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Kinds Of Asphalt That Appears Alike but Are Different

Key Takeaways:

  1. Asphalt is a popular choice for driveways and parking lots because it is durable and relatively affordable.
  2. There are several different kinds of asphalt, each with its unique characteristics.
  3. The most common asphalts are hot-mix, warm-mix, cold-mix, porous, cutback, and polymer-modified.
  4. Hot-mix asphalt uses smaller stones heated before mixing with asphalt to create a strong, flexible pavement. It is used on roads, parking lots, driveways, and other surfaces.
  5. Warm mix asphalt is made from the same ingredients but at a lower temperature. This allows water to be mixed in for easier handling during installation without compromising strength once cooled and set.

If you’re a homeowner, there’s a good chance that you’ve had to deal with asphalt at some point. Asphalt is used for driveways and parking lots, and it’s a popular choice because it’s durable and relatively affordable. However, not all asphalt is created equal. There are many different types of asphalt, and they all have unique characteristics.

This blog post will breeze through the most common types of asphalt and how to tell them apart!

Types Of Asphalt

Asphalt’s popularity can be attributed to its durability and ease of maintenance. But not all asphalt is created equal — there are many different types of asphalt with other properties and purposes.

Type #01: Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-mix asphalt uses smaller stones heated before mixing with asphalt to create a strong, flexible pavement. The smaller rocks make hot-mix asphalt easier to work with and more economical than other types.


It’s used on roads, parking lots, driveways, and other surfaces. Hot mix asphalt is also frequently used to repair existing pavements. It creates a smooth surface with fewer cracks and potholes than loose gravel or crushed stone.

How To Apply?

Hot-mix asphalt must be applied while hot, so it’s best to hire an experienced contractor who can handle the job correctly. The asphalt is spread using a truck and then hand-raked until it has reached the desired thickness. After you apply, the asphalt will adjust based on temperature changes. It should last for a few years without extensive care.

Type #02: Warm-Mix Asphalt

Warm-mix asphalt is made from the same ingredients as hot-mix asphalt, but it’s heated at a lower temperature. You can also mix the material with water, which cools and allows for easier handling and installation.


The primary use of warm-mix asphalt is to repair roads and highways or replace deteriorated sections. This type of asphalt is also used in airport runways, parking lots, and driveways.

How To Apply?

Warm-mix asphalt is easier to apply than hot-mix asphalt but requires the same expertise. For proper installation, hire an experienced contractor with specialized machinery with a pressure roller or rake for good coverage and adequate thickness. The material needs time to cure before you can use it, so make sure you plan for the project’s full timeline.

Type #03: Cold-Mix Asphalt

Cold-mix asphalt utilizes larger stones that an emulsion process has treated. It requires less installation time but may provide a different strength than hot-mix asphalt.


Cold-mix asphalt is used mainly to repair potholes, seal cracks, and finish driveways. It’s ideal for small jobs that don’t require a truckload of material or large projects such as parking lots.

How To Apply?

To install cold-mix asphalt, the area should be swept clean and leveled. The cold-mix asphalt can be spread by hand or machine with a pressure roller or rake to ensure good coverage and proper thickness. Once applied, allow the mix to cure before driving on it.

Type #04: Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is a type of asphalt that contains voids and is designed with open-graded surface mixtures. It has a high porosity, allowing water to pass through it more easily than other types of asphalt. This helps reduce the amount of runoff from paved surfaces.


Porous pavements are used in parking lots, driveways, and bike paths. These pavements provide a smooth driving surface and allow water to pass through more easily than dense-graded asphalt surfaces. Additionally, porous asphalt can reduce noise pollution due to its open structure.

How To Apply?

You should properly prepare the surface to ensure the optimal performance of the porous asphalt layer. This includes grading and compacting the existing soil base, providing any cracks and joints in the pavement are filled in, and ensuring that the edges are properly sealed.

Once the base is ready, a machine called an asphalt paver can be used to distribute a layer of very small stone aggregate over the surface. This stone forms the skeleton for the porous asphalt layer and should be compacted with a heavy roller.

The final step is to install an asphalt emulsion-sand mix, which will fill in any remaining gaps in the pavement. This mixture will eventually cure and form a waterproof, dust-proof layer that is highly resistant to wear and abrasion.

Type #05: Cutback Asphalt

Cutback asphalt is a liquid thinned with kerosene or another petroleum-based product. It’s used in paving applications where it is not practical to use hot asphalt.


Cutback asphalt is mainly used as a patching material, which means it’s applied over existing pavement. The thinning agents help the material to penetrate better into the cracks and crevices of the old pavement, creating a more secure bond with the current asphalt layer.

How To Apply?

To achieve maximum durability, you should spread the mixture evenly with a squeegee or sprayer. It should then be allowed to sit for several hours before traffic can travel over it.

Type #06: Polymer-Modified Asphalt

Polymer-modified asphalt is created by blending in elastomers, such as rubber, plastic, and other polymers. This type of asphalt is more durable and resistant to cracking than traditional hot-mix asphalt.


Polymer-modified asphalt can be used in various applications, including roadways and parking lots. The increased durability makes it an ideal option for areas that experience a high volume of traffic or require frequent repairs due to weathering. It is also often used in driveways, walkways, and playgrounds, which may need extra durability than roads and parking lots.

How To Apply?

Polymer-modified asphalt must be applied using specialized equipment to ensure proper mixing and application.

The first step is to prepare the existing surface by removing loose debris or vegetation.

Once the surface has been prepared, a hot-mix asphalt can be applied at the desired thickness before adding the polymer-modified asphalt. The mixture of polymer-modified asphalt is then mixed using an asphalt laydown machine.

This mixture is then spread using a screed, or smooth metal plate, to ensure even coverage. After applying, the surface must be allowed to cool and harden before it can be used.

Related: Understanding Asphalt Paving



As such, it’s clear why different types of asphalt are often the go-to material when constructing roads or parking lots. All these factors combine to make asphalt an ideal choice over other paving solutions available today.

American Paving has been in business since the 1960s, so we know what we’re doing regarding asphalt paving. We use only the best quality materials in Gastonia. We are committed to providing our customers with superior service..

We understand that only some people are familiar with asphalt paving, so we are happy to provide a free consultation for any potential customer. We want you to be confident in our ability to handle your project – no matter how big or small.

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