Blacktop driveways, also called asphalt driveways, are recognized for their strength, longevity and ability to withstand very hot and cold temperatures. Asphalt driveways are popular with people living in cold and hot climates, as they are not prone to damage from freezing or exposure to high heat. They also have a flexible surface, which helps them adjust easily to surface resettlement and withstand frost accumulation.
Asphalt driveways also draw praise for their attractive appearance and lower installation cost than many other common driveway materials. They are often applied in layers, with thicker layers increasing longevity and benefits. Driveways just several inches thick have soft, permeable surfaces that absorb snow and liquid, making salting in the winter unnecessary. Even the thinnest asphalt driveways stand up to freezing and thawing for years.
In addition to resisting breakdown from temperature changes, asphalt driveways can also alleviate stormwater runoff by absorbing excess water. Some asphalt, called porous asphalt, swells to absorb excess water during storms, then drains that water into reservoirs below the surface. This type of asphalt looks as attractive as traditional asphalt and complies with most local building codes. Contractors may also mix asphalt with other driveway materials for a customized look and to provide specific benefits for homeowners, such as maximal water absorption.