The proper installation and maintenance of asphalt pavement will last you for 20 years. That’s the secret of the professionally built driveway. Driveways that are poorly designed and constructed will break down soon after it was installed. Commercial parking lots have a similar service life.
Aside from engineering decisions such as construction materials and design details, there are other management choices that have a significant impact on asphalt paving’s performance. It also includes finding the right contractor and checking job quality.
How to Select a Contractor
Selecting good contractors takes some work, but it is for superior results. You must find a competent and skilled contractor who takes care of all the specifics of the project. You may have to speak to several trustworthy contractors to get the expected results. Consult with the Better Business Bureau to check for possible customer complaints.
Tell the contractors to give you references, preferably their latest projects. Call their previous clients and inquire if they’re pleased with the contractor’s job. If necessary, check the jobs and consider the work quality.
Another good way to find an asphalt contractor is to contact the hot mixing plant in your locality and request for a recommendation from them. The operator will definitely know a good contractor or two, and they would willingly give their name and contact number. Research first and find out if the contractor suggested to you is indeed good enough. It is important to make sure that the recommended contractor does a good job.
Contracts and Documents
It is also important to give the asphalt paving contractor a contract before starting with the job. They should provide you with written documentation about the nature of the job and its expected quality.
However, very few projects on the road will follow these guidelines. They usually provide simple specifications and follow the standards to ensure you of a good job. Although it isn’t long, it must be clear and precise. All test guidelines must be met.
Structural Design Considerations
An asphalt pavement needs adequate structural capacity so it can carry the load you want it to and operate well. The appropriate thickness of the pavement will depend on the condition of the subgrade and the expected traffic.
Proper subgrade preparation is essential, as it will serve as the pavement base. It should be free of soil and weeds. It must match the contours of the asphalt pavement. It needs to be lightweight, smooth, and spotless. All soft spots must be filled and properly compacted and covered with good soil. A poorly compacted or porous subgrade may lead to structural problems.
The installation of suitable drainage is a factor in the performance of the asphalt driveway or parking lot. Perhaps no other role is so crucial in assessing the ability of the asphalt pavement to cope with weather and road impact. Evaporation or runoff is generally slow as the water gets into the subgrade. Even under the dry weather, it may stay wet or become damp at an indefinite period of time. Some subgrade soils have some clay and silt that cause it to lose strength, especially when wet.