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Asphalt is a durable and smooth material used for roads, driveways, and rooves construction, but the least fun part about is its boring black color. If you would ever consider it for house pavement, of course, you'd want hue that you will be pleased with. The question is does asphalt come in different colors? We’ve researched and here’s what we’ve found.
Asphalt is generally charcoal or gray because the main aggregate, Bitumen, mixed with the binder is a viscous pitch-black liquid. But dry pigments can be mixed with the aggregate and paint can be applied on the surface to alter its color.
If you'd think choosing a color was not an option - now, we have a greater selection of asphalt colors and change pavement appearance as desired! Keep reading to learn more about asphalt color variations for your surface.
What Are Colored Asphalt Used For?
Colored asphalt is used to accent different roadways and surfaces such as bike lanes, race tracks, and pedestrian walkways. It can also be used to add aesthetic appeal to parks, driveways, and shingles. But the expensive price, up to $16 per square foot, is one major drawback for utilizing colors.
What Are The Different Asphalt Color Options?
Here are some best of color options available for it:
- Light cream
- Slate green
- Desert sand
- Orchid gray
How To Color Asphalt Pavement?
One method of adding color to the asphalt pavement is by mixing powder pigments into the hot asphalt mixture. But this can be costly and is often done by professionals. Also, the end result is usually just earth tones.
The other option is applying acrylic-based paint. It is budget-friendly and guarantees to achieve the exact colors you are after!
Types Of Paint You Can Use For Asphalt
Oil Based Paint
This has properties similar to those of acrylic paint and is available in a wide range of colors. Oil-based paint is hard-dry, making it resistant to breakage and crack. So people use it in high-traffic places or areas they don’t want to repaint too often.
Water-Based Latex Paint
This coating is the by-product of acrylic resin. It has the highest reflective properties that resist stains. So it is mostly applied on metal substrates or surfaces mainly for color retention.
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Benefits Of Coloring Asphalt
Colorizing asphalt has become a popular practice in road construction over the years. But aside from decorative styles what else are the other known benefits associated with it?
- Endurance- paints prevent anodic reaction or oxidation, so it protects the asphalt from early deterioration.
- Low maintenance- Since it delays asphalt deterioration, it requires little maintenance.
- Increased lifespan- coloring asphalt is the most efficient way to extend the lifespan of asphalt, you add years to asphalt life expectancy right after painting it.
Can You Paint Your Asphalt Driveway?
Yes, you can! In fact, it is recommended to improve its lifespan and curb appeal. But you have to use the right paint, otherwise, it will peel off.
For this project, we suggest a colored sealer. Many homeowners prefer this because it adheres well to asphalt surfaces and improves the existing driveway color.
An asphalt sealer costs approximately $250 up to $700 and it will last for three to four years. However, old asphalt driveways need to be recoated every year.
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How To Paint Your Asphalt Driveway?
Before you apply the sealant, clean and smooth the surface first to prevent bumps and bubbles.
- Brush away oil and grease with a water-based cleaner.
- Pressure wash the driveway to remove dirt and debris, then allow the surface to dry.
- Pour two gallons of the sealant into a bucket then prepare the paint roller.
- Coat the driveway twice, allow a three-hour interval in between coating. This creates a protective barrier, so it lasts longer.
- Allow the sealant to cure for four to eight before walking on the driveway.
How To Maintain An Asphalt Driveway?
See the relatively simple tips below:
- Keep the surface clean. You can do weekly or monthly cleaning, depending on how many people and how much it is used. If there’s high traffic, you may need to clean more often to avoid dirt and debris buildup that can stain the surface.
- Repair immediately. Don’t neglect small wear, it may lead to serious damage. Fill cracks and broken sections immediately with caulking sealant.
- Remove standing water in the driveway. Standing water can break into sealant, causing it to peel. Also, it makes your driveway slippery and prone to mold. Brush them away. If possible, add drainage that can channel the water out.
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Can You Paint The Asphalt Roof Shingles?
Painting roof shingles is doable, however, professional painters don’t advise it. This is due to the fact that asphalt roofing is under direct sunlight, making it susceptible to deterioration.
Furthermore, asphalt roof shingles have granules that break away over time, which results in a blotchy appearance. This will require annual repainting to maintain it.
How To Paint Asphalt Roof Shingles?
Similar to that of the asphalt driveway, you also need to prepare your roof before the painting process.
- Inspect the roof. Remove the mold and mildew. You can use a pressure washer to blast them away. Repair any damage or tear. Applying paint over broken shingles is a waste of time and money because the paint will just fall off. Once repaired, allow the roof to dry off completely. But if your roof is in condition, you can skip this step.
- Use a 1-inch nap paint roller to coat the shingles.
- Start from the bottom to the top, then left. This is important because if you start vice versa, the coat will drip down, creating a huge mess. Coating from the bottom up allows you to manage the drips.
- Avoid applying ¼ inch-thick paint. The thick coat causes the shingles to bond closer, preventing them from moving. When this happens you will have to remove the entire paint first to be able to repair your roof in case it gets damaged.
- Coat the roof two to three times, then allow the paint to dry completely.
If you think you won’t be able to do it, don’t hesitate to hire a contractor.
How To Maintain Asphalt Roof Shingles?
To extend the life of your roof shingles, you must:
- Inspect the roof periodically. As a general rule, you should inspect the roof every 12 to 18 months or after a major weather event. This allows you to fix the damage quickly.
- Touch up. If some areas are fading away, it’s best to peel off the paint on the affected area and repaint it.
- Don’t ignore minor problems. Don’t wait until they turn into a major issue. This will save you a lot of money and frustration.
How Long Does Asphalt Last?
Asphalt lasts approximately 25 years, with proper maintenance it can last up to 30 years. This may still vary depending on the traffic volume, weather conditions, and soil beneath it. Old asphalt gets reprocessed and mixed in aggregate to produce new asphalt.
Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Pavement
Distinguishing the pros and cons of asphalt gives you proper expectations of the product:
- Fast installation. Asphalt hardens and cures in no time!
- Inexpensive. It only costs $2 to $4 per square foot.
- Easy to maintain. Asphalt is quick to repair, recoat, and reseal.
- Flexible. It is resistant to extreme heat, pressure, and surface motion.
- Short lifespan. Asphalt has a shorter lifespan compared to concrete, the latter can last up to 50 years.
- Frequent maintenance. Asphalt is easy to maintain, but it requires re-evaluation and repair, if necessary, every three years.
Asphalt Vs. Concrete: Which Is Better?
The longer lifespan and eco-friendly aggregate give concrete an edge over asphalt. With proper maintenance, it can last twice the lifespan of asphalt. However, asphalt is relatively cheaper than concrete.
Asphalt is typically black and gray, but you can use dry pigment and paint to color it. Repainting or sealing is required once a year or every three years, depending on the age of the asphalt. Asphalt life expectancy is 25 years only, but with proper maintenance, it can last 30 years or longer.