Is Compaction a Factor in the Asphalt Paving Process?

Is Compaction a Factor in the Asphalt Paving Process?

Is Compaction a Factor in the Asphalt Paving Process? When contractors install an asphalt pavement correctly, they will follow a process that includes all the steps needed for high-quality results. The process requires contractors to consider a variety of factors before, during, and after the installation. Compaction is just one factor in the asphalt paving process, but it is typically considered the most important factor.

What Are the Steps in the Asphalt Paving Process?

The asphalt contractor usually starts by clearing the site of any existing structures, unwanted vegetation, or existing pavements. The contractor then grades the site. Next, the asphalt company will perform all or most of the following steps.

1. Compact the soil that will lie under the new pavement. When paving Austin TX properties, it is not uncommon for an asphalt company to encounter soil with a high content of clay or another deficiency. When that happens, contractors may need to amend the soil so that they can achieve proper compaction.
2. Construct and compact an aggregate base between the soil and the asphalt courses. An aggregate base works with the compacted soil to create a strong, stable foundation to support the pavement.
3. With a strong foundation in place, the asphalt company will begin placing the courses, also known as lifts, of hot mix asphalt. The number of lifts will depend on the engineering specifications for the pavement that is under construction. Each lift must be properly compacted before workers place the asphalt for the next course.

Is the Asphalt Paving Process the Same for an Overlay and a New Pavement?

Although most contractors offer both overlays and new construction as asphalt paving services, about the only overlap is the third step shown in the above section. Contractors perform asphalt milling to grind off a precise depth of the existing paving asphalt, and this depth is seldom more than three inches or so. Therefore, with few exceptions, the process for installing an overlay does not include accessing the foundation or the soil beneath it. Although it is true that an asphalt company may install a full-depth patch to repair the foundation, the need for numerous patches can negate an overlay’s cost-effectiveness.

How Does Poor Compaction Affect the Completed Asphalt Pavement?

There are many different ways that poor compaction can reveal itself. Some signs may show up immediately or within a few weeks, while other signs may not manifest for three or four years. The exact signs often depend on the precise point where the contractor failed to achieve sufficient compaction.

1. The pavement will likely have an unsightly appearance. Poor compaction can often leave lumps of asphalt that can give the surface a rough, bumpy appearance.
2. The life of the pavement will be significantly reduced. It is not uncommon for poorly compacted asphalt paving in Austin TX to suffer premature deterioration in as little as six or seven years.
3. The pavement will probably require constant repairs to retain its usability. Cracks, sinkholes, potholes, alligator cracking, rutting, and raveling are just a few of the issues that will arise frequently.
4. The pavement may not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is quite specific about the qualities that pavements must possess. Potholes in accessible parking spaces, sinkholes in an accessible travel route, and an uneven surface are some potential violations.

RDC Paving is a full-service asphalt paving company with clients throughout the Austin metropolitan area. Our asphalt paving services include sealcoating, asphalt patches and repairs, asphalt overlays, asphalt crack repairs, asphalt milling, and asphalt driveway paving. Our concrete services include repairs and the construction of concrete driveways, parking lots, ADA-compliant features, sidewalks, curbs, and ramps. We also offer parking lot striping and parking lot maintenance programs. We have an impressive reputation that is based on our workmanship, service, and integrity. To request a free quote, send an email to, fill out the online form, or call our headquarters in Hutto at 512-920-9155.

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