surfacing and construction hire

How to Choose Between Asphalt, Bitumen, or Spray Seal for Roads

Road surfacing is extremely important as it will help preserve the integrity and quality of roads. This is why you’ll want to do all you can to inform yourself about surfacing solutions. We thought it would be useful to put together an article discussing this subject. If this is something that you want to know more about, here’s a brief run-through of how to choose among the most popular surfacing solutions available today.

Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-mix asphalt is a mixture of aggregates such as gravel, sand, and asphalt cement. As the name suggests, hot-mix asphalt requires heating before it can be installed. Despite being heated to around 300 to 350 degrees, hot-mix asphalt cools quickly, making it a good material to use.

Once the hot-mix has been laid out, it will provide a smooth and durable finish to the base that it is laid on top of. This makes it ideal for road surfaces, driveways, and any area that experiences a high volume of car traffic.

Spray Seal

Unlike hot-mix asphalt, a spray seal is formed by applying a spray coat of bitumen over a base then laying an even spread of aggregate on top of the spray coat. A sprayed seal can be applied in a single coat or a double coat depending on the situation. The main thing you have to know about spray seals is that the base has to be prepared extremely well. Since it’s thinner than hot-mix, the spray seal will adhere to the shape of the base.

While spray seals aren’t nearly as strong as hot-mix asphalt, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its own advantages. Spray seals are incredibly flexible and aesthetically pleasing. To add to this, they are also water-proof and will prove to be a necessity if your area experiences a lot of rainfall.

Lastly, spray seals are considered to be the most affordable of all the surfacing solutions. This is why it’s ideal for treating larger areas. With that being said, it would be best to use it in low-traffic areas so that the volume of vehicles passing by won’t cause issues.


Bitumen has inbuilt advantages that originate from its manufacturing process. Bitumen can be used as raw material for road construction as well as a mix, making it one of the more flexible surfacing solutions.

The main advantage that bitumen has is its melting point. Bitumen can be melted down and returned back to its original state via a process called asphalt recycling. This is great as it can be used instead of being sent to a landfill.

While bitumen is usually black in colour, pigments can be added into bitumen to alter it to change the colour to your liking. Granted, you will have to add more chemical additives in order to arrive at the colour that you want.


Hopefully, this article will be of use when it comes to helping you choose between road surfacing options. Now, it’s important to understand that there is no one best option. Each of these surfacing solutions come with their own unique advantages. It would be in your best interest to gauge a situation and see which of these solutions would work best for the roads that you are trying to treat.

Every major road project in Perth has had KEE Surfacing as one of its partners. Our surfacing and construction hire workforce is made of bitumen and asphalt laying professionals, hand-picked for their skills, experience, and knowledge in delivering safe yet cutting-edge techniques. Contact us today for enquiries!

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