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What's the Difference Between Asphalt and Blacktop? December 10, 2018

Richmond, Madison
What's the Difference Between Asphalt and Blacktop?, Richmond, Kentucky

When it comes to paving a driveway or a road, asphalt and blacktop are top choices for materials. Often confused for the same thing, the terms “asphalt” and “blacktop” are used interchangeably because of their similar properties and look. However, there are subtle differences between the two substances that make them useful for different purposes. Learning what makes each of these paving options unique will help you determine which is best for your own home or business needs.

A Guide to Asphalt and Blacktop Paving


The asphalt you see on the road is actually a natural deposit called bitumen, a black resin often described as a semi-solid form of petroleum. Because of bitumen’s viscosity and sticky properties, it’s an ideal binding ingredient that can hold aggregates such as sand and rocks together, creating a composite material that known as asphalt.


pavingSimilar to asphalt, blacktop is made up of bitumen and considered as a type of asphalt. The term “blacktop” started when older roads were “topped” with asphalt as an economical protective layer for roads and highways. However, for residential purposes, its makeup is slightly different from the asphalt used on the road. It can come in a variety of different parts of aggregate and bitumen. Usually, it’s made up of mostly aggregate and as little as five percent asphalt.


Since ancient times, some forms of asphalt have been used for sealing and waterproofing materials such as roofs and pipes. Today, seventy percent of asphalt is used for constructing and paving roads. For roads, parking lots, and racetracks, a steamroller smooths down the mixture of bitumen and aggregate which then flattens and becomes water-resistant. Blacktop is generally used for residential constructions, such as driveways and walkways. The smoothing process for blacktop is the same as asphalt.


C & R Asphalt is an award-winning paving company known for its quality services in the Greater Lexington, KY, area. Their expert team covers a variety of commercial and residential paving services, including asphalt repair. Other feature services include seal coating, crack filling, and striping to maintain and promote longevity. Call (859) 255-0077 today for a free estimate or visit their website for their list of satisfied customers.

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