asphalt is popular for paving since it is less expensive than concrete. The cost savings will vary depending on the location, but it is usually 20% to 30% cheaper than concrete.
Besides being more affordable upfront, asphalt is also less expensive to maintain and easier to clean and remove than concrete, further reducing the cost of upkeep.
Overall, asphalt provides significant cost savings compared to concrete, making it an attractive option for paving projects.
2. Asphalt Makes Roads Safer
One of the significant benefits of asphalt is safety. Asphalt roads are smoother than concrete roads, providing a safer driving experience.
Smooth roads are less likely to cause accidents, and when accidents do happen, they tend to be less severe on asphalt. This is because the softer surface absorbs some of the impact rather than transferring it directly to the vehicle and its occupants.
Further, asphalt has excellent skid resistance. As a result, drivers are less likely to lose control of their vehicles, even in wet or icy conditions—an ideal feature in places like Calgary, where it can snow for five to seven months.
Finally, the material contrasts nicely with painted lines and other markings, making them more visible and easier to follow.
3. It Is Durable and Easy to Maintain
Some of the asphalt’s biggest critics often say it lasts shorter than concrete. In reality, with correct installation and proper maintenance, its lifespan can be between 20 and 30 years.
It is also convenient to maintain. Other paved materials may have to be ripped out during replacement. In contrast, with asphalt, stripping off the topmost layer and applying a tack coat is usually enough.
4. Asphalt Paving Projects Are Quick
Using asphalt can also speed up the paving process. Although the curing process of this material can take months to a year, it can already dry within 48 to 72 hours. People can already drive or walk on it without causing damage by then.
Meanwhile, concrete has a significantly shorter curing period of seven days. However, it may not be passable until then.
5. Asphalt Is Environmentally Friendly
Asphalt is made from natural materials and is 100% recyclable. In Ontario, the reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) tonnage in 2018 reached 4.3 million.
Recycling asphalt requires less energy than making new asphalt, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also decreases waste materials ending in landfills or, worse, bodies of water.
Asphalt is one of the most sustainable paving materials available. It doesn’t require any toxic chemicals or solvents during production or installation, making it safe for the environment.
6. Asphalt Is Quiet
Asphalt is also known for its noise-reducing properties because it produces air voids that control water runoffs and dampen sound.
Quiet roads are essential in residential communities and businesses near high-traffic areas. They are also beneficial for hospitals, schools, and other places that need a relaxing environment.
There are many reasons why asphalt is a popular option for paving projects. It is cost-effective, durable, easy to maintain, and environmentally friendly. Asphalt roads are also safer to drive on than concrete roads.
To maximize the benefits of asphalt, be sure to work with an experienced and reputable contractor. They will ensure your asphalt paving project is completed correctly and efficiently.
For your paving needs in Calgary, call Holloway Paving at (403) 975-3030 and get a free quote.