Generally speaking, all home and business owners would prefer any paved surfaces on their property be smooth and flawless. This is for several reasons, from basic aesthetics to peace of mind in maintenance.
At Renaissance Asphalt Services, our various asphalt patching and repair services include the ability to help you perfectly smooth and even out any asphalt surface. We’ll create professional-grade smoothness for any paved area you require using the latest technology, all for an affordable cost. A recent publication by the Asphalt Pavement Alliance looked at some of the specific, large-scale fuel usage benefits of smoother paved surfaces, and the results showed some interesting facts in terms of asphalt and how it compares to concrete and other paving options. Let’s take a look.
The analysis provided by the APA was looking into three specific characteristics of paved surfaces as it relates to vehicle fuel consumption while traveling on said surfaces: Rolling resistance, pavement stiffness and pavement smoothness.
And while results were found for each of these areas, the one that had the largest impact on overall fuel efficiency across the sample was pavement smoothness. Our next section will dig into some of the numbers behind this realization.
Pavement Smoothness and Fuel Efficiency
Combined with previous research by the Federal Highway Administration, we get a clear picture here. Per the FHA, driving on smoother surfaces reduces fuel consumption by between 4.5 and 5 percent, this compared to how much fuel is used on rougher, bumpier pavement. This may not seem like much, but it’s a massive figure when you add it up.
Consider that Americans as a whole drive roughly 3 trillion miles per year – this generally uses roughly 175 billion gallons of fuel, give or take. If we could save even on the lower end of the above projection through smoother roads and driveways, say 4 percent for now, the reduction in annual fuel used would be over 7 billion gallons. Essentially, think of this as equivalent to taking over 10 million cars off the road permanently each year – that’s how large an impact pavement smoothness could have.
Asphalt Vs. Concrete
So what does this information tell us about the use of asphalt versus concrete for paved surfaces? Well, for one, it tells us that asphalt should be your first choice if fuel efficiency is a factor for you. Asphalt pavement is known to be smoother than concrete, backed by smoothness standards that are far higher for asphalt than they are for concrete. Much of this is due to basic physical features of each material – it’s simpler and less costly to produce smoothness on asphalt than it is on concrete.
For more on paved surface smoothness and its impact on several areas, or to learn about any of our asphalt paving, patching or sealing services, speak to the staff at Renaissance Asphalt Services today.