Is There a Difference Between Asphalt and Blacktop?
Asphalt and blacktop look the same and provide essentially the same functions. So, is there is a difference? The answer is sort of. All of the ingredients used to make both are the same, but the way these ingredients are mixed is what separates asphalt from blacktop.
With asphalt, bitumen and crushed stone are combined at about 250 degrees. This ensures the mixture is pliable enough to pour onto paths or roads and is durable enough to drive and walk on.
Blacktop uses these same ingredients, but this mixture will use more crushed stone than asphalt will, and it will be heated to about 300 degrees. Generally, blacktop is less durable than asphalt and is used where traffic is lighter, such as driveways.
How Many Years Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?
Asphalt requires repairs more frequently than concrete but is much easier to do so. There are several factors at play when it comes to how long your asphalt driveway will last. The first thing to consider is its installation. Proper installation will make your asphalt driveway last much longer than one that is improperly or poorly installed. The quality of the asphalt itself also plays a part, so make sure to choose a high-quality manufacturer if you want your driveway to last a long time.
You should also consider the climate where you live, as rain and snow will wear your asphalt down faster. If you live in a warmer climate, lots of heat can also make asphalt crack.
Once you’ve installed the asphalt, you’ll have to work to maintain it as well. Proper asphalt maintenance involves parking in different places on the driveway, so as not to put pressure in one spot on the asphalt, hosing it down on hot days to keep it from cracking, and repairing any cracks or chips that appear before they grow larger.
If your asphalt is installed properly, and you put in the effort to maintain it, your driveway could last up to 35 years. It’s worth the work to maintain it!
How Long Does Asphalt Take to Fully Cure?
It can take up to a year for asphalt to fully cure. That may come as a shock and seem way too long, but don’t worry! It’s possible to drive on asphalt within 2-3 days after laying it down, and within around 30 days you’ll be able to seal it.
Sealing the asphalt just means that the oils can no longer escape. You’ll want to wait some time before you seal because it’s important that some of the oils in the asphalt disappear, which will allow the asphalt to harden. Likewise, you don’t want to let too many of those oils go, as the crushed rock that is used to make asphalt won’t be able to adhere properly.
Temperature, the way the asphalt has been installed, and the size of the rollers used for installation all contribute to how long it will take your asphalt to fully cure, but you’ll still be able to drive on it two to three days after installation. Sealing it at the right time and properly maintaining it will lengthen the life of your asphalt, keeping it in tip-top condition.
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