If you are installing a new walkway, driveway or other surface, you may be debating between concrete or asphalt. However, a relatively new type of asphalt pavement called porous asphalt is causing a stir. If you have heard about this type of pavement, you may be wondering if it is for you. Here are a few frequently asked questions about this topic and the answers.
What is Porous Asphalt Pavement?
Porous asphalt pavement is traditional hot asphalt that has been mixed with sand or fine dirt materials. This salt, dirt or other similarly finely-ground rock material allows the asphalt to absorb water. This helps prevent puddling and pooling on your asphalt surface.
When is Porous Asphalt Pavement Beneficial?
The biggest benefit to using porous asphalt pavement is that it helps ensure water does not puddle on your surface. Water that sits on your walkway can cause a number of problems. Sitting water can wear down your asphalt, shortening its lifespan. Sitting water can freeze in winter, turning into an ice patch that can be hazard. And sitting water can cause puddles, that depending on their location, can be annoying, especially if they are on a walkway people are trying to walk across. Because the porous material absorbs the water, you can avoid many of these issues.
Are There Downsides to Porous Asphalt Pavement?
There are a few downsides to porous asphalt pavement, and if you are considering this material for your surface, you need to be aware of them. The biggest downside to porous asphalt pavement is that it can cause your pavement to crack if you live in a cold weather area. When it rains a lot, it can take awhile for the water to soak all the way through the asphalt and hit the gravel and sand under there. When it is freezing outside, the water may freeze before it seeps all the way through. Over time, the expansion and contraction that this causes can cause your asphalt to crack. Routine asphalt maintenance, from a company like Asphalt Maintenance, can minimize the damage done by these cracks, but it is something to be aware of.
Porous asphalt pavement is a relatively new product that can be used for patios, walkways, driveways, parking lots and other flat surfaces. Learning about this product and getting answers to the questions you have will help you decide if this material is ideal for your project, or whether another material, such as traditional asphalt or concrete, is a better fit.