Properly prepping asphalt surfaces is key to durable and long-lasting asphalt. Before commercial asphalt installation can take place, there are five important steps that must be conducted with attention to detail.
Five important steps included in prepping surfaces for asphalt:
- Remove existing surfaces and clean the area so it is ready for application.
- Add appropriate grade and slope for drainage
- Determine the thickness, base stability, and compaction of the subbase.
- Test surfaces to ensure a strong foundation that can support asphalt surfaces
- Add a binder and surface course
Step #1: Remove Existing Surfaces
Before adding commercial asphalt to an area, the existing surface must be demolished and removed to make room for it. A fleet of heavy machinery is required for this process, such as forklifts, bobcats, etc. In some cases, front loaders and/or large dump trucks are utilized to get the job done right. Old asphalt can be recycled into new asphalt to reduce waste.
Step #2: Prep the Land for Asphalt Installation Via Drainage Solutions
Once you’re looking at a clean slate, now is the time to set up water drainage using laser guided transits and automatic motor graders. Proper grade and slope of the land makes a big difference in water drainage capabilities. As a result, you can ensure proper water run-off post-construction. Otherwise, you could face flooding surfaces, and few things break down asphalt quicker than pooling water. Poor drainage can lead to a host of issues including potholes, cracks, and heaving.
There are environmental concerns to take into consideration as well. Water run-off must be properly channeled to prevent polluting local waterways and eco-systems.
Step #3: Ready the Subbase
Don’t overlook the importance of asphalt surface subbase. After all, it provides a foundation to asphalt surfaces. Despite the fact you won’t see the subbase post-construction, it is arguably the most important component of long-lasting and reliable asphalt surfaces. The subbase is responsible for creating a solid surface capable of supporting new pavement. It also works as a barrier in winter to reduce the negative side effects of freeze/thaw cycles.
So, how do you ensure your subbase is up for the job? The installation process determines the quality of the subbase, as well as its thickness, base stability and compaction. All three of these components are important when it comes to long-term durability of surfaces.
Step #4: Test Surfaces for Soft Areas
At this point in the process, additional testing may be performed to ensure the subbase is strong enough to support new asphalt and the loads it’ll take on post-construction. Testing can detect soft areas in the subbase that require additional support. If soft areas are dedicated there are a couple different methods used to correct the problem before moving forward with construction. One method is undercutting—a process that involves digging 2 to 3 feet below the surface and adding a soft clay or soil that is stronger than the aggregate material.
Step #5: Add Binder & Surface Course
When no soft areas remain and the subbase is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to add the binder. Binder is extremely strong and durable. It is made from a combination of large aggregate and oil.
Installing Commercial Asphalt Surfaces Made to Last
Once the right foundation is in place, it’s finally time to install new asphalt surfaces. The asphalt is what gives the professional and finished appearance, as well as a smooth ride for automobiles, bikes, etc. Although, asphalt surfaces are only as strong as their base—hence why the installation process is so important. For superior commercial asphalt installation, contact your local trusted experts at Kleenco Construction.