The Two C's

The Two C's

4 Factors That Determine The Performance And Longevity Of A New Asphalt Pavement

by Floyd Dunn

When it comes to constructing an asphalt pavement, the time and resources used should not go to waste. Unfortunately, improper planning and poor installation can shorten the lifespan of asphalt driveways and lead to costly repairs. However, with proper planning at the design stage, you can construct a driveway that will serve you for decades. Therefore, take note of these four factors that influence the performance and longevity of asphalt pavements.

Quality of the Subbase

Subbase refers to a compacted base layer of crushed gravel, limestone, or granite road base. Its role is to provide proper drainage and create a stable base for the top layers of the structure. A quality subbase should be laid on well-drained soil. Poorly-drained soils retain too much moisture, which damages asphalt pavements. The subbase should also be properly compacted. Otherwise, it will compress with time, causing cracks in the asphalt.

If the soil underneath the subbase has poor drainage properties, you should remediate it before laying the base. You can enhance soil conditions by increasing the subbase layers or laying geotextiles over the soil. Geotextiles are permeable synthetic fabrics that improve drainage and boost the stability of a pavement subbase.

Efficiency of the Drainage System

Asphalt paving should be constructed with water management in mind. If water pools on the surface for long periods, it can seep into small cracks and break down the asphalt. Pooled rainwater can also accelerate coating deterioration and expose the asphalt to UV damage. Therefore, construct a sloped pavement to ensure that rainwater runoff flows off it. Install drainage pipes and channels to direct water into nearby storm drains.

Suitability for Heavy Machinery

Before constructing an asphalt pavement, you should assess the weight of vehicles and machinery that will use the driveway. Standard asphalt thickness is ideal for small and mid-sized vehicles. If you drive heavy machinery on standard paving, the weight of the equipment will exert pressure on the asphalt and cause cracks. For heavy loads, you need to construct a perpetual pavement. This paving has multiple layers of subbase and asphalt that can withstand heavy machinery. 

Quality of Construction

High-quality installations can boost the performance and longevity of an asphalt driveway. Proper compaction of the subbase and asphalt is crucial to the structure's performance. If possible, schedule the project for the warmer months to allow adequate working time. When it's cold, the asphalt hardens fast. Therefore, the paving crew has less time to smooth the surface and eliminate unsightly bumps. After the construction, seal-coat the asphalt pavement to prevent moisture damage.

Asphalt paving is not typically a DIY project. To achieve a durable and visually appealing structure, contact a contractor for installation services.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Rocky Mountain Pavement.


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The Two C's

Welcome to a blog about the two C's. The two C's, as you might have already guessed are construction and contractors. These words are closely related. "Construction" refers to the art and science of building something. That something could be anything from a shed to a sidewalk. "Contractors" are the people who do the building. There are general contractors who do all sorts of building work, and then there are specialists who do work such as plumbing, electrical work, and drywall. Stop by and read a few articles when you have the time, and we promise you'll learn more about these two C's.