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May 20, 2022
A good portion of our infrastructure nationwide consists of a concrete base with asphalt paved on top —this combination does not make for durable surfaces, specifically for parking lots and driveways. To learn more about why this is the case, here’s a guide on all you need to know about paving asphalt on top of concrete.
The go-to material for paving driveways and parking lots is asphalt. Asphalt is a mixture of four aggregates (sand, crushed rock, slags, gravel) and a binding agent called bitumen. These materials form a completely recycled pavement material.
Concrete is much harder than asphalt and comprises only two aggregates: sand and gravel. Mixed cement and water bind this mixture together to produce a strong pavement material. However, concrete is inferior to asphalt because its lack of flexibility makes it less durable.
While you might assume that the hardness of concrete makes it better than asphalt, its inability to withstand aggressive weather conditions is a significant drawback. Concrete’s low tensile strength and long curing time require things like a steel framework to set. It corrodes faster than asphalt, and signs of damage are less obvious, leading to worse conditions over time.
You’ll find asphalt over concrete on roads throughout your town. This is typical because the existing road was originally made from concrete, and it’s more cost-effective to pave asphalt on top when updating and repairing.
Since governments have the money and resources to keep up with asphalt-over-concrete surfaces and the many infrastructure problems that arise over time, this process is doable. Inversely, home and business owners want to ensure their parking lots or driveways are durable for many years to come. As such, it’s recommended that you ditch the concrete base and pave a full asphalt surface.
Why are concrete-free asphalt driveways and parking lots so much better? For starters, they suffer from fewer issues than concrete-based surfaces, namely difficulties with maintenance and repairs.
Removing a layer of asphalt every time these repairs occur is expensive and counterproductive. Opting for full asphalt surfaces means you only have to tend to the asphalt when damages occur. Plus, these parking lots and driveways are far more quiet, smooth, safe, and have better skid resistance. Asphalt lots absorb heat effectively, which is important since driveways and parking lots see more foot traffic than roads.
As you can see, paving asphalt on top of concrete is suitable for roads, but it makes more sense to replace damaged roads with full asphalt surfaces. If you need to update your parking lot or driveway, check out our asphalt sealcoating equipment here at NAC Supply!
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