Why Consider Warm Mix Asphalt?

Not all jobs have the logistical nightmares of the Block Island project, but that doesn't mean contractors shouldn't consider warm mix asphalt. Here are a few ways it can help you out:

Warm mix stays hot and workable longer, meaning you can bid projects where in the past delivery time from plant to paving site might have been prohibitive because of distance or even traffic.

Because it stays hotter and workable longer warm mix enables you to continue to pull material from a favorite, trusted asphalt plant. In fact, WMA might open up a wider market area for you that it might be worthwhile to ask your mix supplier if they plan on producing WMA.

Because of the lower temperatures associated with WMA, a contractor who is a seasonal contractor (or a contractor who paves at night) should take a serious look at making this product available to customers. Its ability to maintain temperature can help extend a season as much as four weeks on each end.

The emissions issue is something that should not be overlooked, but usually is by contractors. Everyone, asphalt employee or not, quickly recognizes the distinct odor associated with hot mix asphalt. The reduced emissions of WMA will make it an appealing product for towns, counties, and states that might be inclined to push and support more "green-like" characteristics such as reducing emissions both at the plant level and the actual paving site.

Lower temperatures make it easier on your crew and equipment. WMA is 20% cooler (or more) in the plant production process and it's much cooler at the jobsite. This makes it more comfortable for the crew, especially on hot days, and helps them maintain high levels of productivity. Perhaps the bottom line benefit to consider involves the first thing most contractors (and customers) will look at … price. At this time, warm mix asphalt additives such as Advera do raise the price of a ton of asphalt. However, when you factor in the amount of waste with hot mix, overage that cools and cannot be reused easily, and then consider the extension of a paving season, the cost increases associated with warm mix products are probably insignificant in the end.