4 Surprising Facts About Asphalt

Any time you venture outside, you will likely encounter asphalt. It is used to create many of our roadways, parking lots, and walking paths. Asphalt is far from being a modern marvel, though. In fact, its use dates back to ancient times. As commercial concrete contractors in Philadelphia, we consider ourselves experts when it comes to all things asphalt and concrete. Here are some interesting tidbits about this versatile material that you might not have known about.

  1. Asphalt is a naturally occurring substance. Sometimes referred to as bitumen, asphalt is a semi-solid form of petroleum. It is found in large deposits that are sometimes called asphalt lakes. The substance can also be found in rock asphalt, which has sand and limestone mixed in.
  2. The use of asphalt dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. On a tablet dating from around 615 BCE, it states that a road leading into the city of Babylon was paved with asphalt. There is evidence that it may have been used for various applications even before this date. The Greeks were also familiar with this material, and the word asphalt comes from the ancient Greek word “asphaltos” which simply means asphalt or bitumen. The Romans also used asphalt as a sealant on baths, reservoirs, and aqueducts.
  3. Over 99% of asphalt gets reused. One of the best things about asphalt is that it can be endlessly reused. When we mill asphalt from a surface, we remove the top layer to straighten out any irregularities. The asphalt that we removed is then recycled to create a new surface. This practice is environmentally friendly since we are able to conserve energy and natural resources. It is also more cost-effective that obtaining new materials.
  4. Asphalt was first used for US roads in the 1860s. A Belgian chemist developed the first asphalt pavement based on a French highway that was built a decade earlier. The path was laid in front of City Hall in Newark, NJ. His next project was to pave Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. His work showed that asphalt was a durable material for road construction.

When you need asphalt paving or repairs, trust the company with over 40 years of experience. We also offer roll-off dumpster rental in Montgomery County and surrounding areas. Give us a call for more information on the many services we can provide.