A correctly installed pavement should last several decades with regular maintenance. However, asphalt paving is a technical process, and while minor mistakes are unavoidable, you must make sure that no significant errors occur during asphalt construction or repair.
Mistake #1: Not Preparing the Surface
When the surface is not adequately prepared, the asphalt doesn’t adhere correctly and eventually fails. You need to remove any debris or vegetation and compact the surface before applying the asphalt. Not preparing the surface will result in a poor installation and decreased life expectancy for the asphalt.
Mistake #2: Not Compacting the Asphalt Correctly
This is a common mistake that can cause cracks and other problems down the road. Improper compaction can lead to several issues, such as cracks, potholes, and even sinkholes.
To properly compact the asphalt, make sure to use a compactor that is appropriate for the size of the job. Go over the entire surface at least twice and make sure that you are using the right amount of pressure.
Mistake #3: Not Using the Correct Mix
Using the wrong mix can also lead to problems down the road. Ensure to use a mix that is appropriate for the climate and for the traffic that will be using the asphalt. A mix that is too heavy for the climate or the traffic can lead to problems like rutting and potholes.
Using the correct amount of asphalt binder in the mix is essential. If there isn’t enough, the asphalt will not stick together and will not be durable. If there is too much, the asphalt will be too heavy and will not move properly.
Mistake #4: Not Allowing the Asphalt to Cure
Asphalt needs at least 24-48 hours to cure before you can drive on it or park a car on it. If you do not allow the asphalt enough time to cure, it will result in a poor surface.
The primary purpose of curing is to allow the asphalt to complete its chemical reaction and reach its greatest possible strength. If you don’t give it enough time, the asphalt will remain weak, which could lead to potholes or other issues later, which will require expensive repairs.
Mistake #5: Failing to Seal the Asphalt Properly
If the asphalt is not sealed correctly, it can lead to moisture damage and other issues like cracks and potholes. The asphalt needs to be sealed with a quality sealant to ensure that it lasts for many years.
Make sure to use a sealant that is appropriate for the climate and the type of asphalt. If the sealant is not applied correctly, it can wear away quickly and create problems in the future.
Mistake #6: Not Installing an Adequate Drainage System
Poor drainage is the leading cause of pavement failure. When rainwater seeps beneath the pavement, it softens the underlying soil and creates potholes. Pavement that isn’t correctly sloped will also accumulate water and lead to surface erosion. To avoid these problems, installing an adequate drainage system is essential.
Knowing about these mistakes will help you ensure that your pavement in Charlotte, NC, is installed correctly by your contractor. Hiring an experienced asphalt paving contractor such as American Paving ensures you end up with a quality pavement that will last for decades.