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Asphalt vs Bitumen, what is the best solution for the area you are planning to resurface?
Continue on reading if you would like to know the difference between the two, what are the benefits and disadvantages, price difference, and lifespan.
Bitumen and asphalt, what’s the difference?
When people talk about asphalt and bitumen in Australia, the words are often used to describe the same thing, which is not correct. To set the record straight we offer an explanation of the difference below.
Bitumen is the liquid binder that holds asphalt together. A bitumen-sealed surface is a layer of bitumen sprayed and then covered with an aggregate. This is then repeated to give a two-coat seal.
Asphalt is produced in a plant that heats, dries, and mixes aggregate, bitumen, and sand into a composite. This is then installed across a surface, for example, an asphalt driveway.
It’s all good to understand the difference between the two. However, which one is the best option for you?
Benefits and Disadvantages of Asphalt
- Minimal noise
- Durable with a life span of 20 + years
- Energy-efficient -reduces friction between tire and car, which in turn means better fuel economy and a reduction of carbon dioxide emission
- Safer than most pavement options- asphalt gets a smoother and more skid-resistant surface making asphalt a safer option
- Reduced wear and tear on vehicles and tires
- Suited for commercial premises and businesses
- More expensive to install compared to bitumen
- Requires a well-prepared surface before paving is done
- Extreme hot temperatures can affect the asphalt negatively and make it go soft
Benefits and Disadvantages of Bitumen
- Cheap to install compared to asphalt
- Can be recycled instead of going to landfill
- Bitumen tens to be noisier when you drive on it
- Bitumen wears down faster than asphalt
- Bitumen is not as durable as asphalt, and may not last as long in high traffic areas or under heavy loads
Still unsure whether asphalt or bitumen is the right choice for your next resurfacing project? Call us on 0418 957 081 or enquire today to get expert advice or continue on reading about the price difference between the two materials.
Bitumen is Cheaper
When you compare the price between bitumen and asphalt, bitumen is a clear winner. Bitumen is cheaper to install and if you are planning to resurface a road with low volumes of traffic, bitumen can be a good investment. However, if your surface is expected to generate high volumes of traffic, a bitumen solution may not be suitable.
Asphalt is the Most Cost-Effective
Yet, when you look at the cost efficiency and lifespan of the two, asphalt comes out as the winner. Asphalt generally has a thicker layer of 25-40 mm whereas bitumen has a layer with a thickness of 10-20 mm. This is one of the reasons why asphalt has a longer lifespan. You can expect to get 5-10 years from a road where bitumen has been used while you get a staggering 20 + years from an asphalt road! Additionally, an asphalt surface only requires periodic maintenance, saving you both time and money!
When you are thinking about resurfacing an area, we suggest you consider the purpose of the area you are planning to resurface as well as your budget. Will the area be used for a new driveway? additional car parks? tennis court? Asphalt has a lot of uses.
To summarise, asphalt comes with many benefits and a few disadvantages while there seem to be more disadvantages than benefits using bitumen. Asphalt is the most commonly used pavement method and no wonder, it’s cost-effective with a long life span. Additionally, when it’s installed, you don’t have to sacrifice precious hours to maintain it, fixing potholes. No matter if you are resurfacing asphalt, installing an asphalt carpark, or fixing potholes in existing surfaces, asphalt is a worthwhile investment that will last the test of time. get in contact with one of our friendly teams for an obligation-free quote.
Are you still deciding whether asphalt or bitumen is the best option for your project?
Give us a call on 0418 957 081 or enquire today! The friendly team at Claremont Asphalt will be able to assess your needs and help guide you.