Any building project requires a lot of time and planning, for everything to turn out correctly. Because of this, you need to think about everything from the materials that will be used to the length of time it will take and the budget. This means that you need to analyze how your project will be completed, from top to bottom. Furthermore, you even need to think down the line, insofar as every structure requires some amount of routine upkeep and maintenance. Even something simple like installing a parking lot or driveway requires some thought, specifically as to what material you will use. In the case of pavement, there are two main options: asphalt and concrete. Of the two, asphalt is more affordable and is less of a hassle to work with.
Structurally, there are several key differences between concrete and asphalt. In terms of composition, they both have one thing in common. They both contain pebbles, sand and small rocks. The difference is the adhesive that is used to hold all of these ingredients together. In the case of asphalt, it is tar that holds everything in place, while in the case of concrete, it is cement. This seemingly minor difference actually has a huge effect on both the structure of these materials and their use in different types of projects. For one thing, concrete is able to be used for things that asphalt is not. For instance, concrete can be utilized to actually build a vertical structure, such as a parking garage or building. On the other hand, asphalt cannot do this. This is due to the fact that asphalt is not meant to have the type of vertical strength and rigidity of concrete. Because of this, asphalt is not ideal for actually building structures. When put to the test on a horizontal platform, though, both asphalt and concrete are able to withstand a lot of pressure, such as the weight of multiple cars and trucks. That is why asphalt is great for paving parking lots, since it is inexpensive enough to cover a large area, but strong enough to hold a great deal of weight.
One other factor that makes asphalt appealing for those trying to pave a large area, such as a street, driveway or parking lot, is the fact that asphalt is a quick material, in terms of its ability to be spread around and to dry. With asphalt, you can cover a very large area, in a fairly short amount of time. Plus, it will dry very quickly, meaning you can use your parking lot or other area as quickly as possible. The fact that you can cover a large area in less time means that you are going to save money on labor costs, as well. In addition to the fact that you will save some money at the time, you may also save a lot of money on maintenance costs, down the line. It is much less expensive to maintain asphalt than concrete.