Concrete is Your Best Choice for Paving Projects
If you require paving
services, you probably already know that you have two choices:
concrete or asphalt. So which of the two is the best
choice? We'll give you a quick rundown of their
differences, and how they relate to paving projects.
Between Concrete and Asphalt
Hot mix asphalt is made of
aggregates (stone, sand, gravel) and liquid asphalt, the
oil-based glue which is the glue that holds everything
together. Concrete is made from American materials such
as limestone, rock and water. Concrete is also the
most-used manmade material in the world.
Between Paving with Concrete or Asphalt
Areas paved with asphalt
require more maintenance than those paved with concrete.
As a result, there is less need for repair crews to handle
maintenance of concrete streets and parking lots. This
means less congestion and disruption to work areas, and less
danger to road crews and drivers alike.
Rigid concrete is also more
durable than asphalt. This means that streets paved with
concrete are less likely to have potholes. The surface
of concrete is also better at preventing automobile skidding,
keeping drivers and their families safe.
Cost Differences of
Building & Maintenance of Paving Materials
Concrete pavement's life
can range anywhere from 20-40 years. But when you factor
in annual maintenance, asphalt pavement can cost four to seven
times as much money to maintain. This saves you
long-term on repair and maintenance.
One recent article from an
Iowa newspaper featured a town's decision to pave their roads
with either asphalt or concrete. It was pointed out that
while a concrete street would need little maintenance over a
30 year period, an asphalt street would require a major
resurfacing in just 15 years. A spokesperson for the
Iowa Department of Transportation also stated that "asphalt
pavement is projected to require major rehabilitation in
approximately half the time as the concrete pavement."
So paving with concrete means less need for maintenance over
the life of your street. The full article
can be found here.
Differences of Paving Materials
Concrete is 100%
recyclable, and the most recycled construction material in the
world. So rather than ending up in your state's
landfills, it can be broken down and used in new pavement, or
for other construction purposes.
According to a Federal
Highway Administration technical advisory (T5080.3), it takes
over five times as much diesel fuel to make asphalt than it
does to make concrete for a road designed for the same
amount of traffic.
America's Federal Highway
Administration also reported that roughly 1.2 billion gallons
of diesel could be saved every year if paving was done with
concrete instead of asphalt. So how much fuel is 1.2
billion gallons, exactly? Enough to fill up the tank on
a Ford F-350 pick-up truck every day of the year, for 86 years
straight. And that's just what is wasted on fuel in only
Since concrete pavement
requires less repair and maintenance over time, less energy
and fuel is needed for heavy construction equipment. By
reducing the amount of fuel used by cars, trucks and
maintenance equipment, we reduce America's dependence on
foreign oil. Not only that, but trucks use less fuel
when traveling on concrete. That keeps the cost of
transporting goods down, and it means lower emissions from
How Concrete Affects
Lighting & Electric Bills
As you probably already
know, it's best to wear bright or white clothing if you want
to reflect the sun on hot days. Dark colors absorb more
heat, and the same applies to paving materials. Concrete
is light, and naturally reflective. Asphalt is black,
and absorbs more heat. A 2007 study (PCA Report SN2982)
was done that proved lighter paving materials reflected light
So what difference does all
that really make? For one, it keeps the areas around the
pavement cooler, which means less waste of electricity for air
conditioning. Another study (Stark 1986) also proved
that work areas with concrete pavement required less lighting
than asphalt pavements. Since lighter colored pavement
reflects indoor light better, it means you get the same
visibility, but with less lights needed. That study also
pointed out that with less lights, there would be more money
saved when it came time to install, operate, or maintain them.
And as most people know, less lighting means less heat, and
less need to run the air conditioner.
For businesses that operate
at night, having a concrete parking lot means better lighting,
and increased safety. Not only will it be easier for
people to see, but a parking lot with better visibility can
make people feel safer, which makes your business more
So Which Building
Material is Right for You?
When it comes to safety,
durability, and environmental impact, concrete paving is
obviously the best choice for street paving and construction.
To learn more about what concrete can do for you, give Boling a call at (314) 772-6300 or click
here to send us an email.