Asphalt Paving in the U.S.

Asphalt paving covers 94% of the roads in the United States. Some of the roads are full-depth asphalt while many others are covered with asphalt to reinforce the concrete foundations. There is at least one asphalt plant in every congressional district with about 4,000 plants total in the country. Asphalt gets people from their homes to schools, places of employment, houses of worship and medical facilities.

Asphalt Defined

paving job done in Newark usaAsphalt paving goes by many different names such as tarmac, macadam, plant mix, bituminous, asphalt concrete or blacktop. Asphalt paving is a mixture of several different materials. It is mostly sand, stone and gravel. About 5% of the mix is asphalt cement, a petroleum material that keeps the pavement together. Asphalt contains a bitumen binder that makes the material extremely durable.

History of Asphalt

Asphalt came to the U.S. as a building material in the mid-1800s. It was originally used for sidewalks. Builders quickly saw its advantages and began using asphalt for roadways. Nathan B. Abbott filed a patent on the material in 1871, and fierce competition to patent asphalt paving arose. By 1907, builders were using refined asphalt in place of natural asphalt. Construction methods were gradually improved as the automobile became more common through the masses.

Advantages of Asphalt

resurfacing a road in the usThe reason asphalt is the most commonly used roadway material is its distinct advantages. As the U.S.’s most recycled material, asphalt offers a cost-effective solution for the increasing demands on the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Asphalt is an entirely reusable material, making it highly sustainable. Asphalt paving is also cost-effective because of the high speed of construction for roadways compared with other materials like concrete. Also, the material is high-performing, providing smooth surfaces, low noise levels and increased highway safety.

Overall, asphalt paving is the superior choice for roadways. The cost-effective material creates smooth, safe rides for people all over the nation. The material has a rich history, and as new developments increase so will asphalt’s numerous advantages.

Plumbing Basics and Equipment

Plumbers do a variety of jobs. They unclog drains, repair and replace leaky pipes, repair and replace waters heaters, repair and replace valves, remove raw sewage and a host of other jobs. Plumbing refers to any system that coneys water or other fluids. The most common uses for plumbing include heating and cooling water, removing waste and delivering potable water. Pipes, valves, tanks and plumbing fixtures are some of the equipment used in plumbing. People who work in the plumbing trade include boilermakers, plumbers and pipefitters.

plumber repairing faucetsThe plumbing system in a home or business is composed of two subsystems. One subsystem brings in clean water while the other subsystem takes waste water away. Pressure is used for the water that comes in. Pressure forces the water to travel wherever it needs to go. The water coming in passes through a meter. If there is a plumbing emergency, like a burst pipe, it is important to close the main shut off balve quickly to avoid flooding.

Cold water is ready for use as soon as it comes into the home or business. Hot water, however, must pass through the water heater before use. The water heater is connected to a line that takes the heated water through the home or business. The water heater has a thermostat that maintains the temperature at which the device is set, normally between 140 and 160 degrees F. Often, 120 degrees F is adequate and is a more economical setting.

Plumbers have specialised tools to help them diagnose and fix plumbing problems. Some of these tools include pipe wrenches, soldering torches, crimp tools, pipe vises, flaring pliers and pipe cutters. Some plumbers use video cameras to diagnose or find hidden leaks or clogs. They may use hydro jets and high pressure hydraulic pumps. Clogged sewers or flooding may require the utilization of a specialised truck with a high pump to vaccuum out sewage.

Also, plumbers know how to work with the plumbing equipment already in place
Much of the material for plumbing is hidden behind walls or in utility areas. This equipment includes water meters, water softeners, water filters, expansion tanks, backflow preventions, gauges and more.

In a plumbing emergency, it is important to use a professional plumber who knows how to use the specialized equipment associated with plumbing!