Reclaimed Asphalt: What Is It, and How Is It Recycled?

When asphalt is installed properly and used in the right applications, you end up with a good-looking, very functional surface. These include driveways, parking lots and roadways. Unfortunately, even though asphalt is a strong, durable and long lasting material, the time will come when an asphalt surface will need to be patched up, resurfaced or replaced with more asphalt. But this can be wasteful and bad for the environment. It’s for these reasons that many people are choosing to use reclaimed asphalt pavement instead of new asphalt material.

Just what is reclaimed asphalt, and how is it used? Let’s ask an asphalt contractor in Saratoga Springs, NY!

An overview of reclaimed asphalt

Reclaimed asphalt is also known as recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). It consists of processed materials that contained asphalt and other aggregates, typically old layers of asphalt that have been removed during road resurfacing or other road construction projects. In order for old asphalt to be reusable, the material is crushed down to a much smaller size. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), RAP has become popular due to its lower cost, eco-friendly process and simple maintenance.

Uses of reclaimed asphalt pavement

Once RAP is crushed and screened, reclaimed asphalt pavement gets mixed in with high-quality aggregates to produce hot mix asphalt (HMA), and then is used in various residential and commercial construction or maintenance applications. HMA is suitable for projects like residential and business driveway paving, commercial parking lots and school blacktops. Recycled asphalt is also frequently used for paving roads and highways.

Advantages of reclaimed asphalt pavement

There are actually several benefits of choosing to use reclaimed asphalt pavement in projects that require asphalt. Right off the bat, RAP is beneficial to the environment. When a great amount of RAP is used instead of new asphalt material, there’s a significant difference in the amount of non-renewable resources being consumed. Furthermore, it reduces pollution and reduces the amount of garbage that finds its way to landfills.

Another top advantage of reclaimed asphalt pavement is cost. Because RAP material is less expensive to produce, it’s more affordable for asphalt contractors to use compared to other types of aggregates. In other words, utilizing it cuts down on your project’s expenses.

Where to buy RAP

Just as you would before purchasing other types of materials for a project, it’s important to do your homework when choosing where and whom to purchase your reclaimed asphalt pavement from. Because RAP needs to go through a process before being usable, you must ensure your reclaimed paving material is safe and effective. If the material used is of low quality or not properly sized and screened, then driveways, roadways and other asphalt surfaces can fail. Only buy from licensed manufacturers who offer high-quality recycled asphalt pavement.

If you have an upcoming project and are interested in learning more about reclaimed asphalt pavement, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Asphalt Industries. Call to speak with an experienced asphalt contractor in Saratoga Springs, NY today!