Commercial development is ongoing all over the Bayou City, which means Houston’s paving companies are constantly busy. Parking lots, parking garages, access roads, foundations – if your commercial property is ready for development, you’ll need an expert Houston paving team to oversee much of that development.
Pavement installation is a complex process that should only be trusted to experienced pavement professionals. That’s especially true in Houston, where soil and weather conditions can add to the challenges.
Here are some of the traits of a reputable pavement company in Houston so your organization will know what to look for in a contractor.
Experience: Success with Houston-area Paving Projects is a Must
It takes several projects before a pavement crew has their processes down and their resources completely developed. Before then, a pavement team is likely to run into logistical or quality-related issues. Inexperienced contractors aren’t necessarily low-quality contractors, but you don’t want to be the one to find out.
In construction, experience concerns more than the exact processes involved. It also concerns working conditions because every area poses its own obstacles to pavement installers.
In Houston, that means contending with difficult soil and weather conditions. Here’s how each factor into a typical Houston pavement project, specifically:
- The weather – Houston’s (in)famous heat and humidity affect the way concrete cures. When the mercury’s up, curing times are down, so Houston pavement teams must be prepared to work more efficiently, without sacrificing quality. There are ways to mitigate the weather’s effects, but experience is needed before these measures can be properly deployed.
- The soil – Much of Houston is underlaid by clay and loam soils that do not drain well and therefore soak up water like a foundation-tearing sponge. When exposed to heavy rains (which Houstonians are familiar with), the city’s soils swell with moisture and expand. When the rain stops, the soils dry out and rapidly shrink.
This expand-and-contract cycle is brutal on foundations, which is why special measures may be required before pavement can be installed on certain subgrades. An unstable subgrade may require additional compaction and additives before it’s appropriate to build on. An experienced Houston pavement team will know what approach to take after analyzing a development site’s soil.
Even if a pavement company has robust national experience, if it hasn’t worked in the Houston area before, it will likely be tripped up a bit by the city’s challenging conditions. That’s why the safe bet is sticking with a local crew that is familiar with the changing conditions.
Expertise: Proven Capabilities and Engineering Insight are Important
Expertise comes with experience, to a point. Proper education and training are also part of the equation, and the best Houston paving companies combine both experience and education to implement best practices during a job.
Many projects, for example, must be vetted by an engineer before they can proceed. An engineer can verify if the site plan’s details are feasible and how they can be safely executed. An engineer will also have specialized insight into establishing effective drainage for the property – such as developing sufficient sloping and using the property’s nature slope to facilitate this. An engineer will also know how to develop the project to desired tolerances, which may be tighter than a contractor can manage without an engineer on staff.
If razor-sharp craftsmanship is important to your organization – and it should be – then you’ll need a contractor that has engineering expertise on hand.
Equipment: Large-scale Pavement Projects Require Large-scale Equipment Resources
When commercial pavement is installed, the project typically takes place over thousands of square feet – maybe tens of thousands. It’s likely that extensive site development will be necessary prior to forming any concrete or laying any asphalt.
In short, commercial pavement projects require significant equipment resources to manage. Some of those equipment resources may include:
- Paving machines
- Milling machines
- Dump trucks
- Skid loaders
- Concrete trucks and pumps
In short, an array of equipment resources are required for every commercial pavement job, along with the trained operators to handle them. The best pavement companies in Houston have these resources ready to mobilize and can bring up reserves when a piece of machinery requires service or is assigned to another project.
Professionalism: Reputable Pavement Teams Prioritize Timeliness and Cost Efficiency
The best Houston pavement companies are the best planners, as it turns out. It’s practically impossible to hit project milestones of time or budget without a detailed plan in place well before any equipment is mobilized.
The mark of a reputable Houston pavement contractor is this attention to detail. During a commercial pavement job, the project must develop in an orderly fashion from start to finish to avoid delays. The process may include:
- Site surveying
- Site planning and diagramming
- Site clearing
- Site development and grading
- Site access development
- Drainage installation
- Soil analysis
- Soil stabilization
- Pad preparation
- Pavement mixing
- Pavement installation
- Pavement curing
- Pavement finishing
There’s a ton of moving parts with all of this involved, so it’s clear why planning is necessary. Without it, procedural or logistical mistakes are inevitable. That’s why the best Houston pavement contractors invest considerable time into upfront planning.
The Best Houston Paving Company Has Local Experience, Impressive Resources and a Customer-first Approach
Commercial paving in Houston is fraught with challenges, including inclement weather, soil conditions and a lot of traffic. That means choosing a contractor with Houston-area experience, on-staff engineering expertise, plentiful manpower and equipment resources, and a customer-first, planning-first approach ensures the job gets done on time and on budget. The best Houston paving companies exceed expectations by bringing all of the above to the project.
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