Asphalt is a curious substance. Made from tar, rocks and petroleum products, it somehow manages to solidify into a tough, black surface for roads and driveways. Most people do not give asphalt a second thought until it is time to repair it. If it is so durable, why does asphalt need repair? This question, and other related questions, are answered as follows.
Why Do You Have to Repair It?
This is a common question, especially during road construction season when you want to get to work but you have to take a hundred detours to get there. Well, it is true that asphalt is quite durable. However, when you have millions of cars and trucks each weighing tons and they are constantly rolling over the asphalt, it will eventually give way.
It is akin to a boxer taking five punches to the face; the fourth or fifth punch is finally enough force to break bone. The same holds true for asphalt. It can only take so much pummeling daily for years before it finally gives way and has to be repaired.
Why Does It Have to Be Repaired or Spread During the Warmer Months?
Asphalt is boiling hot. It is the only way the bitumen can remain in liquid form and not harden into a giant ball in the mixer. Ergo, why is it that road repair can only be done in the warmer months?
The answer is simple really. If you take something that is boiling hot, spill it out on a frozen roadway, and try to spread it out, what do you think would happen? It would get stuck, it would not spread, and then it would solidify before it could be smoothed onto the road. The warmer the outdoor temperatures, the easier it is to get the asphalt onto the road and smooth it out before it begins to cool and harden.
Is It Toxic? Are the Fumes Toxic?
It is a fossil fuel byproduct, which is toxic, so yes, you could say that asphalt is toxic. Of course, that only applies if you ingest it or wear it against naked skin. As for the fumes, you probably ask that because the crew pulls bandannas around their noses while working. Yes, the fumes are toxic, but only if you stand right next to the hot asphalt all the time, or if you lock yourself in an unventilated room for hours while the asphalt bubbles and cooks. Outside, the air is blowing the hot fumes around, and you will only smell it for a few minutes as you pass by it.
For more information, contact a business such as Pave Seal And Stripe.