The landscape of modern construction is often riddled with myths and misconceptions. And as more pavement materials are developed, how do you know which one is best for your commercial property’s needs? To help you make an informed decision, we’re uncovering the truth about asphalt, including its capabilities, limitations, and long-term value.

Myth #1: Asphalt Cracks Easily and Crumbles Under Pressure

While asphalt is not infallible, advancements in asphalt mixtures and applications have significantly improved its durability. Over time, however, it can succumb to cracks and collapse due to usage and environmental factors. That is why regular maintenance is important. Most visible cracks come from surface wear, weathering, or subbase issues, not a fundamental problem with asphalt itself.

Myth #2: Asphalt Is Not Environmentally Friendly

Modern asphalt is surprisingly eco-conscious. The industry has come a long way in recycling old materials and incorporating sustainable practices, including porous asphalt to combat stormwater runoff, innovative warm-mix technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and upcycled asphalt used for roof shingles, playground softcovers, and bike paths.

Myth #3: Asphalt Gets Really Hot and Contributes to Urban Heat Islands

An urban heat island is an increase in surface temperatures, a common phenomenon seen in large cities. While it’s true that asphalt can absorb and retain heat, it is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Building materials, lack of vegetation, and engine emissions all play a role. However, reflective and cool-coloured asphalt can mitigate some heat island effects, as can porous asphalt and regular asphalt sealing.

Myth #4: Asphalt Surfaces Are Slippery and Dangerous, Especially in Wet Weather

Properly designed and maintained asphalt surfaces offer good skid resistance and should not be slippery in wet weather conditions. The composition of the asphalt draws away pooling water from rainstorms and helps melt snow as it absorbs the sun’s heat. In fact, well-designed asphalt surfaces are engineered to drain water effectively, reducing the risk of hydroplaning.

Myth #5: Asphalt Is Noisy and Creates Unpleasant Traffic Sounds

The porous qualities of asphalt actually reduce noise pollution from traffic because the “air voids” within the asphalt absorb noise. Open-graded and rubberized mixes can dampen sound waves and reduce noise pollution by up to 85%. To lower traffic sounds, engineers also utilize modelling to design roads for minimum noise impact.

Myth #6: Asphalt Can Only Be Used for Roads and Driveways

Aside from its vehicular applications, asphalt has many other uses. It is commonly used for highways, roads, driveways, parking lots, walkways, sidewalks, basketball courts, tennis courts, school playgrounds, and city parks. It can even be used for industrial flooring, providing a smooth and comfortable surface.

Myth #7: Asphalt Pavement Cannot Handle Heavy Traffic

This is completely false. Top-quality asphalt is designed to support heavy-weighted traffic. Depending on how thick it is applied and the way the asphalt is prepared, it can be tailored to different loads and site conditions. Professional paving services will ensure the subbase is compacted and that other reinforcement materials are added for strength.

Myth #8: Asphalt Pavement Has a Short Lifespan

The asphalt manufactured for today’s market is designed to last for several decades. In fact, with proper application and installation, asphalt pavement can withstand environmental factors, including significant traffic flow, for up to 25 to 30 years. Property owners can extend the life of their asphalt pavement further with regular care and maintenance, as well as sealcoating.

Myth #9: Asphalt Installation Is Messy, Disruptive, and Takes Forever

A reputable pavement maintenance contractor can install asphalt pavement quickly and efficiently so that there is minimal disturbance to your business. Modern methods and equipment, such as pavers and rollers designed for precision and speed, have reduced these inconveniences. Cautious planning can also mitigate delays and reduce installation timelines.

Myth #10: DIY Asphalt Repair Is Easy and Saves Money

It might seem easy to apply asphalt yourself, but the truth is that proper application requires an understanding of the subbase, asphalt aggregates, and how to use the heavy machinery needed to install a road or driveway. DIY repair can lead to more extensive and expensive problems because inexperience can result in improper fixes and overlooked issues that professionals would detect.

Myth #11: Asphalt Pavement Is Bad for Your Car and Causes Tire Damage

Appropriately designed and maintained asphalt surfaces are not inherently harmful to vehicles, but damage can occur when vehicles drive over poorly maintained asphalt. Issues arise from improper installation, severe distress, or failure to address damage promptly. Hitting a pothole at a high speed can cause the treads of the tires to separate and the sidewalls to bulge.

Rely on Sure-Seal for Professional Asphalt Paving Services

As a leading asphalt pavement contractor in Ontario, Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. offers a seven-year extended warranty on all of our applications and repair projects. Using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, our team offers asphalt paving installation, sealcoating, catch basin services, speed hump installation, and pavement line marking in Toronto and the GTA. Call us at 1-888-728-3636, (416) 410-3705, or request a no-obligation free quote here.