Compaction 101: Everything You Need To Know

Compaction 101: Everything You Need To Know

Paving asphalt is essential for any municipality or business that relies on paved surfaces. The process of paving asphalt is not simple, and it’s necessary to get it right the first time. One of the most critical steps in asphalt paving is compaction. But what is compaction, and why is it so important?

Laurel Asphalt, a reliable contractor in Johnstown, will answer those questions and more. So, keep reading to learn all about compaction and why it’s essential for paving asphalt.

What is Compaction?

When it comes to asphalt installation, compaction is unquestionably the essential aspect. Compacting correctly allows asphalt to reach the required density and strength and helps prevent deterioration that considerably reduces pavement lifespan.

The Process of Compaction:

There are many different ways to compact asphalt, but the most common is by roller. The procedure usually starts with placing a layer of hot mix asphalt (HMA) followed by a layer of coarse aggregate. These two layers are rolled together using a vibrating plate compactor or pneumatic tire roller.

How to Ensure Proper Compaction?

A few key factors must be considered to ensure proper compaction.

The first is the type of equipment in use. It is necessary to match the size of the aggregate particles to the weight and width of the roller. Too much weight can cause excessive crushing, while too little will not provide enough force to achieve density.

The second factor is moisture content. The asphalt mixture should be moist but not wet. Otherwise, it will become clumpy and difficult to compact.

Thirdly, temperature also needs to be taken into account. Hot mix asphalt must be compacted while still hot to achieve desired results. If it’s allowed to cool, it will become more difficult to roll and could lead to cracking or potholing down the road.

Why Is Compaction Important?

Compaction is essential for two reasons: first, it helps to ensure a stable foundation for the pavement; second, it increases the strength and durability of the pavement. Compaction creates a solid surface that can withstand repeated use without becoming damaged when done correctly.

Problems Caused by Improper Compaction:

If the asphalt is not compacted correctly, it can lead to several problems, including:

Rutting: It occurs when vehicle tires compress the pavement to the point where it creates a depression in the surface. Rutting can cause damage to vehicles and make the road more dangerous to drive on.

Potholing: Potholes are created when water seeps into the pavement and softens the underlying soil. The weight of vehicles passing over this area then causes the pavement to collapse, forming a hole in the surface.

Cracking: If asphalt sections are not adequately supported, they will eventually crack under stress. Cracks can allow water and debris to enter, leading to further damage and requiring expensive repairs.

Get Professional Help:

If you are big on saving time and don’t want to worry about the potential challenges of asphalt compaction, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Get in touch with us at Laurel Asphalt serving Johnstown.

We are a leading asphalt paving firm with years of experience. We have all the necessary equipment and know-how to get the job done quickly and efficiently, ensuring a perfect finish every time. Whether commercial paving, line striping, or pothole repairing, you can count on us for quality service.

Get a free estimate!