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What is Stamped Asphalt?

By T. L. Childree
Updated: May 16, 2024

Stamped asphalt is a pavement texturing system designed to give the appearance of hand-laid brick or stone. Various textures are imprinted onto a heated asphalt surface using wire grids pressed into the material. The textured surface is coated with a colored cement compound to provide a durable driving surface. Stamped asphalt is typically long-lasting, maintenance-free, and able to withstand freeze and thaw cycles in cold climates. This system is quickly installed, can be applied to existing pavement, and is available in many different designs and colors.

Asphalt stamping quickly creates a simulated brick or stone surface out of a continuous, flexible layer of material. This paving method is generally less costly than traditional hand-laid materials. The soft surface of heated asphalt can be easily imprinted with various patterns using compacted wire mesh molds. Once the imprint is made, the surface is decorated with a colored cement material to give it the look and feel of hand-laid stones. This stamping process typically adds greater durability to the surface.

The flexibility of stamped asphalt provides a long-lasting surface that is resistant to cracking and heaving caused by changing temperatures. Asphalt is typically laid in a continuous fashion, thereby making it resistant to weed growth. The cement coloring applied to the surface is fade-resistant and wears slowly. Unlike hand-laid materials, the simulated stone pattern is not easily damaged by vehicle traffic. Stamped asphalt typically provides an attractive, maintenance-free surface that can be easily recoated at periodic intervals.

This paving method typically works well on surfaces prone to snow and ice. The flexible, continuous surface provided by asphalt also eliminates expansion joints and uneven stones which can be struck by snowplows. The colored cement coating is typically unaffected by salt and deicing chemicals used to clear roadways. The textured surface of stamped asphalt also offers added resistance to damage from frequent thaw and freeze cycles in cold climates. This system also makes driveways and streets more resistant to icing because the textured surface dries faster.

The simulated stone surface produced by stamped asphalt is much easier to install than traditional hand-laid materials. Asphalt stamping can also be performed on existing driveways and streets if they are in good condition. In this instance, the stamping and coloring process is performed after the existing surface is sufficiently heated. Asphalt stamping can mimic many different types of material from bricks to natural stone. The colored cement compound is also available in a wide range of colors.

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