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.
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Asphalt Grinding & Milling Options:
For many decades property owners and managers would just keep paving a new layer of asphalt over the old layer, year after year. This problem can be seen in many parking lots today by just looking at the concrete curbs that have become smaller. Contractors have paved up to the top of these curbs and now it’s time to take the asphalt back down. This is where services like asphalt milling and grinding come into play. We know one size does not fit all, and to be competitive on paving projects you have to scale you tools and labor to fit that project. Below is a breakdown of the different approaches we take based on the asphalt grinding project we’re performing.
Small Asphalt Grinding / Milling Projects:
When a customer contacts us about their smaller grinding projects, we respond by suggesting a more economical approach. We suggest sending out a small team equipped with small equipment. simple one off repairs such as a trip hazard or small raised area of asphalt in your parking lot can easily be removed utilizing a walk behind grinder. This equipment can operated by just a single person if need be. This approach saves our customers time and money.
Medium Asphalt Grinding / Milling Projects:
Do you have raised asphalt along concrete swale that’s causing a trip hazard or is just unsightly? On medium size repair projects we like to utilize our skid steer style grinders to get these jobs done quickly. A skid steer a small framed tractor with the ability to change tooling using attachments like a breaker, sweeper, and yes even a grinder. The skid steer grinder attachments come in several sizes from 18″ all the way up to 47″. This attachment is known as a cold planer and is an hydraulic system that offers powerful cutting, at rapid speeds. These ride-on grinding cutters are very versatile and allow us to make quick work on medium size asphalt repair jobs. One major advantage this equipment choice gives us is the ability to grind asphalt along curbs and planters in parking lots without breaking or damaging them.
Large Asphalt Grinding / Milling Projects:
Larger asphalt repair projects such as an asphalt overlay require larger equipment. At Superior Asphalt Paving Ltd we utilize asphalt pulverization and road milling equipment to get these projects done quickly and efficiently. Road milling and planing machines are the titans of asphalt removal and are mostly utilized for roads and very large parking lot areas. These machines are capable of removing less than an inch of your existing asphalts surface at widths up to five feet at a time, and they can do this at 75 feet per hour. This grinding process is a perfect fit for an asphalt overlay or fabric overlay project.
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Getting the Right Asphalt Mix
There are a few different ways to mix asphalt, the most popular of which are hot and cold. Hot-mix asphalt is made by heating aggregates to decrease the viscosity of the binding agents and make the whole more fluid, then drying it to remove any remaining moisture. It is mixed hot at 200-350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is called hot-mix because not only because it is mixed hot, it must also remain hot for the paving and compaction for repair or installation. This need for the asphalt to remain warm while paving and compaction is performed is one of the reasons so much paving is done in the summer.
Completed asphalt is evaluated for its quality in terms of consistency or viscosity, and purity. These are important for the asphalt to be properly controlled, transported and used in paving projects.
Cold-mix asphalt is made of quarter inch chip and proprietary oil. This specific make-up keeps the asphalt soft and helps it repel water. As its name suggests, cold-mix asphalt does not need to be warm to be used in asphalt repair. Additives in the oil keep the mixture soft all year long to allow for pothole patching in different types of weather. Even in cold or wet weather, cold-mix asphalt stays soft and repels water, making it perfect for pothole repair in winter and early spring. It will drive water out of the pothole, adhere to the surface underneath and remain flexible, keeping a pothole patched all year long.
What are the benefits of asphalt pavements?
- Safe – Asphalt surfaces are perfect for driving on because they provide a safe, smooth, and quiet surface for vehicles traveling at higher speeds. Asphalt can also reduce splashing and spraying from tires during precipitation, reducing collisions on the highway.
- Low-cos – When compared to other types of hard surfaces, asphalt is far more cost effective. It lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Smoother roads also reduce the wear and tear on vehicles. Therefore, they save vehicle owners money on maintenance.
- Eco-friendly – Asphalt is a recyclable product. The asphalt industry recycles almost 100 million tons of asphalt pavement annually for reuse in other areas. This saves taxpayers nearly $2 billion per year in road costs.
- Durability – Asphalt pavements can be designed for low, medium or high-volume traffic. With routine maintenance, asphalt can last 15-20 years.
- Flexibility – Asphalt can be used for a wide range of projects. In addition to roads, parking lots, and trails, it’s also used for roofing material, ramps, bicycle paths, and even on bridges.
When deciding to launch your project, Superior Asphalt Paving Ltd. can help you every step of the way from layout design to finishing and detailing the asphalt surface. With Over 40 Years of residential, commercial and municipal paving experience, we have the training and skill necessary to perform all jobs, large and small.
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