Why isn’t my asphalt surface smooth? It’s not a question a paving company wants to hear. Backed by decades of experience, our teams have crafted stunning surfaces over the years.
Oftentimes, it’s easy to tell the difference between careful, attentive paving and rushed jobs. One of the clearest signs is to take a look at the texture of the asphalt surface. Smooth surfaces are a sign of quality.
However, when you notice your paved surface is not as smooth as you thought it would be, it’s not ideal. With our years of experience, we know there’s no way to rush quality. When your asphalt surface isn’t smooth, that points to a problem with the installation. Whether you had a DIY project that got out of hand or a professional contractor who made a mistake, bumpy pavement isn’t a great look.
Is Smooth Asphalt Important?
So, is it bad when my asphalt surface isn’t smooth? Is it more than an aesthetic problem?
When you leave a paved surface rough and uneven, rain seeps into the gaps on the surface. While this might not sound too bad, if we have a freeze, that water starts to expand. In doing so, it pushes the asphalt out and strains the surface. Then, as it melts, the asphalt jerks back into position.
Think about a plastic bottle in a freezer. As the water freezes, it puts more pressure on the bottle. If it thaws out, the plastic returns to its former form. However, if this happens over and over, the plastic eventually cracks. Similarly, asphalt cracks after a repetition of building and releasing pressure. Eventually, it simply starts to crumble. Over time, you notice these cracks appear on your paved surface.
Additionally, asphalt that allows water to seep through the surface will often cause the base material, which supports the surface, to deteriorate. Either way, you might notice potholes and dips start to form on your asphalt surface. Smooth asphalt, on the other hand, is built to drain moisture away from the pavement.
Why Isn’t My Asphalt Surface Smooth? 3 Causes to Keep in Mind
As you can see, smooth asphalt is a key goal for any paving project. Below, we look at some of the causes behind pavement that is not smooth and tight.
Not Enough Oils to Bind the Aggregate
In its hot form straight from the plant, asphalt is soupy and thick – ideally. In this state, install the hot mix asphalt over the base material to create a surface that is solid and sturdy. Typically, the minimum thickness needed to properly pave a surface with asphalt is 2 inches. When you fail to meet this specification, it often results in the asphalt not properly binding to the aggregate.
If your asphalt surface looks lumpy and bits start to chip off, it’s likely because there weren’t enough oils and binders in the asphalt to properly hold the aggregate together. It’s essential to ensure you have the proper mix to adequately bind the aggregate. Moreover, it’s critical to work with experienced, expert contractors.
Lack of Compaction
With an asphalt surface, smooth means quality. When the surface has loose rocks scattered across it, it can be a sign of improper compaction. This means the top layer of the surface was installed and allowed to cool without first sufficiently compacting it with a roller or tamper.
When it comes to asphalt, compaction is extremely important. This process removes the air from the pavement. Moreover, it smooths out the area and gets rid of gaps and voids. Often, it’s not a simple process to get right on your first try. This is because there’s only a small window before the asphalt cools down too much to achieve the ideal compaction density.
If you want to repave your asphalt surface, smooth is your goal. It’s beneficial to work with an experienced team that knows how to properly compact the asphalt. At A1 Construction Services, we are asphalt paving experts. Contact our team today for a quote to see how we can help you.
Wrong Choice of Aggregate Mix
When you have the right aggregate mix, the resulting quality reflects your wise choice. If you choose the wrong mix for your asphalt surface, smooth surfaces are next to impossible. Often, this results in uneven surfaces that fall apart.
The aggregate for asphalt is a mix of crushed rock and particulates that compact together tightly. Moreover, it’s important to avoid smooth rocks because they cannot bind together. Similarly, rounded stones leave gaps in your sub-base. The more gaps you have, the weaker the surface becomes. On the other hand, crushed aggregate brings strength to the pavement. Without this, your surface doesn’t stand a chance.
Why Isn’t My Asphalt Surface Smooth? It Can Be!
If you find yourself asking, “why isn’t my asphalt surface smooth,” we have some good news. With the right repair services, it’s possible to smooth out your pavement. At A1SP, we offer high-quality asphalt services to keep your pavement smooth.
With decades of experience paving in the Greater Houston Area, we understand how to match your materials with your area. Moreover, we know how to design a surface that drains appropriately. We work with a broad range of clients to ensure smooth asphalt surfaces. When you need some help, contact our team today for a quote.