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WedMay 15

Asphalt Day – May 15, 2024

Asphalt Day on May 15 celebrates many economical and efficient uses of liquid asphalt in roofing and paving. The Asphalt Institute introduced this annual observation in celebration of the members of their century-old trade association and the industry across the globe. Most people encounter asphalt daily, whether it’s the roof over their heads or in the roadway, runway, or walking path under their feet.

History of Asphalt Day

In 2023, the members of the Asphalt Institute voted to officially sponsor Asphalt Day annually. They intend this global celebration to include the paving and roofing industry. May 15 commemorates the founding of the Asphalt Institute in 1919.

Studies show that 94 percent of all U.S. roads use asphalt, and 80 percent of U.S. residential roofs use asphalt roofing shingles. This day increases awareness of asphalt roofing and paving products while demonstrating their resiliency and growing sustainability.

Asphalt’s resiliency shows through the product’s responsiveness to climatic conditions and natural disasters. Asphalt repairs roadways quickly after natural disasters and damage from weather-related events. Pavement designers use asphalt to better construct roads to withstand higher temperatures, snow, ice, and extreme weather. Asphalt shingles provide the most protection for homes and the people inside when it comes to extreme weather conditions. Advancing technology is helping to make asphalt roofs even more impenetrable.

Asphalt road materials are recycled more than aluminum cans and newspapers in the U.S. The benefits of asphalt being the most recycled product in the U.S. include the environmental effects and the progression toward a more circular economy. The industry is committed to producing and constructing net zero carbon emission asphalt pavements in 25 years. The asphalt roofing industry is working to reduce and eventually eliminate landfill disposal of asphalt-based roofing materials. Recycled shingles find uses in road construction, road repair, roofing products, and more.

Asphalt Day timeline

625 B.C.
The First Asphalt Road

The first recording of asphalt appears as a road-building material in Babylon.

1824
The First Modern Asphalt Road

Large blocks of natural asphalt rock pave Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris, France.

Early 1860s
The First Asphalt Roofs

The first U.S. roofing systems are constructed with multiple layers of protection, using hot asphalt as a binder before being covered in gravel.

1903
The First Asphalt Shingles

The first reports of asphalt shingles occur in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

May 1919
The Asphalt Institute is Founded

The foundation of The Asphalt Institute as a trade association takes place in New York City.

2024
The First Asphalt Day

The world celebrates the first Asphalt Day.

5 Facts about Asphalt

1. The most recycled material

Asphalt pavement is the most recycled product in the U.S. Millions of tons of asphalt pavement materials are reused annually to pave new and existing roads.

2. Most U.S. roads are paved with asphalt

Studies show that 94% of all roads in the U.S. are paved with asphalt, making it the road material of choice.

3. Most U.S. residential roofs get covered in asphalt

Asphalt roof shingles are very popular. Studies show that 80% of all U.S. homeowners have an asphalt roof protecting their investment.

4. Asphalt roads last longer

The concept of a three-layer, flexible asphalt pavement design results in asphalt roads lasting as long as 50 years before needing total replacement.

 5. Asphalt roads and roofs weather storms
Asphalt roads and roofs prepare for changing climate conditions by being able to get rapidly repaired after damage from a weather event or natural disaster.

Asphalt Day FAQs

Where does asphalt come from?

Asphalt appears naturally in asphalt lakes and rock asphalt. These days, most asphalt gets processed from petroleum. Refineries separate the liquid, and the heaviest part of petroleum is asphalt.

What is asphalt used for?

Asphalt makes up roadways, parking lots, airport runways, driveways, athletic tracks, bike paths, commercial roofing, residential roofing, waterproofing ponds and reservoirs, soil retention, and more.

What are the benefits of asphalt paving?

Some advantages of paving roads with asphalt are that it is more cost-efficient to construct and maintain, quicker to install and repair, the results are much smoother, and asphalt is highly recyclable.

Asphalt Day Activities

  1. Share on social media

    Post your asphalt industry appreciation on social media platforms using the #AsphaltDay hashtag.

  2. Celebrate with your coworkers

    Paving, roofing, and asphalt materials companies can celebrate with special meals, breaks, or events while on the job.

  3. Speak to the media

    Schedule a T.V., radio, newspaper, or podcast interview to share your asphalt story that week.

Why We Love Asphalt Day

  1. The people

    Thousands work in liquid asphalt refining, paving construction, roofing manufacturing, engineering, and other industries. The Asphalt Institute wants to make May 15 a day for these people to celebrate their industry and its important place in global infrastructure, transportation, and housing.

  2. The past

    An ancient legend tells that King Sargon of Accad was set afloat in the Euphrates River around 3800 B.C. in a reed basket coated with asphalt. Excavations northeast of Baghdad revealed that Sumerians used asphalt for construction between 3200 and 2900 B.C. The evolution of asphalt and its many uses is fascinating.

  3. The future

    As asphalt usage progresses, there will be a particular focus on sustainability. Companies are reducing their environmental impact and recycling more pavement materials and roofing shingles. With new technology, the average life of improved asphalt roads is 50 years, and better-designed asphalt roofs can last 30 years or more.

Asphalt Day dates

YearDateDay
2024May 15Wednesday
2025May 15Thursday
2026May 15Friday
2027May 15Saturday
2028May 15Monday

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