Asphalt Paving Soil Stabilization

Asphalt Paving Soil Stabilization

Asphalt Paving Soil Stabilization

Like building construction, the base of road construction dictates its integrity — the foundation of an asphalt paving undertaking determines whether the pavement endures for decades. One way to learn if a contractor is ensuring that integrity is if they complete soil stabilization before beginning paving. It's critical to know why soil stabilization is essential, what it involves, and the advantages the process delivers when it is a component of asphalt installation. Our experts on asphalt paving in San Antonio, TX, offer the following information to help you understand soil stabilization in paving.

Understanding Soil Stabilization

Drainage is a significant consideration in asphalt paving. Moisture under the pavement surface can lead to various issues, from slight cracks to severe potholes. Grading for correct drainage will mitigate this risk, but stabilizing the earth adds an extra layer of defense.

Depending on the area's geography, the soil may not be perfect in its current form to be a base for asphalt pavement. Unfortunately, this is often the case; the soil needs to be stabilized by an additive and packed with precision. During soil stabilization, you must also consider water levels, road usage, and environmental elements.

What Soil Stabilization Entails

You can complete the process using several soil stabilization methods and various additives. Soil samples are an excellent way to determine which direction to take, but soil stabilization is the most familiar for projects like parking areas and municipal roads. After grading, the soil is pressed to the proper depth, and the agent is used to form the subgrade layer, creating a chemical reaction that preps the surface for several other layers.

Refer to your project specifications because this can be accomplished in many ways, employing a spectrum of professional asphalt paving tools and equipment your contractor can access and use. A professional will also understand whether other additives need to be used with the agent to improve resiliency. The objective here is to modify the pH of the soil beneath the asphalt and use it as a means to help manage moisture. Too much and asphalt will swell and contract, and too little water leads to the brittle, cracked pavement. Both decrease the life of the asphalt.

What are the Benefits?

There are many ways that soil stabilization can be helpful during an asphalt paving project.

  • Plasticity reduction: Plasticity is a quality of pavement that refers to its ability to bounce back. Reduced soil plasticity will allow the asphalt to change shape under duress but ultimately return to its unbroken state (or as near it as possible).
  • Moisture reduction: Adding a chemical to the soil can lower moisture retention, which augments proper drainage grading. This is particularly beneficial in wet climates or roads that may be routinely exposed to elements like water sources.
  • Swell reduction: Part of maintaining less moisture means that the soil won't grow in volume and protrude (and later shrink), which changes the surface and can harm vehicles and lead to deterioration that, over time, will demand repair or possibly complete replacement.
  • Improved stability: Using chemical additives and proper compaction controls the soil under the asphalt from moving over time. Uneven subsurfaces alter the plane of the asphalt surface and can provoke or worsen the damage.

This information helps you better understand soil stability in asphalt paving in San Antonio, TX. Contact us today for more information on the services we provide.

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