Flexibility and low installation costs are some of the top reasons to choose bitumen driveways
When people hear or encounter the words “bitumen driveway”, often the first thing that comes to mind is an asphalt driveway. This is not surprising as bitumen is usually used interchangeably with asphalt because in many parts of the world. However, in Australia, bitumen and asphalt are different.
This article explains the components of bitumen and the benefits of a bitumen driveway in more detail.
What is bitumen?
Bitumen is a sticky and viscous liquid substance known for its waterproof and adhesive properties. It acts as a binding agent that holds aggregates like sand and gravel together. Bitumen is often used on roads with less traffic. When roads and driveways are sprayed with this substance, they tend to have a course or rough finish. Bitumen pavements usually have a 10 to 20-mm depth. They can last up to 10 years or more before they require major renovation or repairs.
On the other hand, asphalt is a mixture of bitumen, sand, and other aggregates. Bitumen is just one of the components of asphalt. Roads lined with asphalt are smooth, which is why asphalt is used for roads with high volumes of traffic, such as major thoroughfares and highways. Asphalt pavements are 25 to 40 mm deep and with a predicted lifespan of more than 20 years.
How is Bitumen Applied in Driveways?
Apart from being used as a construction material for roadways, bitumen is now also preferred on driveways and pavements.
The process of using bitumen on a driveway is pretty like roadworks: the driveway is first sprayed with bitumen. Then, the driveway is covered with large-sized aggregates made of crushed up materials. Finally, the top surface is sealed with bitumen together with smaller aggregates. The final layer gives the road or driveway a two-coat seal.
When pavements have two layers of bitumen sealcoat, they are more protected against traffic and weather.
What are the benefits of a bitumen driveway?
Choosing bitumen as a material for residential driveways can prove to be beneficial. Here are the benefits of a bitumen driveway:
Low installation cost
Bitumen driveway is inexpensive to install and will not break the bank upfront. As one of the most cost-effective materials in the market today, it is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious. While the actual cost of a bitumen driveway may vary depending on factors like the size of the driveway, bitumen as a material for driveways is less expensive. This is because the number of aggregates needed to create a bitumen driveway is lower than that required for concrete.
Bitumen as a material for driveways can fit different styles of properties – from modern to industrial or even rustic. Moreover, bitumen adds a visual character to a residential property. It usually appears black because of the organic materials composing it. Still, pigments can be added to achieve a colour that matches one’s residential property.
As with any construction material, bitumen needs time to cure. Fortunately, a driveway made with bitumen takes less curing time. As a result, the driveway will be ready to use within a day or less. This is advantageous, especially in situations when there is a need to park the vehicles along the driveway, or when there is an urgent need to use the driveway.
Durability and safety
When constructed properly, bitumen driveways can survive the test of time. Then, it takes around at least five years up to 20 years before repairs are needed to be undertaken in driveways made with bitumen, for as long as proper maintenance of the pavement is undertaken.
Because bitumen is resistant to water, it is highly desirable as a construction material and a liquid sealant on exposed surfaces like roads, pavements, and driveways. Being waterproof implies that bitumen can prevent water damage to surfaces when they are layered, sprayed, or sealed with bitumen. As a result, problems like cracks and potholes can be avoided.
Replacing the entire driveway can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, the cost of maintaining and the time it takes to maintain a bitumen driveway are manageable.
Compared to concrete, bitumen expands when hot and contracts when cold. This means that this material can easily tolerate changes in the weather and, thus, is less prone to damage due to extreme weather conditions.
How to Maintain a Bitumen Driveway?
A driveway made with bitumen can last for at least five years to 20 years if properly maintained. Here are some important reminders for homeowners to make sure that they continuously take advantage of the benefits of a bitumen driveway:
1. Immediately repair the issues when they arise
Cracks and holes are pretty much unavoidable. However, once the driveway shows signs of crack or any wear and tear, easy fixes like sealing the upper layer with bitumen may prove helpful.
Bitumen driveways do not need immediate demolition or removal of the existing surface, especially if the existing surface remains intact and there is no major structural damage. The minor cracks and holes can be easily repaired through bitumen spray sealing.
2. Always keep the bitumen driveway clean
Remove stains like car fluids and motor oil immediately. Then, protect the surface of the driveway by using proper cleaning materials.
3. Consult a professional
While there are plenty of tips on the Internet on maintaining a bitumen driveway, there is no better substitute for the advice of a professional. Make sure to seek only the advice of trusted professionals with a long track record of excellence and integrity.
Find out more about Bitumen Driveways and How they can Enhance your Property
If you want further details about the benefits of a bitumen driveway, it is best to consult a professional. Our team at Road Seal Australia takes pride in our solid track record of customer satisfaction and professionalism.
Contact us at 1800 902 202 or email@example.com. You may also click here to learn more about us and driveways. We currently serve the areas of Ipswich, Dubbo, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Brisbane.