Sure, it’s the stuff that covers your driveway and the roads that you use, and all the parking lots of your local stores, but there are things about asphalt that you probably don’t know, like the fact that asphalt plants generally don’t create any waste water. Here are a few other fun facts about the material our asphalt driveway paving company is so familiar with:
1. Asphalt is America’s most recycle product. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the asphalt industry recycles asphalt at a rate of 99%.
2. Highways paved in asphalt can reduce noise levels by 3-5 decibels, compared to highways that have noise walls. Also, the smoother the pavement, the better fuel consumption a vehicle will get.
3. Asphalt is a form of petroleum and can be found in natural deposits or as a refined product.
4. The recycling of asphalt can also help recycle other products. When asphalt is recycled, things like roofing shingles, old tires, and metal casting also get recycled.
5. Asphalt is occasionally known as “bitumen.” It can also be called “macadam,” “blacktop,” or “tarmac.”
6. In the early 1800s, a Scottish man named John McAdam perfected the use of mixing sand and stone with tar to create a hard road surface. He’s also why asphalt is sometimes called “macadam.”
7. Back in the early 1990s, it cost the asphalt industry billions of dollars to create the product and the output of emissions was pretty high. Today, however, we’ve found a way to make asphalt creation much cheaper and much better for the environment.
8. The average asphalt surface drops only 40% in condition during the first 75% of its life. This means that if you maintain your asphalt over the years, it will last you a long time.
9. There are nearly 2.3 million miles of paved road in the U.S., and over 90% is paved with asphalt.
10. According to Wikipedia, the earliest use of asphalt was by indigenous people of the 13th century. They used it as an adhesive for building tools and ceremonial items.