2 Reasons Your Pavement Isn’t Smooth

2 Reasons Your Pavement Isn’t Smooth

2 Reasons Your Pavement Isn’t Smooth

It is easy for experts on asphalt installation and sealcoating in Fairfield, CA, to distinguish between asphalt pavement installed carefully and pavement completed in a rush by looking at the surface texture. If paving is not as smooth as it should be, it was probably not installed correctly. You should never rush quality, and asphalt surfaces that are not smooth usually have installation problems. Whether it was a DIY project or a mistake by a paving professional, it is never a good look to have bumpy pavement.  

Why a smooth pavement surface matters

If asphalt pavement is left uneven and rough, moisture can seep into small surface gaps. This may not be a problem during the summer, but water might freeze and expand once the weather changes. As freezing moisture expands in your pavement, it will put pressure on your asphalt and cause extra strain. Then, your strained asphalt will pop back into position as the ice melts away.

Imagine a plastic water bottle. When you put it in your freezer, the water expands and applies pressure to the plastic around it. If you let it thaw out, the plastic will return to its original shape. But, if you freeze the same bottle repeatedly, it will become misshapen and eventually crack under the continued pressure.

This is very similar to asphalt water intrusion. Pressure will build up and release repeatedly until the asphalt materials become misshapen and deteriorate. Your asphalt will eventually break down due to the freeze/thaw cycle. As a result, you will see potholes, cracks, and/or dips on your pavement surface. Avoiding these issues is what makes a smooth asphalt surface of critical importance. There are a few reasons that asphalt paving may not come out smooth, and here are two of them:

Unstable aggregate mixture

The right aggregate mixture plays a vital role in pavement performance. You can compromise the structural integrity of your pavement if the combination is incorrect. Your aggregate mixture needs to include a mix of crushed stone and small particulates like sand so it can be tightly compacted. The rock in aggregate should never be smooth because it will not bind properly or compact correctly, leaving gaps in the sub-base: the more gaps present, the weaker your pavement. Crushed aggregate provides the strength to hold pavement together.

Inadequate compaction

If there are loose stones scattered across the surface of your pavement, or you can kick loose bits of asphalt or aggregate, your pavement probably wasn’t properly compacted. This usually means that when your final paving layer was spread, it was left to dry before sufficient compaction with a tamper or roller. Compression is critical for removing trapped air from the surface of your pavement. In addition, it will smooth the asphalt and remove bubbles and gaps present in the paving. However, this process is complicated, and contractors have a short window to achieve optimal compaction density.

Smooth pavement is essential for more than just the appearance of your paved surfaces. Bumpy pavement will cause structural issues that lead to untimely repairs and replacement. Contact paving professionals skilled in installation, repairs, and sealcoating in Fairfield, CA, if you want your pavement installed correctly. We have the experience and expertise to do the job right every time. Call us today!

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