Should You Use Recycled Asphalt Product (RAP)?


Asphalt is an important part of many homes and business properties. The benefits of recycled asphalt product (RAP) also known as Millings have grown in popularity. Not sure what RAP is and whether it is right for you? Discover a few answers.

What Is Recycled Asphalt Product?

Most people know what asphalt looks like and how well it works. But that asphalt material sometimes must be pulverized and removed. For instance, a landowner may need to move a driveway or parking area. The asphalt may have outlived its useful life and needs replacing by new, undamaged material. Or someone might need to dig it up in order to get to utilities or soil underneath.

When hardened asphalt is broken up or pulverized, then what can be done with the material? The answer is to reuse that product for a new purpose. During the recycling process, RAP turns into a hardened aggregate that then goes into new installations to serve as a less-permanent version of its original self. While much like traditional gravel, the asphalt binds together more solidly for a better long-term result.

What Are the Pros of RAP?

The biggest deciding factor for those who choose RAP is the cost savings. If you really want a full, solid hot-mix asphalt road surface but do not have the budget for it, this is the answer you are looking for. You can lay the material in much the same way that a simple gravel driveway would be laid.

Additionally, in an increasingly aware modern world, many landowners also appreciate RAP for its environmentally friendly qualities. While they want a durable and lasting hardscape, they also want to do right by the ecosystem. How can RAP help?

By its very nature, recycled material means that new material does not have to be produced. This saves energy and resources during the initial creation of your driveway. And since many homeowners can buy local RAP from companies in their community, your materials do not need shipping across the country or the world before ending up in your backyard.

Also, an existing parking lot or roadway can be pulverized or milled in place and the RAP can be used as a new base for new hot mix asphalt paving. This process not only recycles the existing or old asphalt but also works as a strong base for new hot mix asphalt.

Finally, the performance of RAP beats out many other materials. The remaining tar in the asphalt mixture causes it to bind together in a way that regular gravel can never do.

However, RAP is also more porous than many hardscape options like concrete or stone. The aggregate bits allow water to percolate and slip down below the surface where it can be absorbed and not cause trouble to pedestrians and vehicles.

What Are the Cons of RAP?

Of course, any material has its disadvantages. Generally, the biggest concern about RAP is that it is often a different color than its brand-new counterpart. The materials are aged when they are broken up into aggregate, so the coloring is less perfect than a traditional asphalt surface. Also RAP will deteriorate over time and will need regular maintenance.

If the ideal blacktop look is what you want, you may find that regular hot-mix asphalt is the better choice for an even appearance and less maintenance.

Where Should You Start?

Are you interested in learning more about RAP or Millings? Start by meeting with an experienced paving company in your area. They can help you decide if this material is right for your project and your budget. You will also want a top-tier paving service that provides only good-quality RAP and can help you lay it for the best results.

At Star Paving Company, we can help. Our paving professionals work with a variety of hardscape materials, so we know what can work best and how to create a budget-friendly solution. Call today to make an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you.