Asphalt is an extremely popular paving material. It’s strong, durable and long-lasting, however, it can go wrong if it’s not laid correctly. Here are 7 of the most common asphalt paving mistakes to avoid when choosing asphalt for your next paving project.
What is asphalt, and what is it used for?
Before we dive into the mistakes that can be made with asphalt, we thought we’d explain what it is and what it’s used for first. Asphalt is essentially a combination of aggregate and bitumen binder that are mixed together at a high temperature and then applied to the ground to create a hard-wearing and smooth surface. Asphalt can be used for many applications, some of the more common ones are driveways, pathways, roads, parking lots, walkways and more.
Asphalt Paving Mistakes
Laying asphalt is typically a big construction job that requires a certain level of skill, and the right technique and equipment need to be used to achieve a flawless finish. Getting this wrong can lead to safety concerns as well as a shoddy looking finish. You need to have a comprehensive plan in place, and you need to factor in many elements such as dimensions, thickness, drainage and more. Asphalt can be extremely difficult to remove once it is laid. This is why it’s key to hire a professional to lay your asphalt. It takes out the guesswork, and you can have peace of mind knowing it is going to be done properly.
Asphalt compaction requires a lot of consideration. If you don’t compact your asphalt adequately, the surface will likely sustain divots or unevenness throughout. If you have no prior experience laying asphalt, it can be tricky to master all the steps involved to achieve a high-quality and lasting finish.
Choosing the wrong contractor
Choosing the wrong contractor is just as bad as doing it yourself and getting it wrong. Rather than just going to the cheapest contractor you can find, it pays to do your research and choose a contractor that is highly skilled and experienced in all facets of asphalt applications. Ensure the contractor you choose is insured and licenced. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for references and examples of their previous work. You can check their reviews online to gather an idea of the level of services they offer and the quality of their work. If their reviews are bad, steer clear. You don’t want to be another dissatisfied customer.
Using low-quality asphalt
There are many different types of asphalt, and they are not all the same in quality. Using a low-standard asphalt will most certainly result in a sub-standard finish. It really pays to spend a little extra on a higher-quality asphalt to achieve a superior finish that’s going to last. Remember, that your asphalt will be exposed to all kinds of harsh conditions such as UV rays, rain, heavy loads and more, so the more resilient it is, the better. It may cost a bit more now but can save you from having to redo it sooner than would have liked, costing you more.
Sealer hasn’t been applied properly
Asphalt must be sealed after it is laid to prevent it from breaking down before it should. Sealing needs to be done relatively soon after the asphalt has been laid. Waiting too long may see it compromised by rain or external contaminants. The weather should also be considered when laying new asphalt. Ensure your asphalt is laid when plenty of sun is about and no rain is forecast. If you have questions, get in contact with your local Brisbane Asphalt Driveway experts!
Drainage has not been considered
Drainage is a major consideration when any new hardscaping project is installed. If you don’t factor in drainage, water will likely pool on top of your asphalt, and over time it can seep into the asphalt and down into the subgrade material. From here, the subgrade materials shift out of place and can cause potholes. Another serious concern is if water has nowhere to go and the asphalt meets the house, the water can run into your home and cause water damage. Always consider how and where water will drain off when laying new asphalt. You do not want to cause flooding at your property unknowingly.
Not preparing the ground properly first
The ground must be properly prepared first before asphalt can be laid. Skipping the crucial step will more than likely give you an inferior finish both in the short and long term. The ground needs to be properly prepared to create a strong foundation for the asphalt to be laid on. For example, rocks and any greenery in the way need to be cleared etc.
Asphalt can be messy, so it is smart to hire a professional!
If you have prior asphalt laying experience, laying your own asphalt may be a task that’s within your capabilities, if not, it can be extremely hard to get right, and it is simply not worth the hassle or risk of making your business or property look worse than it did. It is smart to hire a professional asphalt contractor to take care of it for you if you want a flawless finish that is going to stand the test of time.
For all your asphalt and bitumen needs on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas, contact the professional team here at Bitumen Constructions.