Asphalt is a coating very frequently used by individuals and professionals wishing to develop their exterior. This material is much more aesthetic today than it was, because tar has been replaced by bitumen, which comes in different colors. We obtain beautiful finishes, plain or graphic, allowing to create paths, terraces and car parks in harmony with the buildings. Let’s take a closer look at the criteria for choosing an asphalt mix, its advantages and disadvantages as well as the prices per M² that can be obtained, depending on your project, thanks to an online quote, free and without obligation.
What is bituminous mix?
Asphalt is not only used to cover our road and motorway networks. It now finds its place in private individuals who wish to develop the surroundings of their house and create hard driveways. It is even sometimes part of the services offered by landscaping specialists.
Whatever the type of asphalt desired, its basic composition is always the same: it is nothing other than a mixture of aggregates of gravel and sand amalgamated and stabilized by a bituminous binder. The variants are simply obtained by modifying the proportion of the different components, which directly impacts the density of the mix. We thus obtain differences at the level of:
- From appearance,
- Of its impermeability,
- The service life of the asphalt.
It is better to choose a absorbent mix sufficiently permeable to absorb rainwater. This makes it possible to avoid water runoff, or even puddles which accumulate in the event of a particularly rainy period. It is he who, on roads and highways, limits the risk of aquaplaning. Its price is around 55 €/M².
The different types of asphalt
The consumer has a wide choice of mixes.
- Draining asphalt: ideal for not having to suffer from the stagnation of rainwater, it is highly sought after for its great absorbency. It is used a lot on roads and highways, but it is very well suited to sloping driveways.
- Gravel bitumen: this aggregate is well suited to harsh climates due to its high resistance to frost.
- Colored asphalt: it offers many possibilities in terms of exterior decoration, allowing for all kinds of audacity. It brings an undeniable contemporary touch to the garden. It highlights the house and the plants.
- Asphalt concrete: this is the name given to a mixture of gravel and sand to which a hydrocarbon binder is added. Highly resistant, it is spread in successive layers mainly on the road and motorway networks as well as on the airstrips.
- Grave-emulsion: this mixture of bitumen emulsion, aggregates and water is obtained after undergoing cold mixing. Very dense, the grave-emulsion is mainly used to recharge, reinforce, renovate or repair any type of road or motorway network, even in harsh climates.
Two other types of asphalt are more particularly reserved for the construction industry, namely:
These last two types of coating do not really lend themselves to the arrangement of the tower of a house.
Hot mix and cold mix: kezako?
These are the two possible asphalt paving techniques.
The laying is carried out while the asphalt is at a temperature of more or less 180°C. This complex installation technique makes it possible to obtain a extremely durable exterior coating. But it involves a fairly long drying period during which you should neither roll nor walk on the coating so that its surface is subsequently perfectly smooth, free of any ruts or footprints.
Draining asphalt, gravel bitumen, colored asphalt but also bituminous concrete are all hot asphalt.
This classic spreading technique is suitable for gravel-emulsion and so-called cold mix. It is much less complex than the previous one and therefore more economical. Spread at room temperature, the outer coating has less resistance compared to hot mix asphalt, especially since its thickness is also thinner. However, it is a solution that is ideal for creating paths or for fill holes and cracks on a driveway already existing.
Asphalt: the advantages
Depending on its type, asphalt has many advantages, which explains its growing success.
- Suitable for all types of terrain, even very steep,
- Stabilizes pedestrian walkway, garage descent, courtyard, terrace, parking space,
- Resists the frequent passage of vehicles,
- Enables the creation of access points that are perfectly adapted to people with reduced mobility,
- Facilitates outdoor movement whether on foot, by bike, on a scooter or when transporting a toddler in a stroller or pram,
- Requires no special maintenance: a little high-pressure cleaner at most once or twice a year keeps its beautiful original appearance and eliminates any moss,
- Enhances the house and the garden,
- Is more practical than the gravel that ends up invading the house as much as the passenger compartment of the car.
It is possible to create a custom landscaping by opting for asphalt in different colors or by playing the card of contrasts between a dark asphalt and white borders, for example, which underline with refinement the elegant curve of a driveway.
This outdoor covering is a practical solution to facilitate movement in the garden, especially in rainy weather. With asphalt, you no longer wade through the mud.
Asphalt: the disadvantages
Do-it-yourselfers may get a bit frustrated because the asphalt can only be laid by a professional. Indeed, this requires real know-how but also specific equipment.
As for the lifespan of an asphalt mix, it is limited to a dozen years at most for the least resistant and can reach twenty years for some others. After this period of time, it is necessary to replace the old faded and more or less damaged bitumen with a new mix.
It is recommended find out from a specialized company on the longevity of an asphalt mix, because it obviously depends on the type of bitumen coating that you want to lay at home. It is also partly related to the conditions of use but also climatic.
Laying asphalt around the house: what does the law say?
The project owner must inquire with the town hall of his municipality before tarring his driveway which leads to a public road. For example, a prior request for work can be submitted to the department concerned if you plan to asphalt a parking space. This is not mandatory but highly recommended. Be careful, however, if you are bound by an obligation to servitudethe latter being governed by the Civil Code (art. 637, 686 and others depending on the case).
The regulations in terms of tarring are constantly changing, the consumer has every interest in obtaining information either from his town hall or from the specialist company who is fully informed of the measures to be taken in this specific case.
Budget to plan for laying an asphalt?
The budget to be devoted to laying an asphalt mix depends on the type of surfacing chosen, the surface to be covered, the complexity associated with the laying technique – which itself depends on the dosage of the mix. But the price also depends on the equipment used and the access difficulties that the professional may encounter on the site. In addition, the price takes into account the extent of the preparation work for the area concerned: study of the land, earthworks, felling of troublesome trees, etc.
The price of asphalt alone is more or less €120 per ton. As an indication, to cover an area of 50 M² with an asphalt thickness of 5 cm, it is necessary to order 5 tons of asphalt. The price per ton varies according to the type of coating. You should know in any case that a reduced VAT is applicable, under certain conditions, on certain landscaping work.
Nothing can be more precise than a coated estimate since to establish it, the specialist studies all the conditions related to the construction site. It may be useful to request multiple quotes laying of a coating in order to compare prices – of equal quality of course – and to bring the competition into play.