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Important Terms for Asphalt Paving
When shopping for an asphalt contracting company, you'll hear many different terms as you discuss the cost and materials for your project. These terms are universal among construction companies that specialize in cement masonry, excavating, paving, and asphalt. Whether you're just looking to have your driveway resurfaced or need cracks in a large parking lot repaired, you'll need to understand the basic terms of asphalt contracting when selecting a provider.
Asphalt - Asphalt is a black substance made from crude oil used to cover driveways and roads.
Blacktop - The black surface typically found on roads, parking lots and driveways. Another name for blacktop is asphalt concrete.
Concrete - A mixture of materials that form a hard surface when poured or formed. It is commonly used for sidewalks, patios, and sometimes driveways.
Cement - A powder made from a combination of alumina, silica, lime, iron oxide, and magnesium oxide; used as an ingredient in concrete.
Stamped - Concrete that has been given a decorative texture to resemble stones, bricks, or wood. To create patterns, the contractor presses polyurethane stamps into the surface of the concrete while it is still wet. Often, stamped concrete is colored in addition to having decorative patterns.
Tar - A sticky substance typically made from pine trees. Contractors can use a combination of tar and stone chips as a substitute for blacktop. Tar is often used in roofing as well.
Striping - The process of painting lines on a highway, street, or lot to represent lanes or parking spaces.
Paving - The process of laying or applying a blacktop on a surface.
Sealcoating - The process of applying a final protective layer on asphalt which helps it to stand up to the elements.
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Asphalt is driven over every day by commuting folks going to and from work. Blacktop, as it's sometimes referred to, is played on by children in parks and streets. It's generally a part of our daily lives.
In 625 BC, the first recorded asphalt road took place during the reign of King Naboppolassar in Babylon. The use of the stone substance was also utilized by the ancient Greeks and Romans to seal baths, reservoirs, and aqueducts. It wasn't until centuries later, when a Scottish engineer mixed tar with the asphalt gravel, that the substance was used for paving. The first asphalt paving in America took place in 1870, which lead to much squabbling among blacktop developers over who had the best rock mixture and pavement method. As the automobile grew in popularity, so did the need for coated roads. In 1920, cement concrete mixers were adapted to be able to use the asphalt mixtures for easier pouring. Cement concrete spreaders were also adapted to machine lay the mixture down, making the job safer for humans.
The majority of the substance is used for parking lots, highways, driveways, and the like in America. Broken pieces are collected and recycled to fill in cracks in the roads or to resurface them completely. Proper striping of the material makes breaking more difficult, but it remains the most recycled material in the country. Many excavating companies also work with the material and it is also used in construction and masonry jobs in the form of roofing shingles.
When hiring a contractor to repave the driveway or patio, many prefer to hire a company familiar with stamped pavement. This is when the contractor stamps a pattern into the hot materials to create a design.