All About Asphalt

Paving Applications

*Information on this page obtained from


Asphalt pavements are the most attractive and the most cost-effective choice for driveways!

The curb appeal is the first thing people evaluate when seeing your home.  Your asphalt driveway accentuates that curb appeal and increases the value of your home.  An asphalt driveway will be cheaper over time than a gravel one that needs periodic maintenance with additional new gravel and weed control.  Your kids will appreciate a joint-free, smooth surface that’s friendly to their chalk artwork, roller-blades and skateboards.  Maintenance is relatively inexpensive, quick and easily restores the smooth, black surface (and curb appeal!).

The construction  of asphalt driveways is less expensive and faster than concrete.  Concrete driveways are prone to cracking, are more expensive to maintain than asphalt, and lose their visual appeal (and your home’s curb appeal!) over time.

You can feel good that you are using the most environmentally-friendly choice.  Asphalt is the most recycled material, and the mixture used for your project probably includes some recycled asphalt.  Asphalt is engineered to withstand the low and high temperatures where you live, and it is impervious to salt and de-icing chemicals.  The dark color absorbs sunlight, melting snow and ice more quickly and naturally.

As with any paving project, your driveway will last longer if there is a well-prepared base and good drainage, and the surface is thick enough to support not only the family cars but the workmen’s trucks, loads of mulch and decorative stone, and anything else that may be placed on it.

Hint:  Select a professional contractor who is knowledgeable and capable.  He’ll help design a thicker base if you drive heavy vehicles or plan to store a boat or RV on the driveway.  Make sure that the sub-base, base and drainage are appropriately prepared before the asphalt is placed.

Parking Lots

About 85% of the parking lots in the US are surfaced with economical and durable asphalt pavement.

Newly Constructed Parking Lot

Asphalt is the pavement of choice for parking lots for many reasons.  The initial costs, construction time and life cycle costs are all lower than concrete.  The smooth, black surfaces complement the architecture and visual appeal, enhancing the attraction of your business to customers.  Your customers will also appreciate the safe, smooth, joint-free surface and the differentiation of white and yellow pavement markings against the black surface.

Asphalt is the environmentally-friendly choice for parking lot pavements, and is especially helpful in meeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.  Asphalt is 100% recyclable, and chances are very good that recycled asphalt is included in the mixture used for your asphalt paving project.  Your asphalt pavement, in turn, will be available to future generations as a truly sustainable material.

Whether for new construction or for an existing building, asphalt paving is quick, and your paved parking lot will be ready for your employees and customers to park and do business immediately after construction.

Asphalt is very versatile, durable and flexible.  Your asphalt pavement is engineered to withstand fluctuating loads and temperatures.  The dark surface is excellent for melting snow and ice, and is impervious to salting and de-icing chemicals.  Maintenance is low cost, easy and quick.  Asphalt paving also makes it easy to build your parking lot in stages as your business needs develop.

Your parking lot is the first and last impression you share with your customers, visitors and employees.  Your asphalt parking lot project will leave them with the favorable impression you want.

Hint:  The demands on the surface of parking lots are a little different from the demands of moving traffic, with stopping and standing vehicles and the power steering turning of tires as well as oil leaks (which can dissolve asphalt).  Choose an experienced parking lot contractor who knows how to engineer a design for these stresses.


JFK said, “It’s not our wealth that made our roads possible, it’s our roads that made our wealth possible.”

Trains, planes and automobiles all benefit from your asphalt paving projects.  Our transportation network is one of our greatest assets.  Researchers studied 97 countries in the world and found a direct correlation between the number of paved roads and the gross national product.  We can live, work, learn and play where we like because of our roads.   It’s because of our transportation system that we can get goods and services where they are wanted in a timely manner.  Soccer moms, truck drivers and everyone else will appreciate your asphalt paving projects.

Streets and Highways

Local Streets

Asphalt is the product of choice for superhighways, feeder roads, and arterials.  It is perfect for all types of motorized vehicles on city streets and residential subdivisions as well as rural roads.  Asphalt pavements are a smooth choice for local recreational paths for skateboarders and bicyclists to enjoy.

Asphalt roads are smooth, strong and durable.  They are built by the Bureau of Federal Lands, by state transportation departments, by county highway departments, by city street departments, by commercial enterprises, and even by homeowners’ associations.  The flexibility of choices means there is a perfect asphalt solution for your project, whether it is a driveway or a high traffic volume interstate highway through the downtown of a major city.

Hint:  When you design your asphalt paving project, the loading must be considered.  Heavier loads bend or flex the pavement more than lighter loads.  In fact, one fully loaded 18-wheeler does the same damage to a road as 9600 cars.  That’s why pavement designers want to know not only the average daily traffic (ADT), but the percentage of trucks.  Fast moving traffic does less damage than standing traffic.  Heavy, braking vehicles are the most damaging.  Quality pavement designs result in perpetual pavements.


Airports, too, benefit from cost-effective asphalt paving.  There are 14,947 airports in the U.S., of which 5,146 are paved; asphalt is used on 85% of paved runways at general aviation airports, as well as such busy airports as Baltimore-Washington International, Boston Logan, San Francisco International, and Las Vegas McCarran.  Asphalt’s speedy construction makes it the best choice for rehabilitation of busy aviation facilities.  And its versatility makes it ideal for all sizes of airports.  Asphalt paving may be used on all airport pavements:  runways, taxiways, aprons, parking lots and roads.  Because of the unique loading conditions of aircraft, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has developed its own specifications for asphalt use on US airports.


Trains may run on tracks, but researchers have found that asphalt track beds strengthen railroad track support, help waterproof the underlying subgrade and securely confine the subgrade layer.  Asphalt is also routinely used to pave approaches to train crossings for the smoothest transitions.


There are over 36 ports in the US that currently handle more than 5 million loaded marine containers each year.  The container traffic is projected to quadruple in the next 20 years.  Container ports offer unique challenges.  The gigantic containers that go from huge ships to tractor trailer trucks usually spend some time sitting stacked sky-high on port lots.  Port authorities have found that thick applications of heavy duty asphalt mixtures specially developed for ports stand up to the loads.  The asphalt is less expensive to construct and easier to maintain than the concrete (PCC) used in the past.

Military Installations

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has 5,000 different locations encompassing 30 million acres of land and 3 million employees.  That adds up to lots and lots of roads, walkways, airports, ports—all of which are potential applications for asphalt.  DOD uses the uniform facilities guide specifications UFGS 32 12 15 for airport pavement design.

Speciality Applications

When we think of asphalt, we normally think of roads.  Asphalt’s unique stickiness and waterproofing properties make it useful for numerous other applications as well, from mulching seeds to surfacing tennis courts.  Please consider asphalt for your next project, whatever that may be.  The versatility of asphalt makes it workable in many different types of scenarios.

Agricultural Uses

Dairy and Silage Storage

Asphalt is used for a multitude of agricultural applications including cattle feed lots, poultry house floors, barn floors and greenhouse floors.  The US Department of Agriculture has determined that asphalt flooring “is acceptable for use in storage pads for agricultural commodities”.  Asphalt has proven to be more resilient than concrete in silage bunker silos and storage pads as the acidity of the runoff may eat away the concrete surface.

Recreation Uses

Asphalt is used for running tracks, greenway trails, playgrounds, walking paths, bicycle and golf cart paths, racetracks, basketball and tennis courts.

Go-Kart Track

There are even asphalt football fields—designed for wheelchair accessible football games.  Suppliers have developed special products with crumb rubber and other materials to soften the impact, especially on running tracks.  There are contractors that specialize in these types of applications.  They can help find the best design and materials for your asphalt paving project.


Aquatic and Waterproofing Uses

Asphalt’s waterproofing properties have been used for millennia, starting with the baths used by the Egyptians and the boats used by the Phoenicians.

Boat Landing

Asphalt applications help with water storage, flood control, erosion, and conservation problems.  The Environmental Protection Agency has approved asphalt use as a primary liner for both sanitary and hazardous waste landfills.  It is also commonly used in fish hatcheries, reservoir liners, industrial retention ponds, drainage canals, sea walls, and dikes to control beach erosion.  One of the most common uses of asphalt for non-paving applications is for waterproofing building foundations and basements.

Industrial Uses

There are a number of other industrial applications for asphalt including mine roads, work sites, log yards, ports, freight yards and landfill caps.  A football-sized asphalt cap has recently been placed on the Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state.

Contact us now for a free estimate and quick reliable service. A qualified estimator will meet with you personally to evaluate your asphalt paving needs and promptly provide a free written estimate. Alaniz Construction also excels at developing pavement maintenance plans for your long term needs.

Schedule Your Free On-Site Asphalt Consultation Here

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Fremont, CA  94538
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