At Hicks Asphalt, Pavement, and Concrete, we specialize in all three materials. Therefore, a question that we often get is what is the difference between concrete and asphalt. Although the end-use product of both materials may seem the same, and they often can be used for many of the same purposes, there are some differences between the two. In this article, we will discuss the difference between asphalt and concrete.

What Is Concrete?

Concrete is made up of a mixture of crushed rock, sand, cement, and water. The cement binds everything together. As the mixture hardens, what is left is called concrete.

What Is Asphalt?

Asphalt is made from bitumen which is a substance that derives from crude oil. The bitumen is combined with an aggregate and pressed into place with a lot of pressure. When the substance cools, what is left is asphalt.

Why Is Concrete Not Used To Build Roads And Parking Lots Anymore?

Concrete used to be the preferred method of building roads and parking lots. The problem with concrete is that when it becomes solid, if the surface is not completely smooth, then it is prone to cracking and breaking. These defections, coupled with normal wear and tear (from regular use of automobiles or extreme changes in weather), causes the concrete to deteriorate, thus requiring costly repairs.

Asphalt Does Not Have The Same Problems As Concrete?

As asphalt hardens, it has enough durability to absorb the imperfections that normally weaken the concrete. Although asphalt may deteriorate for many other reasons, it is not usually a result of the installation process.

Other Than Installation, Are There Other Differences?

Asphalt has become the preferred material because it is one hundred percent recyclable. When an asphalt road or parking lot has reached its full life capacity, the old asphalt can be removed and repurposed. Furthermore, the turn-around time on asphalt installation is far quicker than concrete; therefore, the disruption to traffic patterns is limited.

Another advantage to asphalt is that it is much cheaper to repair and maintain concrete roads. As a result, many homeowners who own an asphalt driveway can repair cracks and holes by themselves without hiring a professional service. On the other hand, when the cement has major cracks, it will need to be removed and replaced instead of just being fixed like asphalt.

Is Concrete Obsolete?

Concrete still has its place in the world. Just because concrete is no longer the most popular material used to build roads and parking lots does not mean concrete has lost its utilitarian value. Concrete is used for many building projects and plays an important role in infrastructures such as the reinforcement and building of tunnels and bridges.

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Whether you need asphalt, pavement, or concrete, Hicks Asphalt, Pavement, and Concrete will have you covered. Contact us for all your building material needs.