Which Type of Asphalt Do You Need?

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Did you know that there are several different types of asphalt?

Of course, a top-notch Toronto asphalt paving contractor will know which mixture is the best product to use for your paving project — depending on your area, climate, traffic loads, and other specifications.

It’s also helpful for you to be familiar with these different products, however, as you can adjust your expectations for how the paving process will play out. Here are five types of asphalt you should know about!

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)

Hot mix asphalt is by far the most common type of asphalt mixture that is used today. With hot mix asphalt, the materials are heated to roughly 300 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and poured at these high temperatures.

The asphalt paving company has a limited amount of time to work with the heated materials before they ultimately cool and cure. This means that hot mix asphalt is best used during the spring, summer, and fall months. The materials cool too quickly during the wintertime, making it difficult for the contractor to smooth out the mixture properly.

Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA)

Unlike hot mix asphalt, cold mix asphalt contains materials that can be used without heat. The mixture is transported to the site and laid cold, and it can even be removed, stored, and recycled as needed.

It’s worth noting, however, that cold mix asphalt is not nearly as stable as hot mix asphalt. For this reason, it should be used in moderation — primarily for patchwork and other relatively minor repairs.

Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)

As you would expect, warm mix asphalt is neither as hot as hot mix asphalt nor as cold as cold mix asphalt. It is heated to roughly 200 degrees and cools more slowly than hot mix asphalt. For this reason, it’s a popular choice during the winter months.

As it uses less oil and produces fewer harmful fumes, warm mix asphalt is also a far more environmentally friendly and safer mixture than hot mix asphalt.

Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is a mixture that consists of roughly 16% void space, which allows water to permeate the pavement. Once the water reaches the layer of aggregate, it is naturally filtered before being carried away.

This mixture is especially popular in areas that experience heavy rainfall, as well as in applications where flooding hazards can have disastrous consequences — such as major roadways.

Dense-Graded Mix

The dense-graded mix is the most common type of hot mix asphalt, as it is more or less impermeable and extremely durable. These mixtures may be classified as coarse-graded and fine-graded, depending on the size of the aggregate that is used.

Dense-graded mixtures are suitable for nearly every application, whether it’s new pavement, maintenance, or repairs. Since it is a hot mixture, however, it should be laid during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Need the right asphalt mixture for parking lot paving, road paving, or commercial driveway paving? For all of your commercial asphalt paving needs, contact Empire Paving today. We would love to discuss your project with you and provide a free quote!

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