Posts by Michelle Davis

Thin Asphalt Overlay And Its Benefits

Thin asphalt overlays are defined as asphalt mixes that do not exceed 1.5 inches of thickness. This thin asphalt overlay acts as seal and protection of asphalt layers that can provide immediate and economical solutions to pavements that are still in good condition but needs repair. This can be applied as a thin layer on top of an existing pavement or as part of a mill-and-fill strategy. This may not make your pavement stronger in terms of structure, but it can improve driving conditions and address functional problems. But, this does not only provide a functional benefit but also helps extend the life of a pavement.

The Applications

Thin overlays are also known as “think lifts” as they provide a thin “lift” to the current pavement. Thin lifts are the best solution to roads that are still in good structural condition but needs resurfacing because of cracking, rutting, aging, raveling, minor disintegration, and oxidation. However, this is not the best solutions for roadways that need major reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The Benefits

The application and use of thin overlays have become popular as they can improve driving conditions, maintain surface geometrics, reduce pavement distresses, reduce noise, cost-effective, and provide lasting service. A study conducted by NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association) determined that asphalt surfaces last 10 years longer when thin lifts are applied to the base of the layer. Also, concrete pavements last five years longer when covered with a thin asphalt layer. Other benefits of thin lifts are as follows:

  • It lowers the life-cycle costs of asphalt pavements and concrete pavements. It also reduces initial costs.
  • It is durable that it can handle heavy pressure and traffic. This can be applied to high-traffic areas.
  • It is smooth and has a sealed surface.
  • It can restore the ability of a pavement to resist skidding.
  • No noticeable loose stones or binder runoff.
  • It helps minimize dust.
  • It does not need to cure, thus preventing traffic delays.
  • It is recyclable.
  • It can be used in stage construction.
  • It does not require a lot of maintenance.

If your pavement needs minor repair due to cracking and other minor problems on asphalt surfaces, you don’t need to call on the professional to have it fully reconstructed. Instead, you can opt for a more affordable, cost-effective choice. That is having think overlays on top of your still working pavement. Your pavement does not need full reconstruction to look new. It just needs a thin lift to achieve the same results as when you first drove over your pavement the first time it was constructed.

DIY Guide: How To Repair Alligator Cracks

There are different types of pavement problems that you may encounter in this lifetime. You will see some pavements with pot holes, sink holes, spiderweb cracks, and others. One of the most common types of asphalt problem is alligator cracking. You will know your pavement has alligator cracking if you see cracks that are similar to that on the back of a gator. Some would describe it as looking like spider web cracks. If your pavement is showing this type of problem, you should not freak out. Besides calling for professional help to resolve this issue, you can take the DIY route and fix the problem yourself.

The Materials

You will need three ingredients for this process. You will need an alligator asphalt patch, an asphalt sealcoat sealer, and an asphalt squeegee. If an asphalt squeegee is not available, you can always use an asphalt brush. Once you have filled the patches with an alligator patch, you will need to seal it for added protection.

  • Alligator Patch. This is very similar to cold pour crack fillers that you can buy at DIY stores. The difference is that this material has more solid ingredients that get harder when it dries comparing to cold pour crack fillers. This makes this type of patch filler suitable for alligator cracks. You can easily find alligator asphalt patch at DIY stores or lumber stores.
  • Asphalt Squeegees. Squeegees can be used for different purposes, and one of its uses is for patching alligator cracks. This can also be used for applying a sealcoat over your asphalt pavement. When you go to the store to buy one, you will find different varieties of this product. The size of an asphalt squeegee starts from 24 inches. For faster work, you may need something that is bigger than two feet. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can use the smallest asphalt squeegee as it will do the same job as the bigger ones.
  • Asphalt Sealcoat Sealer. This can be bought at different hardware stores. There are different types of driveway sealer that you can choose from. You can either use a coal tar emulsion sealer, asphalt emulsion, oil-based sealer, fast-dry sealer, or acrylic sealer. No matter what sealer you use, you just have to make sure that you’ve done your research and have determined which one best suits your needs.

How Much Alligator Patch Do You Need?

To make sure that you are buying enough or more than enough alligator patch, make sure that you did some serious measurements before you hit the store. You should not need more than one 5-gallon of alligator patch where one gallon can cover a 20 square feet of alligator cracking. Again, it is important to take measurements before you hit the store so you can properly estimate the amount of alligator patch that you need to cover every crack that you have on your pavement.


You just need to follow four simple steps to patch alligator cracks on your pavement.

  1. In the middle of the repair area, you can pour a general amount of alligator patch to cover the entire area.
  2. Use the squeegee to spread the patch leaving a layer of an eighth of an inch or a fourth of an inch of alligator patch.
  3. You can pour more alligator patch when you need to.
  4. To balance the entire area, you can spread more alligator patch outside the repair area thinning it out to the areas where there are no cracks to achieve a natural look.

When this is done, you just have to wait until the patch is dry. This can take several hours depending on how thick and deep the patch is. You will know when the patch is dry if it is already hard.

A Buying Guide: Which Asphalt Seal Coater Is Best For You

Giving your asphalt driveway a coating every three years will not only make it last longer, but will also make it look better. A seal coat can help protect your asphalt driveway against the sun, moisture, rain, oil, gasoline, and other materials that can potentially harm and shorten the life-span of your asphalt driveway.

DIY (do-it-yourself) products and materials that you can buy in the supermarkets and handyman stores to fill cracks and seal asphalt driveways are often not as good as the ones used by professional contractors. But, there are products that you can use to achieve the same results as when professional contractors do it. You just have to know which materials to use. Doing so will help you save up to 65% of professional fees.

The options that you can choose from when you visit your local store may be limited. You just have to make the best out of the products that you can buy. When you are out shopping for the best asphalt sealer for you and your asphalt, here are the things that you should consider:

Should You Buy Coal Tar or Asphalt Based Sealers?

Asphalt sealers that you can find in retail stores are often water-based emulsions which can contain water, latex, polymer, clay fillers, additives, asphalt, or coal tar. Asphalt-based sealers are quite popular because it is friendly to the environment. Significant changes and improvement have been made to asphalt-based sealers to make it more durable, more resistant to gas, oil, and ultraviolet rays. But, coal tar is still the best choice when it comes to sealing asphalt driveways. Coal tar sealers are more resistant to oil, gasoline, moisture, and UV rays. The use of coal tar has proven to improve the longevity of asphalt driveways. The only drawback of using this kind of sealer is that it emits high levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) which can make the air smell foul and is potentially harmful to the environment.


Judging the quality of coal tar and asphalt-based sealers according to their formulation would be difficult as this information is proprietary. You will not be able to get this information on the label. Thus, making it difficult to determine which one is better in terms of formulation. However, the rule-of-the-thumb says that products that are better in quality come with a long warranty. The longer the warranty a sealer comes with, the better. This way, you and your investment are protected. When buying a sealer, make sure that you check the warranty before paying for it. This will easily be seen on the label.

Coverage And Cost

Asphalt based sealers are a little bit expensive because it emits lesser VOC levels and the process and technology added to improve its performance. Thin coal tar that can cover about 400 square feet usually costs up to $8 per 5-gallon of sealer. Don’t expect this kind of sealer to last for more than one season. Plain sealers, which is a level higher than the previous sealer, costs up to $11. This type of sealers is unsanded which has a more solid texture. This can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt. The same goes to sealers in the upper end. The heavy-duty sealers can cost up to $20 per 5-gallon of sealer. And depending on the condition of the asphalt driveway, it can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt.

Buying a sealer really depends on your needs and how exposed your asphalt is to foot and vehicle traffic. For asphalt pavements that do not go through a lot of foot traffic, a low-end sealer can be used. For places that go through a lot of foot and vehicle traffic, it is recommended to use heavy-duty sealers.

Why Sealcoating Asphalt Pavements Is A Must

Business owners face the same struggles and decisions that need to be made. Which investment to invest to? Which investment to let go? What costs to cut? What strategy to focus to? However, your business is not only about what you can do inside the confines of your office. Your business extends to what is outside of your business. It extends up to your parking lot.

If you have allotted a space for every vehicle that your employees own, then having a parking lot that is in superb condition is a must. Ask yourself whether your parking lot is in good condition or not. Will it last for another year or two? If not, have you considered applying a seal coater over it? Doing so would save you and your company more expenses of reconstructing your parking lot.

The decision of having your asphalt seal coated only takes understanding your asphalt needs. Asphalt is made of gravel, sand, stones, combined with cement to keep everything together. As time goes by, these materials break because they are continuously exposed to sun, rain, gas, oil, and other organic or inorganic materials that can damage each material, and thus shorten its lifespan. As it loses its traction, flexibility, and pliability, it will not be able to withstand heavy loads and heavy traffic. To lessen the effects of organic and inorganic materials to asphalt, sealing it must be done.

The Benefits

Sealing your asphalt with a seal coat will give you several benefits. The most obvious benefit that you can enjoy with a seal coated asphalt is that it will make your asphalt look better. In addition, a seal coat can also help prolong its longevity as it helps protect the asphalt layer against any destructive agent that can damage and make it prone to breakage. Besides from enjoying the two benefits mentioned, here are the other things you can enjoy when you seal coat your driveway or parking lot:

  • You and your customer will enjoy better traction when you drive or walk over your parking lot.
  • It will help traffic lines become more visible as an asphalt sealer can make your asphalt look darker.
  • Applying a seal coat on your driveway will make your curb look better.
  • A seal coat can also decrease the damage that organic or inorganic compounds on the asphalt.
  • A sealed asphalt driveway seals away moisture and water, which helps prolong the life and bond of each material.
  • It impedes oxidation, which is the primary agent of asphalt hardening that results to breakage.
  • It protects your investment.

As you can see, you will benefit more with sealcoating your asphalt driveway and parking lot. Having it done is a matter of deciding whether you want it or not.

Asphalt Paving: The Different Colors Of Asphalt

It is commonplace to see asphalt paving in different suburban areas like the streets, driveways, bike trails, highways, and car parks. The reason behind this is that asphalt is made of durable materials and is made to last. It is also resistant to different weather conditions, that is why asphalt is used in road construction, car parks, and private paths. In comparison to concrete, asphalt is a more economical choice. It is cost-effective and is not easily damaged. It is also easy to maintain and repair. However, if your asphalt driveway is poorly maintained, then don’t be surprised if it needs to be removed or replaced years after. Doing so does not require a lot of time and hassle, though. In addition, you can use a recycled asphalt to resurface your driveway.

A traditional asphalt driveway will come in colors black or gray. However, with the advent of technology, it is now possible to find asphalt layers in different colors. This will give you the chance to be playful on your asphalt in terms of appearance and look. You will also have a chance to give your driveway a livelier look as opposed to the plain colors of asphalt. The good news is, your existing asphalt driveway can also be colored according to your choosing and can also be fashioned in different patterns.


Your Color Options

Asphalt can also be stamped, just like concrete surfaces. This means that it can also be fashioned in different colors and designed. Though asphalt is made of sand, rocks, and bitumen, which usually produce the darker shade of color, asphalt surfaces can be in different colors using different types of machine.

The different asphalt colors are as follows:

  • Chocolate Brown
  • Sandy Sand
  • Red Rose
  • Pure White
  • Slate Green
  • Pale Terracotta
  • Brown Brick
  • Smokey Grey


When Choosing The Color

When choosing the type of color for your asphalt, it is essential that you also consider the color of your home. You don’t want an asphalt that is too bright or too dark for your home. Make sure that it still compliments the entire atmosphere of your house. In addition, you should also consider your plants around your house, the type of community you are situated, and the existing color of your pathways or walkways. The most important thing to remember is that everything should complement each other to provide a harmonious environment for you and for your neighbors.

Other contractors may offer you more color varieties to choose from. The important thing is that you now know that your asphalt can go beyond its black and gray color. Giving your driveway and curb a different look is only a matter of choosing the right color for your driveway. For DIY-ers, you can also make your own asphalt color sealer.

3 Types Of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

If you think that asphalt can only be used in constructing roads and driveways, you have thought wrong. There are other industries that make use of asphalt to support production, like agriculture or aquaculture. In residential purposes, asphalt can also be used on the roof in the form of asphalt roofing shingles.


Here are the three different types of asphalt roofing shingles:


  1. Strip Shingles. Strip shingles are considered to be the most basic type of roofing shingles that is being sold in the market today. Other types of shingles have been fashioned through this original shingle. This type of roofing is so called because of how it is layered on the roof. It is installed in a single strip (layer). Each shingle is designed to look like a slate. When you look at a roof with strip shingles, you will notice that they appear in flat. This type of roofing material is also made light weight, which is good news to all constructors. As it is the original asphalt roofing shingle, it is the most popular roofing shingle sold in the market. However, with the aid of technology, two other varieties have been made.


  1. Dimensional Shingles. This type of roofing shingle is not as flat and is not installed in a single layer. Dimensional shingles, as the name suggests, is dual layered or multi-layered. This creates added protection from natural and environmental elements. It also provides a thicker and richer look to the roofs. Another factor that separates dimensional shingles to strip shingles is the weight. It is heavier compared to its predecessor. And because it is dual or multilayered, it is warrantied to last at least 30 years up to a lifetime. It is for this reason that this type of roofing shingle is now the most popular type that is being sold and used in the industry.


  1. Luxury Shingles. This type of shingle is described as laminated. It looks different and functions differently than the traditional dimensional and strip shingles. The look of luxury roofing shingles mimics a natural slate shingle or a natural shake roofing shingle that is found in old-world residential roofs. The advantage of luxury shingles is that it is resistant to impact and has the ability to reflect the sun. These two features are surely to extend the life of the roofing system. It also is able to provide lower energy cost.


The next time you plan for a home improvement, especially if you are looking into renovating your roof, make sure that you consider using roofing shingles. Besides its functionality, these types of roofing materials are also made to last. They also offer a different look to your home.

How To Proactively Care For Your Driveway

Having a driveway constructed is not as easy as buying new clothes from the store. It is an investment to your home. And just like other types of investment, it is a must that you protect it. With this in mind, there are different things that you can do so you can proactively care for your driveway. Here are some of them:

  • The things you need to avoid doing on a newly paved driveway:

Newly paved asphalt driveways can feel and be soft during warm weathers, especially in the summer season. With this in mind, you should avoid parking your car on the same spot over and over again. This will prevent any depression to occur. Also, you should avoid placing heavy objects or planters on your driveway. If you want to park your boat or trailer on it, make sure that you protect your driveway by placing a piece of plywood over it. This will help manage the weight of your trailer or boat. You also need to avoid making a turn before your car is moving.

  • When should you seal your driveway?

Two years after you have installed your new asphalt driveway should be the best time to have it sealed. But, you may hear other contractors or owners that it is okay to have it sealed three months after construction. This is because a new asphalt driveway needs 60 to 90 days to fully cure. When a sealant is applied before the asphalt has cured, the sealant will not bond and adhere because the oil in the asphalt will find its way up to the surface. It is always best to wait for the asphalt to fully cure before sealing is done.

  • How often should you seal your driveway?

Sometimes, families with many cars feel like adding a second coat of sealant on the driveway is best because it goes through a high car traffic over time. However, applying too much sealant on the driveway could result to spider cracking. The reason for this is because the sealant itself is hard. It is not as bendable as the asphalt layer that it is protecting. This means that too much application or a thick layer of sealant will result to cracking. It is best to wait for the sealant to wear before reapplying another layer. This means waiting two to three years. But, this also varies on the use and condition of the driveway. Generally speaking, if you see loose stones in the asphalt binder, then it is time to re-apply a sealant.

  • Always keep an eye for cracks. It cannot be avoided that your driveway will age and will show visible cracks over time. When you see one, it is recommended that you address the issue before it grows into a much bigger damage. An untreated crack will allow moisture to go into the asphalt layer, which, in turn, will lead to asphalt deterioration and failure. Depending on the type of damage you see, you can either call a contractor for a patch repair, infrared repair, pot hole repair, or a cold patch repair. For small cracks, you can repair them yourselves with the use of a filler.

In the medical field, they have a saying that goes “prevention is better than cure”. This philosophy can also be applied to your driveway. Thus, it is always better to be proactive in caring for your asphalt before you find yourself spending more money for its repair.

Different Uses Of Asphalt

Admit it! When you hear someone say asphalt, the first thing that comes to mind is driveways or roads. However, asphalts are flexible enough that it is used for other applications and in different locations. They can be used not just in driveways or roads, but also used in barn floors or ocean floors.

One of the most commonly used asphalt material is HMA or Hot Mixed Asphalt. This is used as a practical solution to flood control, water storage, erosion, and other conservation problems. They are also used as a primary liner in hazardous wastes landfills and sanitary landfills. On the other hand, you can also see asphalt being used in running tracks, race tracks, playgrounds, golf cart paths and bicycle paths, tennis courts, and even in basketball courts. In aquatic applications, they care used in making reservoir liners, sea walls, dikes, groins to prevent soil erosion in beaches, fish hatcheries, and industrial retention ponds. For residential purposes, they are also used to build subdivision roads. In agriculture, they are used in creating barn floors, poultry house floors, cattle feed lots, and greenhouse floors. For industrial purposes, they are used in log yards, work sites, freight yards, and landfill caps.

As you can see, asphalt is not only limited to creating driveways and roads, which are the most common areas where asphalt is being used. Asphalt is made of flexible materials that allow it to be used in different fields. Also, asphalt comes in different types, which allows different applications and functions. Other asphalt types are as follows:

  • Porous Asphalt (Permeable Asphalt)
  • Double Layered Porous Asphalt
  • Soft Asphalt
  • Hot Rolled Asphalt
  • Stone Mastic Asphalt
  • Mastic Asphalt
  • Asphalt Concrete (for both ultra thin and very thin layers)

Depending on the application of the asphalt, it can be heated up to 190°C. But warm mix asphalts (WMA) are only heated up to 40°C, while cold mix asphalts don’t need reheating.

Because of the different benefits of using asphalt, it has become the most used paving material all over the world. Many companies opt the use of asphalt in comparison to using concrete as it is more flexible in terms of repair. It is also less costly to maintain and have constructed. Homeowners are also enjoying an environmentally-friendly driveway with porous asphalts. This helps water management in big cities too. But, as you know, asphalt is not limited to residential and commercial uses. They are used in different industries like agriculture and recreation.


DIY Asphalt Sealcoating

Sealcoating your driveway is one of the most essential steps in prolonging its life. It can protect your driveway from harmful agents that can make it lose its waterproofing ability and adhesive ability. If you have not sealed your driveway yet, then you should. You can either consult a professional and have this done, or you can do it yourself. If you have decided to seal your driveway the DIY way, here are the steps that you should follow.

Step 1: Planning

Plan your sealing properly. This means that you have to determine the length and width of your driveway as this will determine the amount of sealant that you will use. A five-gallon sealant will be able to cover a 400 to 500 square feet driveway. Also, make sure that you have all the essential ingredients and tools to prepare and seal your driveway such as a sealer brush and safety glasses. You will also need an old set of clothing, old sneakers, rags, spray bottle, paint roller, push broom, leaf blower, weed trimmer, long stem paint stirring paddle, and oil spot primer.

Step 2: Clean and Prepare Your Driveway

On the day that you are going to seal your driveway, make sure that the temperature during the day is not below 18°C (65°F) and not below 10°C (50°F) at night. Anything below the said temperatures will not help cure the sealant properly. When you have determined the right temperatures, then you can start preparing the driveway by trimming away any grass or weed along the edges. Also, make sure that debris and dirt are removed from the surface. You can use a powered blower and a broom to do this.

To remove dust on the surface, you can pressure wash the surface. This will help remove dusts, debris, and grasses that have fallen between the cracks. Once this is done, you can then re-blow your driveway with the power blower that you have. You have to remember that the sealant will bond better if your driveway is super clean.

Step 3: Sealing Cracks and Holes

You can do this by using an asphalt patch or an acrylic sealant. Or if you can get hold of a hot rubberized crack sealant that professional pavers use, then you should use it to fill the cracks and holes that are present on your driveway. This hot sealant is better when it comes to repairing small cracks and holes. Remove any excess sealant on the driveway as soon as it has cooled down. Also, make sure that the oil primer you used with the sealant is dry before you start sealcoating your driveway.

Step 4: Sealcoating

Before you pour the sealer unto your driveway, make sure that it is thoroughly mixed. Use the stirring tool that comes with it. If it doesn’t have a stirring tool, you can use any object (stick or wood) to stir it well. Make sure that no sand stays at the bottom of the bucket and see to it that everything is suspended. Once this is done, you can pour the sealant on the driveway. You can start spreading small amounts of sealant. This will make sure the sealant will not dry out on you before you are able to spread and smooth everything out. Work your way across the driveway by using the sealer brush and spreading the sealant in straight or perpendicular lines. Make sure the lines overlap each other by an inch or so. Try to make the lines as even as possible as it will be evident when the sealant is completely dry.

Sealcoating a driveway may be a taxing job to do. But, you will be satisfied once everything is done. You will also give your driveway a better chance of surviving that long. If you are not so keen with the DIY way, you can always consult the professionals so you can have expert help on your side.

The 3 Main Asphalt Types


Asphalt can be the most convenient way to go when you want to smooth out uneven surface or to fill any potholes. However, before you start working your way around asphalt and fixing potholes and other asphalt problems, it is important that you know the different types that you can use for each project. There are three main asphalt materials that you can use that are available in the market today. These are Hot Asphalt, Cold Mix, and UPM (Unique Paving Materials).

Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-Mix Asphalt or HMA is typically used by construction crew when paving and patching driveways. This is because it is the easiest type to work with. This type of asphalt is typically delivered to the job site via dump trucks, and they usually come in at 300 to 315°F. This is a permanent solution to any asphalt pavement problem. When you decide to use this to address your driveway issues, then you should remember using it as soon as possible. If it cools down, it will be very difficult for you to spread it over the pothole. When it is completely cooled down, it will be like turning over a boulder or a huge rock.

Cold Mix

If HMA is a permanent fix to an asphalt problem, Cold Mix is a temporary fix as it does not last long as the previous type. This type of asphalt repair mix is used to repair cracks that are more than an inch wide. This is also very suitable to repair potholes in the winter as it does not need warming up. The cold temperature is advantageous for this kind of asphalt. The advantage of using a cold mix is that you don’t have to use expensive asphalt tampers and rollers. You also don’t have to mix it or heat it up before you can start patching holes up or filling cracks in your driveway. You can simply shovel and pour it over the cracks or potholes. Level it up, and you are done.

Unique Paving Materials

Unique Paving Materials or UPM are considered as a cold mix. However, unlike Cold Mix, this is a permanent solution to cracks and potholes on the driveway. This type of material can be used all year round, unlike the previous two options. The temperature of this material can be adjusted as the need arises. This does not also require the same machinery as HMA. It only needs a shovel and the truck tires to compact the material. Once this is done, you can immediately use the newly patched driveway.

The three types of potholes and crack solutions above are the most basic materials that you can use whenever the need arises. You just have to determine which one is most suitable for you. You can either have this done on your own, or you can hire a professional to help seal and patch cracks and holes on your driveways. Either way, the materials will be able to help with your asphalt pavement problems.

Types of Permeable Pavements

permeable pavements

Besides having the regular concrete or asphalt pavement, you also have the option to go the permeable way. Permeable pavements are on the rise today because of its ability to allow water to go through the surface and be absorbed by the soil underneath. Because the layer is permeable, it can be expected that no flooding will occur unless the place is under a huge hurricane or typhoon. In addition to managing storm water, it also allows air and sunlight to penetrate the soil under the pavement later nourishing the roots of trees and grass around the area. In addition, the water or snow that has gone through the permeable surface can recharge the underground water system that naturally occurs.

So, what are the types of permeable pavements?


Permeable Concrete

The regular non-porous concrete uses a mixture of coarse gravel, fine gravel, cement, water, and other additives. The fine material added to the concrete mixture makes the cement impervious to water or non-permeable to water. In order to achieve a porous or permeable concrete, the fine material is reduced to a substantial level or is totally removed. With the absence of fines, a 15% to 25% permeable surface may be achieved. This will allow an average of 480 in/hour of water flow. Because the surface of this concrete is porous and permeable, it is to be expected that it will not show the same smoothness as when the fines are added to the mix.


Permeable Asphalt

This asphalt technology was developed in the 1970’s. Just like concrete, the fines are removed from the mixture so to create voids and air gaps that will make the asphalt surface permeable to water. Large aggregates are also added to the mix to create and increase the void space. To avoid any asphalt binder to move and cover air spaces, additional additives and binders are poured into the mix to avoid migration of binders. This will reinforce the fiber and assist with cohesion leaving the air gaps intact and unclogged.


Concrete Pavers

If you have seen pathways or driveways made of a brick-looking material, then you are looking at a concrete paver driveway. This type of driveway is semi or partially permeable. The spaces in between the blocks can be filled with grass or gravel, which offers a different kind of finish. This type of permeable pavement is only recommended for low traffic areas like footpaths and driveways. It is not recommended for highways and busy streets.


There are other permeable materials that you can use to make your driveway more environmentally friendly than before. Other types of permeable pavements are turf reinforcing grid, decks, open graded aggregate, and soft paving materials (wood mulch). Because it is not as compact as the regular concrete or asphalt installation, it is recommended that this type of pavement be cared for properly and regularly. Without proper care, it will not last as long as it should be, which is for 20 years.

Porous Asphalt: What It Is All About

porous asphalt

There are different kinds of materials that you can use for constructing your own pavement. One of them is porous asphalt. If you are looking into constructing your first pavement or re-doing your current one, then you should continue reading this article and consider the use of this versatile material for your driveway.


What It Can Do

This kind of pavement installation is of great interests to road engineers, public-works departments, and site planners. The reason for this is because this material is permeable. It allows storm water to drain through the asphalt into the recharge bed and then to the soil underneath. It promotes infiltration and, in the process, improve water quality. It also eliminates the need of detention basin. Furthermore, the lifespan of this material could last for 20 years with proper care and maintenance. This means that it is not only less costly, but it is of great value to your money.


How It Works

The installation of porous asphalt is quite easy. All you have to remember when constructing is to provide water enough space for it to go through the stone bed. The stone bed should also provide enough space for the water to sip through the soil underneath. The stone bed should also be designed accordingly that storm water will not rise to the level of the asphalt layer. Most of the times, the stone bed is designed to be 18 to 36 inches in depth, which provides a good sub-base for the asphalt layer.


The Cost

A stone bed under the asphalt layer is considered as a special feature, which makes the construction more costly in comparison to regular asphalt construction. However, the cost that you pay is offset by the benefits that it provides in relation to managing storm water. In addition, the cost of having a stone bed installed is lesser than the cost of having a different kind of storm-water management system or having a detention basin.


How It Looks

In comparison to the regular asphalt layer, porous asphalt is coarser and not as smooth. In first glance, it actually will not appear porous. You will only notice its coarser texture if you really focus your eyes on it. In addition, the smoothness of this kind of asphalt installation has passed the requirements set by ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).


Equipment And Skills Needed for Installation

Another advantage of having this kind of asphalt pavement installed is that it does not need any proprietary equipment or a special set of skills to be installed. Only regular machinery and training are needed to have this properly done. It does not also require any special ingredient for it to become porous.


Porous Asphalt and Water Quality

As mentioned above, porous asphalt helps improve water quality. But the questions is “How?”. Studies have been made, although limited, and it shows that an enormous amount of grease, suspended solid, oil, and metals are removed as the water through the porous asphalt to the stone bed and to the soil underneath. It is in this sense that porous asphalt helps in making water quality better.


Other Environmental Benefits

Besides allowing water to sip through underneath making storm-water easy to manage, it provides a cooler setting. The reason for this is because of its porous nature. Another advantage of installing this kind of pavement is that it lessens the demand for the sewer system. This can be good news to some but not as favorable to the sewer industry.