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Asphalt driveways are very durable, but should be sealed every 3-5 years. Blue Ridge Landscaping in Holland, MI.

Asphalt is a paving material made with stone aggregates, water and bitumen, a very sticky form of petroleum. It used to be a popular choice for residential driveways because of its high durability and low cost. While asphalt is still one of the most durable driveway materials the cost of blacktop driveways has risen with the cost of oil. Combined with the increased usage of concrete, the popularity of asphalt driveways has dropped in recent years. Additionally, many people hold the common misconception that there are few options when it comes to asphalt and that all you'll get is a boring black surface. A little research proves that there are actually more decorative asphalt options than most homeowners realize.

Recycled Asphalt Driveways

One driveway option that has become popular is recycled asphalt (RAP). For this type of driveway an existing blacktop surface is ground up into pieces the size of gravel, which can then be re-laid as driveway paving. Since many of the oils are still present the ground up pavement will bind together over time and become more cohesive than regular gravel. A recycled asphalt driveway should cost less than a new one.

Tar & Chip Driveways

Another option is a tar and chip driveway, which resembles the look of gravel with the solidarity of asphalt. Tar and chip is basically an asphalt drive that has stone aggregate seeded into the surface. This type of driveway can be made to look much lighter and more natural than plain asphalt. Tar and chip driveways provide excellent traction, but can make snow removal difficult. Additionally, they are also considerably cheaper than asphalt and don't require sealing. However, some people have reported problems with stones wearing away or coming loose do to vehicle traffic and weeds growing up through the surface.

Colored & Stamped Asphalt Driveways

Finally, you can choose a decorative asphalt which utilizes techniques that allow for the creation of colored and stamped asphalt driveways. Despite asphalt's dark nature, it can be colored many shades - ranging from soft, creamy colors, to warm, bold colors. StreetPrint®, the pioneering stamped and colored asphalt product is available in twenty-four colors. An asphalt driveway can also be stamped with a steel template to mimic stone, brick or pavers. StreetPrint® offers patterns such as offset brick, herringbone, ashlar slate, European fan and many more.

Related Links:

Concrete Driveways
Paver Driveways
Gravel Driveways

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