Asphalt paving services include site preparation, installation, and the maintenance of asphalt surfaces. These services should be provided by a Houston expert pavement contractor that can partner with a business for the pavement’s lifespan.
For property owners to maximize their asphalt pavement investment, asphalt services will be needed periodically during the pavement’s life. Here, we’ll consider when asphalt paving services are needed, and what to expect with the process.
New Site Development for Asphalt
If you’re just breaking ground on your project, it’s time to consider your property’s pavement needs – and who will provide them. In all likelihood, access and parking will be required, and walkways may be necessary as well.
Asphalt pavement services can ensure all of the above are in place. An expert contractor can also ensure best practices are observed during installation, even offering site development services prior to asphalt installation. These services may include:
- Site planning
- Site clearing
- Site grading
- Soil analysis
- Soil stabilization and compaction
- Drainage construction
Once the site is ready to take asphalt, an expert contractor can install the pavement to nearly any specification. Asphalt is physically flexible enough that it can be shaped into tight turns and installed over an expanded area.
Given this flexibility, contractors can install a variety of asphalt structures, including parking lots, driveways, roads and, if necessary, walkways. During new asphalt installation, the project will typically proceed like this:
- Base installation and compaction – The asphalt team will first establish a stable base for the pavement, assuming the underlying soil is stable enough for the pavement. If it is – something that can be established during soil analysis – the first step is to install the base course. This is typically an aggregate mix, as the aggregate provides a nice mix of support and durability.
- Binder course – The binder course is installed just over the base and is usually made from recycled asphalt or other asphalt products. It’s designed to promote adhesion between the base and surface courses, ensuring the loads can be transferred through the pavement without damage.
- Surface course – The surface course is what goes over the binder and includes a fresh or recycled mix of hot asphalt. Once the surface is deposited onto the binder using an asphalt paving machine, a roller drives over the surface to ensure adequate compaction.
- Transitions – In many cases, the new asphalt will connect to existing asphalt. Given this, it’s important for the pavement team to properly joint any areas where new and old meet. Extra attention is also needed around transitions to ensure adequate drainage is in place.
Aging or Damaged Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt will last for decades with on-time maintenance. This maintenance includes everything from an occasional sealcoating to a complete overlay. Again, expert asphalt services are recommended during a round of maintenance, so an ongoing relationship with an experienced pavement contractor makes sense.
As the property owner, here’s what to expect when asphalt maintenance is required:
- Sealcoating – During sealcoating, the maintenance team will apply an asphalt emulsion to the pavement’s surface. This emulsion is a mix of water, an emulsifier and asphalt products, allowing it to behave like a free-flowing liquid until it dries.Asphalt sealcoat acts like a protective membrane for the pavement, defending the surface from water, UV radiation and chemical spills. Sealcoat also promotes adhesion between surface aggregates, allowing it to bear loads more effectively without taking damage.
Sealcoating is recommended following installation and every 1-2 years thereafter to optimize the asphalt’s life and appearance.
- Cut-and-patch pothole repair – Potholes form in asphalt as a result of poor drainage or unresolved physical damage like cracks, warping, or other signs of wear. When these issues emerge, potholes present a safety hazard to pedestrians and vehicles alike.It’s important to repair potholes as soon as they appear, as they will only get worse with time. If they’re isolated and the rest of the pavement is in relatively good shape, a cut-and-patch repair job is the typical choice for fixing potholes.
During a cut-and-patch job, the failed asphalt is first cut and extracted out of the surrounding pavement using sawcutters and extractors.
Once the damaged pavement is removed, the underlying base issues are resolved, and the base is stabilized for new asphalt. An adhesive tack coat is then applied to the surfaces inside the hole and a new hot mix of asphalt is rolled into it. This fresh asphalt is compacted and given a short time to cure before it’s ready for traffic.
- Surface treatments like overlaying – Once the pavement reaches middle age, the surface may be worn and flawed to the point where a surface treatment is required to restore its appearance and function. In most cases, this means installing an overlay.During overlay installation, the existing asphalt surface is milled (pulverized) to a depth of 1.5-2 inches. With the deeper layers now exposed, any base issues are addressed, and a tack coat is applied.
Following this, a new surface course of asphalt is rolled out over the existing pavement, providing a fresh look that also performs like new.
Eventually, the asphalt will need to be totally replaced, from the surface down to the base. With on-time maintenance services, total asphalt replacement (and its associated costs) can be delayed for as long as possible.
Traffic Flow Improvements with Asphalt Paving
When traffic flow issues emerge on a commercial property, the solution may be additional asphalt pavement. In and around Houston, commercial development is moving at a record pace. However, this rapid expansion has consequences in the form of additional vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
If your property is receiving an increasing amount of traffic, additional asphalt paving may help alleviate the congestion. Additional parking areas can be one way to resolve excess traffic, as can adding more access points and roads leading into the parking lot. If traffic collects around loading areas, access roads and additional driveways may be the fix.
If pedestrian traffic is the concern, asphalt or concrete walkways are an option. Walkways provide pedestrians with an expanded thoroughfare to safely walk down, protecting people from oncoming vehicles and helping them pass through parking areas faster.
If your property is experiencing traffic congestion, it may be an issue of not enough pavement. It may also be a sign that your asphalt is too worn or damaged to promote proper traffic flow. In either case, an experienced asphalt contractor can develop – and execute – the ideal solution.
When Asphalt Paving Services are Needed, Work with the Houston Experts
Asphalt pavement is a proven investment, capable of lasting decades if proper installation and maintenance protocols are followed.
To ensure the best results with your asphalt paving services, it’s important to work with an expert asphalt contractor. Reputable Houston asphalt services have the resources, knowledge and desire to make every project a success, whether your property is just being developed or asphalt maintenance is required.
- Six Signs that a Houston Parking Lot Needs to be Repaired - December 1, 2023
- Concrete Maintenance and Repair: A Guide to Commercial Pavement in Houston - November 28, 2023
- Pavement and ADA Compliance: How to Create a Compliant Parking Lot - November 22, 2023