Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Asphalt

Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Asphalt


When it comes to paving, asphalt is a material that often springs to mind. Known for its durability and longevity, it’s the preferred choice for roads, driveways, and parking lots across the globe. However, beyond its common uses and benefits, there are several surprising facts about asphalt that many people are unaware of. Whether you’re a homeowner looking into sealcoating in Lakeland, FL, or just someone interested in learning more about this versatile material, this post will unveil some intriguing aspects of asphalt.


1. Asphalt is Mostly Recycled

One of the most surprising facts about asphalt is its recyclability. In the United States, asphalt is among the most recycled materials, with over 80% of the asphalt removed from roads being recycled. This not only conserves natural resources but also reduces the environmental impact associated with the production and disposal of asphalt.

2. Ancient Uses of Asphalt

The use of asphalt dates back to ancient civilizations. The Babylonians and Assyrians used it for building and waterproofing purposes over 5,000 years ago. Asphalt was also used in the mummification process by the Egyptians and as a sealing agent for baths and reservoirs by the Romans.

3. It’s Naturally Occurring

While many associate asphalt with man-made roads and structures, it’s important to note that natural asphalt deposits exist. The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles are a famous example of natural asphalt springs, where asphalt has seeped up from the ground for tens of thousands of years.

4. Asphalt Reduces Noise Pollution

One of the lesser-known benefits of asphalt is its ability to reduce noise pollution. The porous nature of certain types of asphalt pavement can significantly decrease road noise compared to other pavement types. This makes asphalt an excellent choice for urban areas where noise pollution is a concern.

5. Water Drainage Properties

Asphalt can be engineered to have water drainage properties. Open-graded asphalt, in particular, allows water to drain through the pavement surface, reducing water spray and hydroplaning risks on roads. This feature enhances safety during rainy conditions and is an added benefit of choosing asphalt for pavement projects.

6. The Color of Asphalt Can Vary

While asphalt is typically associated with its characteristic black color, it can vary depending on the materials used. By incorporating different types of aggregate or using colored binders, asphalt can be produced in a variety of colors. This is particularly useful for bike lanes, bus lanes, and other special use areas where color coding is beneficial.

7. It's Energy Efficient

Laying asphalt requires less energy than other pavement materials, making it an energy-efficient choice. Additionally, the smooth surface provided by asphalt reduces fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles, contributing to a more sustainable environment.

8. Quick to Install and Use

Unlike other materials that require a significant curing time, asphalt pavements can be laid quickly and are ready to use shortly after being paved. This minimizes disruption in traffic flow and construction time, making it a convenient option for both contractors and the public.

9. It Has a Cooling Effect

In densely populated urban areas, asphalt can help mitigate the heat island effect. Light-colored or reflective asphalt pavements can reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional dark asphalt, reducing the ambient temperature in urban areas.

10. Sealcoating Extends Its Life

Sealcoating is a preventive maintenance measure that can significantly extend the life of asphalt pavements. It provides a protective layer against the elements, including UV rays, water, and chemicals, thus reducing wear and tear. For residents and businesses in Lakeland, FL, opting for sealcoating can keep their asphalt pavements looking and functioning great for years to come.



Asphalt is more than just a material for paving roads and driveways; it’s a fascinating substance with a rich history, beneficial properties, and surprising facts that many are unaware of. From its ancient uses to modern applications, asphalt continues to play a crucial role in our infrastructure and daily lives.

For those in Lakeland, FL, looking to protect and preserve their asphalt surfaces, sealcoating is an essential consideration. A. Rafferty Paving specializes in sealcoating and offers expert services to maintain the beauty and longevity of your asphalt pavements. Contact us today to get your free quote and learn more about how we can help with your sealcoating needs in Lakeland, FL.

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