Asphalt or Bitumen—Which Road Will You Take?

If you want a driveway, road, or even parking space constructed, one of the dilemmas you will face is what material to choose for the surface. If you want a durable road that involves a friendly budget, you may consider asking the road contractors for either an asphalt or Bitumen road. Many people confuse the two types of roads and sometimes even interchangeably use the names. As surface sealant options, asphalt laying and Bitumen spraying are mainly differentiated by the process involved when making the roads.

Asphalt or "hot mix" laying

Asphalt is commonly referred to as "hot mix" in the road contractors' world. Hot mix is made by mixing sand and stone aggregates with bitumen in specific ratios. The road surface must first be dug to specified depths and prepared before the asphalt is laid. This is to provide a stable base for the asphalt to bind onto while drying. Asphalt roads have several advantages over other materials. For starters, asphalt is quite durable as well as recyclable. Asphalt dries very fast and the road may sometimes be ready for use within a day after being laid. Asphalt roads deter skidding in wet conditions. A final advantage with asphalt is, compared to other options like concrete or brick, repair work on asphalt roads can be done quickly and easily with good road contractors. Due to these characteristics, asphalt makes a good material choice for driveways, car parks and roads where you expect a high volume of vehicle activity.

Bitumen spraying

Bitumen sprayed roads are made by simply spraying a layer of bitumen over the prepared road base, and then spreading aggregate over the bitumen. The bitumen binds the aggregate to the prepared base. In this instance, the road contractors should asses the chosen aggregate and the suitability of such a road to the prevailing conditions. To get a better quality, several layers of the aggregate and bitumen can be applied. You can also get creative and use colored bitumen for your road to accentuate various aspects of the area the road is located at. Like asphalt, well-laid bitumen roads are durable, water-proof, and budget friendly. Bitumen spraying technique is, however, more suitable for private driveways and car parks where you do not expect heavy traffic since too much traffic may quickly wear the aggregate layers.

Remember, whichever road you take, your road contractors must do a good job preparing the base, and compacting the material. These steps will determine how quickly your road cracks, splits, or develops potholes. For more information, contact companies like Catwest Road Services