The Dos And Don'ts Of Asphalt Compaction: Make It Or Break It

The Dos And Don’ts Of Asphalt Compaction: Make It Or Break It

If you’re in the construction business, you know that proper asphalt compaction is key to a successful project. But do you know the dos and don’ts of asphalt compaction? If not, don’t worry – we’re here to help!

In this blog post, we’ll review some of the most important things you need to know about asphalt compaction. And if you’re looking for a reliable contractor who can handle your compaction needs, be sure to contact Laurel Asphalt. We offer top-quality services at competitive prices!

What is Asphalt Compaction?

Asphalt compaction is the process of densifying asphalt mixtures by removing air voids. This increases the density and stability of the mix, which in turn strengthens the pavement surface.

An asphalt surface without adequate compaction will be susceptible to cracking, potholes, and other forms of damage. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your contractor is adequately trained and experienced in asphalt compaction!

What Should I Avoid While Compacting Asphalt?

There are a few risks you should guard against while compacting asphalt.

  1. Asphalt Pick-Up on Dry Drums: If your steel drum does not have a water film on its surface, it will likely pick up sticky asphalt. As a result, with each drum rotation, the asphalt will adhere to the drum, slowly building up, which will cause the mat to show divots. To fix this, spray water on the drum surface to keep it moistened.
  2. Asphalt Pick-Up on Rubber Tires: Asphalt might stick to the rubber tires when using a pneumatic compactor. This asphalt can then be transferred to the mat, leading to a sticky situation. The solution is to have a release agent available and apply it to the tires as needed.
  3. Vibratory Drum Impact Marks: To reduce the thickness of the asphalt layer, you might attempt to use slow and numerous vibratory passes. However, doing this will result in a dense layer and the drum bouncing, which will inflict impact marks on the asphalt. The best way to avoid this is by using fewer but faster passes.

What Should I Do While Compacting Asphalt?

Now that we’ve looked at what to avoid let’s look at some tips on successfully compacting asphalt.

No. 1: Keep an Eye on the Heat

Regardless of what asphalt mix you’re using, watching the temperature is essential. Your asphalt needs to reach the optimal temperature range to achieve optimal results. Once you’ve hit the highest temp for the type of roller you’re using, you’ll create the density easily. However, too much heat could cause bulging.

No. 2: Effective Rolling Pattern with the Correct Roller

The rolling pattern you use directly affects the results of your compacting job. Make sure that your breakdown roller follows the paver’s speed, and always start at the outside edge of your lane. Your intermediate roller should follow immediately afterward, and you should use it to create the best density achievable. Lastly, your finish roller should clean up the marks efficiently.


Did you enjoy our brief guide on the dos and don’ts of asphalt compaction? If you need reliable service to help you with your compacting job, look no further than Laurel Asphalt. We offer top-quality workmanship in Mt. Pleasant, MI, adhering strictly to industry standards.

Get your free estimate today!