Now That’s Handy! 3 Benefits of Laying Asphalt by Hand

Laying Asphalt by Hand

If you’re a builder or contractor, you may be looking for creative ways to lay asphalt. Here are the benefits of laying asphalt by hand and how it works.

You thought it was your fault. You hit an unexpected pothole and blame it on a momentary distraction. Then you hit another one, and another one, until you realize, These roads have got to go. 

We get it, life’s hard enough. There’s nothing worse than bumpy, hole-ridden and unsafe roads amplifying an already rocky day. 

Luckily, laying asphalt by hand is becoming more accessible to builders and contractors alike. Whether for residential communities or commercial buildings, there are several benefits to laying asphalt by hand. 

Here’s the why and how behind laying asphalt by hand.

Benefits of Laying Asphalt by Hand

Whether you find yourself needing to pave new asphalt, resurface old asphalt, chip seal, or seal cracks, there are many benefits to laying your own. Asphalt has become the go-to material for local roads, asphalt driveway installation, highways, blacktops, and parking lots everywhere. Here’s why:

1. It’s Low-Cost and Low-Maintenance

Not only is asphalt more economical than concrete, but it’s also a recyclable and reusable material. While the phrase “set it and forget it” most applies in the kitchen, consider the same to be true for asphalt.

Once it’s compacted, you can forget about it for a couple of decades. Or, if you choose to dig up old asphalt, you can resurrect it in your new project. 

2. It’s Efficient

Asphalt works with the elements. It attracts warmth by reflecting the sun. It’s a moldable material which means that it acclimates to the environment naturally.

Similarly, just as asphalt reflects heat, (which helps in cold places), it also absorbs sound for more peace in home, school, and office environments.

Asphalt surfaces also reduce fuel consumption by lowering emissions from vehicles. It improves the quality of water runoff too, which impacts the surrounding grass and its soil.

3. It’s Safer Overall

Due to asphalt’s natural flexibility, it’s long-lasting life-span creates fewer problems in general. Whether asphalt’s skid-resistance gives you a safer commute to work or a smoother place for the kids to run outside, consider it the asphalt advantage.

Tips for Laying Asphalt by Hand

While laying asphalt can be done by hand, heavy machinery is best left for the builders and contractors in the business. Here are a few tips for how to lay asphalt successfully:

  1. Prepare your worksite
    • Whether it’s your driveway, a highway, or a school parking lot, remove all extra debris for easy surfacing.
  2. Create a solid subbase
    • The subbase thickness recommendations will depend on your worksite’s subbase material.
  3. Smooth compaction
    • Use a steamroller methodically to prevent bumps or waves in the pavement and ensure its long-lasting benefits.

Once you’ve accomplished these three steps, asphalt can be laid in two days and ready two days later!  

Your Asphalt Awaits

No matter your property type or location, asphalt doesn’t discriminate. In addition to asphalt paving benefits, you can also use seal coats to further maximize its lifespan. 

There are aesthetic options to consider when laying asphalt by hand. There are plain and textured gravel choices, and well as different topcoat colors. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong with asphalt.

Looking for a reputable paving contractor in West Texas? For West Texas, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Levelland, Amarillo, Abilene, San Angelo, and surrounding areas, we’ve got your asphalt and paving needs covered (literally).

Check out some of our paving services here. With 30 years of experience as a family-owned company, our team at Daley’s Superior Asphalt Manufacturing know all things asphalt.

Contact us today at (806) 407-7297 for more information or to schedule an inspection and a free quote. Ask us about our Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)!

Asphalt vs. Blacktop: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to asphalt vs. blacktop, what’s the difference? If you’re feeling unclear, read here to learn more about these two common surface mixtures.

Is there even a difference?

You’ve driven on both asphalt and blacktop, probably not knowing one from the other. As long as the road is smooth and gets you to work on time, you don’t think twice.

If you are curious about the two, then it’s helpful to know there is, in fact, a difference. It can be tricky to tell, but there are key contrasts to note.

Keep reading below to discover more about asphalt vs. blacktop surfaces.

Are the Ingredients Different?

The ingredients are exactly the same. This statement probably leaves you more confused about how the two are different. 

When it comes to asphalt vs. blacktop, the ingredients are the same but the way they are measured out and brought together are different.

The two main ingredients in both are crushed stone and bitumen. Bitumen is a viscous fluid and very thick. It’s used heavily in the construction industry.

In asphalt, the crushed stone is held together by the bitumen. It’s plenty strong enough for all cars and vehicles that drive over it, but it is malleable. 

When it comes to blacktop, there’s a higher ratio of crushed stone. It also has to be mixed at a higher temperature than asphalt. Blacktop isn’t as durable as asphalt.

What Are the Uses?

Since asphalt is more flexible than blacktop, it can be used for intricate paving projects like winding driveways. It’s also fairly water-resistant so it can be used to line pools. You’ll also see it used for airport runways.

Because blacktop isn’t as durable as asphalt, you’ll see blacktop used in more residential areas. There are plenty of pathways, playgrounds, and simple driveways that use blacktop. You can pick it apart from asphalt because it appears shinier in the sun.

Which One is Better?

Deciding which material is better is a situational decision. It depends on what project you’re doing and where you’re doing it.

For areas with less traffic, it can be better to use blacktop. If there’s going to be a lot of heavyweight vehicles going back and forth, go with asphalt. You can also use asphalt to seal cracks in driveways. 

Asphalt is also much smoother due to the lower amount of crushed rock and creates less wear on tires. Take this into consideration if you’re trying to choose between the two for a project. 

Know the Difference: Asphalt vs. Blacktop

When you’re late for class, you don’t really care what you’re driving on as long as it gets you there safely and quickly. It’s all the same. However, if you do start looking at asphalt vs. blacktop, you’ll start to notice differences.

Both are made with the same materials, but they are put together differently. When deciding which one to use, construction or paving specialists have to look at the environment and daily situations. Generally, asphalt has proven to be better in high traffic areas while blacktop is great for quiet, residential areas.

Looking to get quality paving work done? Contact us at 806-407-7297 to schedule an inspection and get a free quote.

Daley’s Superior Asphalt Manufacturing, Inc. provides trusted Lubbock paving solutions, as well as paving in Midland, Odessa, nearby West Texas areas, and the Eastern New Mexico region.