Why Do People Put Sand on Asphalt?

Why Do People Put Sand on Asphalt?

Why Put Sand on Asphalt?

Have you ever watched an asphalt crew at work? If so, then you’ve more than likely seen them mix sand on the finished product or using it when applying sealcoating to existing asphalt. Why do they do this? As it turns out, mixing sand in your asphalt does a number of beneficial things for asphalt. 

Some of the many reasons why professionals put sand on asphalt include:

Sand Improves Sealcoat Layer

In order to protect your asphalt, you need to apply sealcoating. This should be done once the newly laid asphalt has a chance to cure, and the process should be repeated regularly throughout the life of the surface. 

And sometimes, sand is mixed into the sealcoating. A fine layer of sand is included in the sealcoating before it’s applied. Adding sand to the asphalt makes the sealcoat layer stronger, thus making your asphalt surface look nicer and last much longer. 

Taking Care of Small Gaps and Cracks

Since asphalt is made up of small pieces of gravel and other materials, over time, as the protective surface of the asphalt breaks down and tiny gaps and cracks form. These cracks are caused by exposure to the elements, including sun, wind, rain, and snow. Filling these gaps is a part of regular maintenance, and it needs to be done before you can apply a new layer of sealcoating over the asphalt. 

Using sand to fill in those small cracks and gaps takes care of the problem. In addition to sand particles easily fitting into tiny cracks, the sand also soaks up some of the water that has leaked in through them, preventing it from spreading and causing more damage. 

If left untreated, these hairline cracks will turn into much larger cracks, in which you will need to fill them with crack filler and use a crack filler machine.

Sand Helps Improve Asphalt Traction

If you live in an area plagued by rain, snow, and other problematic weather, then you no doubt need some additional traction on those drivable surfaces. By spreading a thin layer of sand over newly poured asphalt, you’re introducing an effective way to improve the traction of every vehicle that drives over it. Plus, the sand will get dispersed throughout the asphalt in the process, helping with traction even after you can no longer see it on the surface. It blends in quite nicely.

Making the Surface Look Nicer and Smoother

Everyone wants an asphalt driveway or parking lot that have a nice, smooth look. By including sand in the mix, forcing it into the surface of the newly poured asphalt before it cures, that surface will be smooth and perfect. And the best part? The sand won’t be visible at all, as it fully sinks in. So, in the end, you’ll have a surface to be proud of. 

Putting Sand on Your Asphalt surface - Final Words

As you can see, adding sand to asphalt is a part of pavement maintenance. Not only can it improve traction and the asphalt’s overall appearance, but it increases the longevity and durability of the asphalt.

Since asphalt is an investment, it makes sense that you’d want it to last as long as possible and provide the best possible surface for driving and parking at the same time. Who knew that the best solution was sand?


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