Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement: Why You Should Have The RAP Discussion With Your Paver

If you need a new asphalt driveway, you should plan to spend approximately $2 to $5 per square foot for a basic drive. If you want a pattern stamped into your drive, you can expect to pay a lot more, up to $9 a square foot. If these prices are a bit too much for your budget, there is an option that can save you money, and it involves using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP).

Available in 41 states, RAP has been available in small amounts over the past few decades, but usage is on the rise. In 2013, nearly 68 million tons of RAP was used in the construction industry. As RAP usage continues to increase, you can expect to reap the rewards. If you're planning on purchasing a new drive, it's a good idea to talk to your pavement company about RAP. Here's why. 

RAP Keeps Waste Out of Landfills

RAP and other recycled asphalt materials include all secondhand building and/or processed materials that contain asphalt and aggregates, including pieces of demolished roads, roofing shingles and more. Recycled asphalt may also include recycled materials from other items, such as tires, glass, sand and slag. Basically, RAP is made up of any secondhand or recycled material that can be used in an asphalt mixture.

Since it is made up of recycled material and used in large amounts, RAP keeps tons of waste out of landfills each year. In fact, it is estimated that the use of RAP saves hundreds of millions of cubic yards of landfill space annually. 

RAP Saves You Money

Since one of the ingredients of traditional asphalt is oil, the price of asphalt usually fluctuates along with oil prices. When oil prices are high, asphalt gets more costly. However, Asphalt mixes that contain a percentage of RAP require less oil, which makes the cost for these mixes more stable. RAP also saves money when it comes to labor, material and transportation costs. 

The amount of money you save using RAP will depend primarily on the percentage of the material used. Mixes containing up to 40 percent RAP are available in most areas, and these are the most economical. However, the percentage of recycled material that your paving company is able to use for your drive may vary. If the company has to use less RAP, you won't save as much money. But you will save money regardless. 

You see, there are several reasons why RAP is a good idea for your next driveway project. If you're interested in the environmental benefits and cost savings that RAP provides, be sure to talk to your asphalt paving contractor about the materials they use.