Seattle WA Commercial Paving Company
A good paving job always starts with a good base. The longevity of the pavement will depend in large part on the stability of the ground beneath it. When paving a new surface, we will assess the native soil and determine a quantity and type of rock to bring in for the base. Depending on the application, this will typically be a rock (aggregate) between 5/8 and 1.5 inch. Pavements that will support a heavy weight load (roadways, trucking facilities) should use a larger aggregate both in the base and in the asphalt material than those for light weight loads (driveways, cart paths, walkways). The sub-base should then be graded for proper drainage and compacted. This is especially important for projects involving removal and replacement of damaged existing asphalt. Asphalt cracking always starts in the base and moves upward.
Once the base is prepared, we will bring in the asphalt material. The pavement thickness should be designed adequately for the appropriate application — heavier and more frequent weight loads demand a thicker asphalt. Residential driveways and walking paths typically are 2-3″ thick, while roadways, trucking facilities, and dumpster areas can be 4-8″ or more. The material is picked up at the plant hot, usually around 300 degrees. It is then placed and properly compacted to approximately 92-95% density while it is still sufficiently warm, in the 180-200 degree range, leaving a smooth-looking surface that is built to last.
The links below will take you to data sheet and manufacturer’s specifications for the various products we use.
What time of year can paving be performed?
We perform paving projects year-round in the Puget Sound area, but we lose many more days to poor weather November through February than the rest of the year. The size of the project can determine the required weather conditions. Moisture, temperature and wind all contribute to how quickly the asphalt cools. We need to be able to get the material placed and properly compacted before it cools below 180-200 degrees.
Is an overlay better than “remove and replace?”
Each has its purposes and advantages. An overlay is certainly a cheaper alternative, but often will not last as long. When asphalt fails, it is usually the base below the asphalt that has failed first. If the asphalt is not removed, we don’t have the opportunity to correct the base failure problem. Overlays are often susceptible to so-called reflection cracking, where the cracks in the underlying pavement will “reflect” through and begin to show in the top layer.
What can be done to make my new pavement last the longest?
(1) A sturdy and well-compacted sub-base (2) A pavement thickness and mix design that is appropriate for the weight-load that will be using the pavement (3) Proper compaction to 92-95% density (4) Diligent maintenance in the years after it is placed, including filling cracks immediately and periodic seal coating.
Who makes your asphalt?
We purchase asphalt from various asphalt manufacturing plants around Puget Sound including Cemex (formerly Rinker), Lakeside Industries, Tucci and Sons, Woodworth and ICON.
How long before I can drive on it?
Typically, newly laid asphalt can be driven on within several hours. The colder the weather, the sooner it is traffic ready. We usually employ a “touch test.” If the surface is cool to the touch, it is ready to be driven on. However, asphalt will take several weeks to cure to its ultimate hardness and exposure to heavy trucks or equipment should be avoided if possible shortly after completion.
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