Asphalt is capable of serving in a variety of commercial construction applications and settings. According to the Asphalt Institute, roughly 94% of the U.S. is paved with asphalt, including:
- Parking lots
- Bicycle paths
- Sports court surfaces
Asphalt’s versatility for commercial paving is one of its standout traits, but it is far from the only one. There are several additional benefits of asphalt when used in commercial construction.
Seven Benefits of Commercial Asphalt Paving
Whether a Houston organization needs a new access road, a new lot for its fleet vehicles, a new walkway, or another commercial construction project, here are seven benefits of using asphalt for the job:
- Asphalt is Durable – Asphalt is built to last for decades if the pavement is properly maintained. Specially, this means sealing the asphalt immediately after installation and every other year thereafter. Seal coating protects the asphalt pavement from wear, weather, and UV rays, extending its lifespan, appearance and performance in the process. Other than sealcoating, property owners can protect their asphalt by responding promptly to any signs of distress, including potholes, depressions, aggregate loss, rutting, and severe cracking. An expert commercial asphalt contractor can identify the underlying causes of this distress and provide repairs. The repairs will improve 521the pavement’s integrity and prevent any damage from spreading or worsening. Beyond this, have the paving contractor overlay the asphalt every 5-10 years for lasting results. If property owners are willing to make these modest maintenance investments on a regular schedule, the asphalt’s deeper layers may be preserved indefinitely.
- Asphalt is Cost Efficient – While asphalt pavement requires the occasional round of maintenance, it is still a cost-efficient construction material. Compared to concrete, asphalt installation services cost around 50 percent less, though prices are governed by regional factors that can alter this comparison. No matter where your property is located, asphalt is less expensive to install and maintain compared to concrete.
- Asphalt Can Be Installed Quickly – Although asphalt curing times are affected by temperature, humidity, and other climate conditions, it is generally ready for pedestrian and vehicle traffic within 72 hours and is often ready for use sooner than that. Compare this to concrete, which needs a full week of curing before it’s ready to be used. With its faster curing time, asphalt is ideal for any business that can’t afford extended downtime. If your parking lot or access road needs to be up and running as soon as possible, nothing beats asphalt in terms of timeline.
- Asphalt is Flexible – Asphalt is officially termed a “flexible pavement” because it bends and deflects (compresses like a spring) while under load. Asphalt’s physical flexibility is advantageous in applications where the pavement must be fitted into tight spaces or must feature tight turns. Asphalt is easier to shape than concrete, making for a faster, less expensive paving project. Flexibility is also important if the pavement will be connected to a road or other piece of pavement. Flexibility makes asphalt a popular choice for access roads that wind around buildings and connect multiple lots or paved areas on the property.
- Improved Surface for Driving – Asphalt provides a pleasant, reliable road surface for motorists, supporting better motorist safety and comfort. Compared to concrete, asphalt offers better traction and skid resistance – both of which are important in areas where wet conditions are common, such as Houston. Asphalt manages this because it cures with a smooth surface, promoting maximum contact between the road and tires. Asphalt’s smooth, flexible nature makes for a smoother ride as well. The material produces little sound and vibration, minimizing motorist distractions and allowing for better control over the vehicle.
- Asphalt Provides High Contrast with Striping – New asphalt paving has a rich, black finish that is ideal for striping, which motorists and pedestrians rely on for safe navigation. Parking space lanes, traffic direction arrows, handicap spaces, fire zones, and no parking zones are some of the critical road markings that must be plainly visible to be effective. Since asphalt pavement is darker in color, it’s easier to create noticeable color contrast between the road and the striping. If your facility sees a lot of heavy traffic, and if safety is a concern, asphalt can protect your people by improving the visibility of any pavement striping. Asphalt maintenance – sealcoating, in particular – can support the pavement’s dark appearance.
- Asphalt is Sustainable – Asphalt producers have earned a reputation for being sustainability-focused, with manufacturing and application processes that reduce environmental impact. In fact, no other construction material is recycled at the scale that asphalt is, with around 80 percent of all recovered asphalt going right back into circulation in new construction projects. This takes somewhere close to 100 million tons of material out of landfills every year, greatly reducing the footprint of asphalt projects. Some of this material includes waste that would have no other practical purpose, including disposed of tires, slag, and foundry sand. Businesses also realize cost savings due to this sustainability. When it is time for an overlay or other extensive repair job, any existing asphalt that is removed during the process can be sent to an asphalt plant for reclamation. Sometimes the asphalt can be reclaimed on the spot using specialized equipment. In both cases, business owners come out ahead with reduced disposal fees, so the process is good for the budget and for the environment.
Work with a Reputable Pavement Contractor to Realize the Maximum Benefits of Asphalt for Commercial Construction
For your next pavement project, be sure to work with a paving contractor that has extensive experience with asphalt for commercial construction. Commercial asphalt paving is cost efficient and quick to install, and the material works well in a variety of commercial pavement applications including roads and parking lots.