A Quick Overview Of How Asphalt Contractors Pave Surfaces
Asphalt is the leading option for homeowners looking to install paved surfaces because of its stability and strength. The material is often installed on driveways and also used in the construction of roads. Even with its popularity, many people have no idea about the work that goes into its installation from start to finish. Most asphalt contractors follow a step by step procedure when paving surfaces to ensure that the final work is satisfactory. If you have ever wondered about the installation of asphalt on various surfaces, here is a summary you can check out.
To start off, contractors will remove the paving currently installed in the driveway which can either be concrete or asphalt. They use heavy machinery to remove the surface completely before the dirt is loaded onto trucks and removed from the site. In some cases, the debris are recycled and used in other construction projects as a way of preserving the environment. To ensure that the surface is completely clean, the contractor and his team remove any remaining pieces of debris or loose gravel. Also, if there are any stains from oil or grease leaks, they have to be removed during the clearing process so that the area is completely clean.
Once the site has been cleared, the next step is grading. This involves preparation of the entire surface. At most times, contactors use motor graders that are controlled automatically to prepare the area for paving. The preparation ensures that proper drainage is achieved and the possibility of a collapsed driveway is avoided. To confirm the direction in which the water will run, some contractors pour water on the surface then leave it to dry before continuing with the installation process. When water drainage is handled well, it reduces the chances of damage which is often manifests as potholes or cracks on the paved surfaces.
Preparation of sub base
The sub base is the foundation that supports the new pavement that is to be installed. During installation contractors that are experienced in asphalt construction ensure that the underground is properly prepared so that it is stable. For the base to have the required thickness, compaction is done to arrange the soil into lean layers which produce soil that is highly dense and flat. Apart from providing a base that guarantees durability of the asphalt paving, it also acts as barrier that minimizes the damage brought about by freezing in the winter season.
Installation of asphalt surface
In some cases, contractors wait for at least a week to allow the base to settle in well before installation of the surface. However, due to time constraints many contractors go forward to install the asphalt paving as soon as the sub base is ready and all the structures have been put in place. The fresh layer of asphalt is spread all over the driveway while making sure that it does not exceed the appropriate thickness of the driveway or pavement. When the installation is done properly, the result is a shiny black finished surface that offers an even ride.
Majority of surfaces that need asphalt paving connect to driveways, parking lots and driveways which are used on a regular basis. It is for this reason that asphalt contractors need to make the transition from new to old surfaces smooth and even for roads users. These areas of transition need to be given special attention so that drivers that will be using the driveway and adjacent roads do not notice any difference when driving on the surfaces. Also, smoothening of transitions using a roller ensures that the surface maintains appropriate grading as well as water run-off.
An asphalt surface needs to be protected from deterioration due to contact with the ultraviolet rays of the sun. To reduce the rate at which the sun breaks down the asphalt, contractors apply sealers on it. The sealer is applied after a year for asphalt that is new and for those that have been previously sealed, it is advisable to reapply after three years or more depending on the weather conditions of the area. There are different types of sealers used on paved surfaces which include coal tar, acrylic polymer or the traditional version which is usually a mixture of water and a soapy substance.
In general, asphalt contractors follow the installation steps above to ensure that the final work is acceptable. If the work is done well, your asphalt surface should serve you for many years to come.