Many modern roads are constructed from versatile asphalt. Asphalt is easy to pour, quick to set and is 100 percent recyclable making this one petroleum product that’s environmentally friendly. There are many useful aspects to asphalt, but it isn’t perfect. One of the most common asphalt issues experienced nationwide is the dreaded pothole.

Potholes are a major pain in the tailpipe, and they can rattle both your car and your wallet. How bad can potholes affect your vehicle? Here’s what you should be looking out for if you live in a pothole-filled neighborhood.

5 Ways Potholes Destroy Your Car

Body

The lower your car’s frame, the more likely a pothole can damage it. Low profile racing-style vehicles or cars that have been lowered past their stock level and clear the asphalt are the most susceptible. Cars with low bodies can have damage to wheel wells, fenders, bumpers, and even chases damage from potholes.

Exhaust

Most potholes can’t reach into your car’s inner workings, but deeper ones can. This could be major trouble for your vehicle’s exhaust. Deep potholes can jostle your exhaust or even peel off your muffler. You may only receive minor dents or punctures, but these can cause issues with your vehicle. You can notice a loose or jarred exhaust by rattling underneath the vehicle.

Suspension and Alignment

Your suspension can be affected by potholes. Your suspicion wants to keep your ride comfortable and on the straight and narrow. Potholes, depending on their nastiness, can wage war on your vehicle’s suspension by jarring components that keep your car’s suspension in working order or breaking them altogether.

This can misalign the vehicle or affect components in your suspension system. You’ll usually be able to feel suspension issues right away after hitting a pothole, the car may handle differently, or you might now have to turn the wheel more severely to align correctly. You should have any suspension and alignment issues addressed immediately to avoid further damage to your vehicle.

Tires

Potholes can impact tires. Many of us have found ourselves pulled over with a flat and a jack after hitting a nasty pothole. Potholes have sharp walls that can impact tires causing flats, busts, or small ruptures that lead to slowly-deflating tires. If you hit a nasty pothole, you should find somewhere safe to pull over and check your tires.

Frustrated Drivers

Potholes can compound other problems. Drivers who hit potholes aren’t happy about it, so they’ll take a different street to avoid potholes in the future. It won’t only be one driver that takes this route but several, and before long you can have a bottleneck of frustrated drivers jamming up the one pothole-free road. It’s never good to have frustrated drivers on the road who are more likely to drive aggressively and cause accidents.

Fixing Asphalt Potholes

Any potholes on city streets should be reported to the city or your local jurisdiction. A city can’t do anything about a pothole until they’re aware of the issue. So make them aware immediately. If you’re a private road owner who needs a pothole patched, you should hire a reputable asphalt company to help you with the issue. Most asphalt patches are quick fixes, but they do take time.

Though asphalt is an excellent paving material, it can experience potholes. Potholes can damage vehicles in several different ways from bumper to bumper, so drivers and parking lot owners alike should pay attention if they pop up. Alert your city to any potholes so they can get the issue addressed immediately. No one likes potholes, but asphalt’s natural properties make them easy and quick to fix for a high-quality driving surface.

It’s still popular today, but asphalt has been used for centuries. Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is a naturally occurring substance, it just gets doctored up and enhanced before it ends up on your parking lots or highways.

It seems strange that there are advances in asphalt every day, but just because a building material is ancient, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. We’ve seen these types of improvements with enhanced binders, substrate, and now we could even have asphalt that fixes itself.

Scientists from the University of Delft recently told media outlets that they are currently working on developing self-repairing asphalt for use on highways, driveways, parking lots, and more. The new formulation of asphalt would use a combination of material technology to “heal” itself through induction heating and other methods.

Small cracks and divots in asphalt can quickly turn to large fissures and damaging potholes, but self-healing asphalt would fill in any gaps or divots before the asphalt has a chance to become further damaged. The research and materials could save utility companies and government operations possibly millions if not billions of dollars by avoiding having to send out a team for repairs and maintenance altogether.

Self-healing asphalt seems like something out of science fiction but what if I told you this new type of asphalt could also be made to charge electrical vehicles? While conducting their research, scientists at the University of Delft found an added benefit to the new formulation – the reinforcement steel fibers and natural bacteria could be utilized to charge the vehicle. So far it’s only while a vehicle is stopped and parked on top of the specialized asphalt, but it is an amazing stride in technology nonetheless.

So when will see self-healing asphalt on highways? Unfortunately, not anytime soon. The research team faces many challenges to make the concept a reality, including wireless charging systems for vehicles, how to trigger enough heat to kick-start the repair, and of course funding. We likely won’t see self-healing or charging asphalt on our roads anytime soon, but the advances on the horizon are setting us up for an incredible self-healing and car-charging superhighway.

Asphalt is one heck of material. Its versatility, practicality, and ease-of-use have had asphalt in use by people for centuries, and that same asphalt that past generations used is still in use today. How? Because not only does asphalt hold the preceding qualities, it is also extreme recyclable.

Recycling asphalt is so important that Kentucky recently made grants available to Kentucky counties to utilize recycled tires and their asphalt contents for local projects, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles G. Snavely announced recently.

The counties can request the grants for either recycled tires and asphalt meant for use as chip-seal or recycled tires and asphalt meant for thin asphalt overlay applications. Counties can request can apply for the funding to be granted 24,000 yards of the chip-seal, or 12,000 yards of the asphalt overlay. The two types of asphalt can be utilized for several different purposes including roadway and parking lot repair, maintenance, and construction.

Applicants who are allowed the grants must complete an equivalent asphalt project utilizing standard asphalt funded by themselves.

The grants are not just a gift to Kentucky counties, but also an ongoing test to compare standard asphalt against asphalt that utilizes recycled tire materials. The recycled tire asphalt differs from standard asphalt in that crumb derived from shredded rubber tires is added to the mix instead of another standard substrate like gravel.

Current research points to numerous benefits to utilizing recycled tires in asphalt mixes. It can reduce overall asphalt cost, help recycle thousands of pounds of old tires, increase road life, provide skid protection, and reduce road noise. Many recycled-tire modified asphalt proponents believe the tire-fortified version is better than the “real” thing.

The funding for the grant comes from the Kentucky Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives $1 for every new tire sold in the state of Kentucky. The fund works to recycle and reuse old tires and develop markets for those recycled materials and also hosts waste tire collection events, waste tire cleanup, and grants for counties to manage their waste tires.

Kentucky’s experiment could have positive results not only for the state but for the entire country.

Of all the popular building materials across the country, none cover our roads, sidewalks, and driveways more than asphalt. It’s easy to see why, asphalt is versatile, affordable, durable, and easy to repair. Asphalt doesn’t last forever. At some point in your asphalt driveway’s life, you will need to have your asphalt torn up and replaced. After you get your new asphalt installed in your driveway or sidewalk you will need to pay attention to it and make sure you don’t put it under any pressure that will mess it up moving forward.

So, when you have new asphalt installed, what should you know about driving on it? Can you drive on new asphalt immediately or should you wait? Let’s learn more about what you should know about driving and your new asphalt.

Drivers Should Know These Asphalt Paving Facts

Timeframes for Asphalt

You can’t drive on your new asphalt until it’s ready for your vehicle. Getting on a new asphalt job too early with your vehicle could damage the new asphalt and leave gouges and trenches. Asphalt’s set time is dependent on several factors such as thickness, and the outside weather. For most jobs, your asphalt will be set within two to three days but can take longer depending on your situation.

When Driving is Okay

You shouldn’t be driving a vehicle on a new asphalt driveway until at least 48 hours after it has been poured. At this point, you may be able to operate your vehicle on your new asphalt but you must be careful turning your tires on new asphalt, especially if your vehicle is stationery. For the first week aim to drive straight over your new asphalt with as little steering wheel movement as possible.

Listening to Your Asphalt Contractor

To cut down on confusion its best to listen to your asphalt contractor about driving on new asphalt. Your asphalt contractor knows what type of asphalt was used, how thick it was laid on, and how the new asphalt will respond to outside conditions. They may not give you exact numbers, but they will know more about driving on your new asphalt better than anybody else.

So, to take care of your new asphalt job, you need to know when you can drive a vehicle on it. This timeframe is around two to four days but to get the most accurate timeframe, talk to your asphalt contractor during the job.

When it comes to laying roads, parking lots, and driveways, one material is king, asphalt. Asphalt has been used for hundreds of years and there’s no sign that this versatile and available material is going away anytime soon. Asphalt’s features and quality make it a popular choice for a wide variety of paving projects, and many homeowners utilize asphalt for their driveways and sidewalks.

While asphalt may be great, it doesn’t last forever, and eventually, you will need to get your asphalt replaced. After replacement, you will need to keep a new asphalt area clear and free from foot and vehicle traffic for a period, but how long? Let’s review some of the factors that determine how long it takes asphalt to set.

So, How Long Does It Take Asphalt to Set?

There’s no straightforward rules or guidelines when it comes to asphalt set time as that time will largely be determined by outside forces. Let’s review some of the different factors and how they affect set time, then we can find some numbers to work from.

Outside Conditions

The outside conditions play one of the largest parts in determining how long your asphalt will take to set. Heat, the amount of sunlight, wind, and even the humidity outside all play roles in your asphalt’s set time. Generally, the warmer it is, the longer it takes for your asphalt to set.

Thickness

How thick the asphalt is laid down also plays its part in determining set time. The thicker the initial laying of asphalt, the longer it will take for that asphalt will set.

Working Out Set Time

Now that we know the conditions and factors for asphalt set time, let’s look at some ballpark figures. New asphalt will typically be available for light vehicle and foot traffic use after 24 to 72 hours, and full use shortly after that time frame.

Talking with Your Asphalt Contractor?

So who really knows the best timelines for your asphalt to set? Your asphalt contractor. The asphalt contractor knows the type of asphalt they’re using, how thick it will be applied, and the conditions outside. With that knowledge in hand, your asphalt contractor can give real directions on how long your asphalt will take to set. Use 1-3 days as a general guideline, but your contractor will know best.

If you’re driving down the road and hit a pothole, you’ll usually curse and pray that no damage has come to your car. Year after year, you might get frustrated as your city ignores potholes and cracks that could potentially be dangerous to drive on and cause damage to your vehicle. You may wonder why the city never does anything about them and how long can this keep going on before citizens take up arms and protect the city’s lacking empathy.

Here’s What to Know About Paving in Cold Weather

However, in many places across the US, asphalt repairs and paving projects can’t take place during the winter. Why? Because it’s cold. Some forms of asphalt, many that have to do with the creation and upkeep of roads, can’t be mixed, set or sealed during winter because of the cold and snow. Certain types of asphalt, most notably the hot mix asphalt, can’t be set in winter because of the temperatures needed to set it properly.

If you live in an area that sees cold or snow, this is why winter can be one of the most frustrating times to drive locally. You’ll see parking lots, streets and driveways in dire need of replacement and repair. They get worse during the winter, especially as people have to drive over them to get to and fro. It may be frustrating, but there’s really nothing the city can do until the spring. That’s why when the weather warms up and the cold is behind a place, you’ll see asphalt companies just about everywhere.

If you live in an area that’s prone to cold, snow and bad weather during winter, do what you can to avoid areas you know are damaged. This will save you time and frustration having to put your vehicle in the shop. Potholes can be especially damaging to cars, even causing accidents. If you can avoid them, do so at all costs. If you can’t, do your best to avoid them by turning to the side or switching lanes. Until the spring is here, the best you can do is avoid potholes and cracks in the asphalt roads you drive on every day.

Choosing asphalt for your driveway or other surface is a great choice. Asphalt is affordable, nearly 100% recyclable, and durable to take what you can throw at it. Like many other things around your home, your asphalt will need proper maintenance to help keep strong and looking good for decades. One of the primary maintenance components of asphalt has to do with resealing it. Let’s look at what resealing asphalt entails, and if it is something you can take care of yourself.

Can You Reseal an Asphalt Driveway Yourself?

The process of resealing asphalt is mandatory if you want your asphalt to have its longest possible life. Sealing is the process of adding a topcoat of a sealing material to the top of your asphalt to help protect the asphalt from damage from sun and water as well as providing additional friction for vehicles and other objects to grab onto. The type of sealant used depends on the qualities you want from it as well as the type of asphalt you have. Popular asphalt sealants include refined coal tar emulsion and asphalt emulsions.

The good news is that yes, you can reseal your asphalt yourself if you want to, or you can hire a professional asphalt company to do the job for you. To give you an idea if you should take on the job of resealing your asphalt, let’s look at some of the steps involved.

  • The clean. You don’t want to seal on top of a dirty asphalt surface full of debris, so you will have to clean the asphalt first. This involves using a combination of wire brushes, hoses, or pressure washers to rid your asphalt surface of all dirt and debris.
  • The repairs. Before sealing your asphalt you should make repairs to your asphalt. These repairs include filling in cracks, holes, and cleaning up oil spots. Sealing can’t cover repairs, so take care of the repair before sealing.
  • The mix and match. You must find the right type of sealant for your asphalt. You will also need to mix the sealant with a certain amount of other materials like sand, but these directions are usually included in the bag.
  • The application. Professionals use a combination of pumps, squeegees and other tools to apply the sealant. You don’t have to have the equipment that the professionals have, but you must have the right tools to apply the sealant in a consistent and precise method.

These are the basic steps you will need to take on if you want to reseal your asphalt yourself. If this looks like a bit much, we recommend calling on a professional asphalt company to help you. Asphalt companies have the tools and experience to seal your asphalt the right way and keep it looking good for years.

If you drive a car, it’s likely that you’ve had to replace the tires on your car from time to time over the life of the vehicle. With four tires on every car, and replacements happening every day, it’s no surprise that experts suggest approximately 290 million tires are disposed of every year. Even worse, nearly 20% of them, or 55 million old tires are illegally dumped in landfills, private property, or left on the side of the road.

In 2016, and age of economic interest and planet-minded millennials, rubberized asphalt is a feasible solution to the plethora of used tires that continues to grow annually. If old tires are not recycled and reused, their existence becomes a threat to the earth, the quality of human life, and the likelihood of running out of resources in the future.

The use of tires in asphalt began as a way to eliminate piles of scrap tires. Today, it’s a roadway finishing solution that provides a longer life for the asphalt, a smoother and quieter drive for those on the roads, and a safer surface for cars and tires.

Why Use Rubberized Asphalt Over Traditional Materials?

For decades, asphalt surfaces composed of recycled tire crumbles have shown to improve skid resistance, the quality of automobile riding, the lifespan of the pavement and reduced pavement noise levels. Phoenix, Arizona is responsible for originally pioneering the use of rubberized asphalt in the 1960’s because of its durability. In the years that followed, it became increasingly popular for its ability to reduce road noise. Rubber-modified asphalt holds more elasticity, making it less brittle and prone to cracking.

Where Can Rubberized Asphalt be Found?

In 2003, the Arizona Department of Transportation began a three-year, $34 million project called the Quiet Pavement Pilot Program. In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, the program was designed to determine whether or not sound walls could be replaced by rubberized asphalt to reduce noise on busy roadways. After one year, it was determined that rubber-modified asphalt did, in fact, result in quieter highways.

Arizona spearheaded the widely popular use of rubberized asphalt, which can now be found on major roadways in the states of California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, as well as across the world in Brussels and Belgium. Projects similar to that of Arizona’s 2003 Quiet Pavement Pilot Program are currently underway in both Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington, as well as a number of local roads in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Asphalt is one of the most commonly used building materials in the world. It’s used to create the streets you drive on every day. Whether you drive a car, ride a bike or hop on a motorcycle, if it wasn’t for asphalt, you’d be stuck driving over dirt roads and other hazards. Without asphalt, our lives would be much harder than they are today and we should be thankful for the creation of asphalt and all that it does.

3 of the Most Common Uses for Asphalt

There are several types of asphalt on the market, let’s look at what they are:

Rolled Asphalt

Rolled asphalt concrete is the most common type of asphalt. It makes up more than 85% of the roads you drive on in the modern world. Its often an asphalt/concrete hybrid, with 5% asphalt and 95% aggregates mixed together. There are more than 4,000 asphalt plants in America alone.

Mastic Asphalt

Mastic asphalt is denser then rolled asphalt concrete. It has a higher asphalt base, about 10%. This type of asphalt is primarily used in building and for waterproofing. It’s an excellent waterproofing agent for flat roofs and underground tank storage.

Emulsion Aspahlt

Asphalt is typically mixed with its aggregates at a high temperature so that they melt into each other before becoming the viscous fluid you’ve seen construction users work with. Asphalt emulsion allows the mixture to be mixed together at a lower temperature. Emulsion contains less chemical additives making it more environmentally friendly than other types of asphalt.

Asphalt can also be used to make lacquer, such as Japan black, which is used on steel and iron beams. It can be used as a type of paint, ink and graffiti to help such color stick to a surface weatherproofing and waterproofing it. Batteries can also be made out of crude forms of asphalt.

As you can see, there’s many uses for asphalt, beyond just being used to pave roads. Asphalt can be used in a variety of ways and when you think about all it does day in and day out as you get to and fro, it truly is an amazing building material.

Why is asphalt used for the majority of roads and highway projects in America? It’s simple. Asphalt is one of the easiest construction material to create, lay and set. Whether you need a small walkway, a driveway or a highway, asphalt can do it all and do it well. While asphalt does need routine maintenance and repair, asphalt can take the punishment of cars and other vehicles driving over it constantly throughout the day.

Asphalt is primarily used as asphalt concrete. Asphalt concrete is the technical term for the roads and highways you drive on everyday. It makes up more than 85 percent of the asphalt utilized in the US. Asphalt concrete is typically made up of aggregates and bitumen, usually at a 95 to 5 percent ratio. There are more than 4,000 asphalt concrete plants alone throughout America, making it one of the most used and produced building material in the country. Asphalt is used for more than just roads, but it’s primary use has been the same for decades.

One thing about asphalt concrete many consumers or drivers might not know is that it’s the most recycled material in America. Most asphalt concrete is made out of reused materials from older asphalt projects, along with reclaimed asphalt when a road is broken up. Once the material is reheated, remixed and reset, it’s as good as new and can be used in roads, highways and driveways anywhere. More than 99 percent of highway asphalt removed from a road is reused somewhere in the continental United States.

Asphalt is part of everyone’s daily life whether they realize it or not. Most people walk, drive or ride to and fro without thinking about what makes that possible under their feet. Without asphalt, life could be much rougher getting from here and there, and thanks to asphalt concrete, we can get to places without a bumpy ride. The next time you drive, take a moment to appreciate asphalt, because without it, your commute would be much more interesting and rocky.