Published : 03/07/2023

Natural Asphalt – The Cold Mix Asphalt Alternative You’re Looking For

Why we use cold mix asphalt?

Cold mix asphalt can be produced and applied on site, without specialized equipment or major energy consumption. Unlike hot mix, which must be retained at a certain temperature, cold mix asphalt can be stockpiled for extended periods. It is considered a convenient option for small repairs, remote locations, and temporary fixes. It can be applied directly from the bag or a bucket, the repairs don’t take a long time and it can be used in cold weather. On the surface it looks like the perfect road repair solution, but is it?

Limitations of cold mix asphalt

Although cold mix can serve as a fast, convenient solution to potholes and small scale repairs, there are concessions we must take note of when looking at the whole picture. As with many “quick fix” products and applications, there are areas where the solution falls short or leaves something to be desired. In this article we will discuss some of the limitations of cold mix and look more closely at  the differentiating qualities RockAsphalt offers.

Durability issues

Cold mix asphalt is much more susceptible to cracking, rutting, and deformation over time compared to hot mix. The lack of heating in production reduces its cohesion and adhesion properties, lowering its durability and long-term performance in general. There are many factors that can affect the longevity of a cold mix patch, such as traffic loads and weather conditions. A typical cold mix patch can last up to as little as a few months depending on the circumstances. In areas that experience frequent freezing and thawing cycles, heavy rainfall, or high amounts of traffic, cold mix patches are at risk of degrading quickly, requiring frequent maintenance, repairs and attention.

It’s a temporary solution

Cold mix asphalt offers convenience, ease, and versatility in certain scenarios, however it is considered a temporary solution for numerous reasons. Cold mix is extremely weather sensitive, making its performance and curing process dependent on factors that are out of control. Another contributing factor to cold mix acting as a temporary solution is its binding properties. Cold mix asphalt has higher viscosity, which means it is thicker and less fluid, making it more challenging for the aggregate components to bind with the bitumen. Cold mix can serve a purpose for small patches and repairs, however one must consider its temporary qualities and capabilities. Cold mix repairs also require ongoing upkeep and maintenance to manage the quality and ensure safety.

It’s hard to work with

One of the most significant pain points surrounding cold mix asphalt is its workability. Cold mix is typically stored outside in large piles where it is exposed to the elements, allowing air, rain, snow and wind to alter its state. These piles then tend to harden, forming one large mass that becomes difficult to take product from when the time comes. Cold mix must be mixed with a curing agent like water in order to apply it, and once mixed, the clock starts ticking and the asphalt starts to harden. This puts a lot of pressure on teams in the application process to be extremely well coordinated and quick in their execution to prevent product from becoming to stiff to work with.  As mentioned earlier, cold mix asphalt is viscous, making it difficult to spread, smooth, and compact properly. Another challenge encountered with cold mix is its curing time. It can take a long time to set and harden, adding delays for road re-openings and causing major inconveniences.

Environmental implications

Cold mix asphalt may save on energy when comparing the production process to that of hot mix, however, there are multiple environmental implications associated with it as well. Based on its temporary nature, cold mix can require multiple visits back to the repair site for maintenance, upkeep, and replacements, increasing resource usage, energy consumption and wasted materials. In the long run, what began as a convenient solution may end up leaving a greater carbon footprint and impact on the environment. There may also be concerns about the binders and additives in cold mix asphalt containing substances that could potentially leach into nearby water supplies, risking contamination. Once cold mix asphalt reaches the end of its service, it is imperative that proper disposal is taken seriously. Disposal methods include reuse, recycling, and appropriate landfill measures. Improper disposal can lead to harmful emissions, environmental pollution and unnecessary waste accumulation.

RockAsphalt eliminates these limitations and more

Fortunately, there is a permanent solution that offers all the advantages of cold mix without any of the limitations. Sound too good to be true? RockAsphalt is comprised of a unique bitumen impregnated rock, meaning it is all natural because it comes from the earth. RockAsphalt is not only environmentally clean as it does not contain any artificial compounds or harmful additives, it won’t stain or ruin clothing, and won’t damage expensive equipment.

RockAsphalt repairs don’t rely or depend on the weather. Our asphalt binds instantly, no matter the conditions and is proven to resist rutting, shoving, and migrating over time, saving you resources and money on multiple site visits. Our asphalt bags and totes are a convenient and permanent solution for repairs of all sizes, maintaining their integrity for a minimum of three years after initial application.

RockAsphalt bags and totes are easy to order, come in the exact amount you need, and get delivered directly to your site or yard. RockAsphalt’s unique composition keeps the product fresh and easy to work with, and application can be done without heavy equipment or special training.

Ready to do road repairs the fast & easy way?

RockAsphalt© replaces cold and hot mix making road repair of all sizes fast, clean, simple and permanent the first time.

Try it for yourself and learn why crews love it.

Get your free sample bags and have your team see how fast and easy it is to permanently fix potholes.