Most people ride on asphalt, walk on asphalt, and see asphalt every single day. But it’s not something most of us pay close attention to. Even if we’re driving a car and staring right down at the asphalt, we rarely think about what this material actually is, or how it’s installed. Here are five amazing facts about asphalt that may change the way you see this versatile material.

Fact #1: Asphalt creates a lot of jobs

It’s no secret that asphalt is the pavement of choice for American’s roads. It’s estimated that for every billion dollars pumped into America’s interstates and other federal pavement projects, nearly 30,000 jobs are created or supported.

Fact #2: Asphalt is everywhere

You probably knew there was a lot of asphalt in the United States — but did you know how much? According to national statistics, over 90% of all parking lots in this country are built with asphalt. That’s not even counting driveways, walkways, and other surfaces.

Fact #3: The applications are endless

Asphalt isn’t just used for paved surfaces. For example, certain porous types of asphalt are being more and more for managing storm runoff. The results are better and cheaper than traditional storm management infrastructure.

Fact #4: Asphalt does occur naturally

Can you believe there is natural rock asphalt (which is a combination of asphalt, sand and limestone) and even asphalt that occurs naturally in lakes? This natural material has literally been used for thousands of years in the construction of roads (although methods and mixtures have obviously grown more sophisticated over time).

Fact #5: Asphalt is highly recyclable

According to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, around 80% of all milled asphalt (asphalt that is torn up and removed) is recycled into fresh asphalt mixtures. This truly is one of the most recyclable and environmentally friendly construction materials on the planet.

Fact #6: Asphalt reduces fuel consumption and highway noise

Statistics show that asphalt makes for quieter highways due to its smooth and durable nature. It’s also estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel are saved every year as a result of professional asphalt installations.

Where do you turn for your asphalt projects?

Despite these amazing insights about asphalt (and there are many more), most people just want to know where they can find a reputable asphalt pavement specialist who gives them a high degree of professionalism and value for the money. Obviously your options will depend on where you live, but most people will find at least one or two quality specialists in their area. Unfortunately, there may also be a few contractors who don’t really know their stuff, don’t properly train their staff, and don’t maintain the most modern equipment. These are the companies you’ll want to avoid.

Finding a good asphalt contractor is fairly straightforward. Look for contractors who have high average review scores on major platforms like Google and Facebook. Look for web sites that offer plenty of details (including photography) about past projects, and when you make contact, pay close attention to the level of customer service on display. A professional and prompt team is crucial to making your asphalt project an overall success.