Base Installation in Asphalt Paving

You Can't Have Superior Asphalt Paving Without a Superior Base

You probably are well aware that most roadways in our country (nearly 95%) are paved with asphalt. Why is that the case? Asphalt paving is the strongest, longest-lasting, cheapest paving material. Due to its petroleum makeup, asphalt is pliable and very resistant to cracking. Consequently asphalt maintenance is a low maintenance task. Whether you're a homeowner, business owner, or contractor you can appreciate that time- and money-saving quality of this common material.

The first step in any asphalt application, whether it is paving a small residential driveway, commercial parking lot, or major interstate highway is applying a stable, durable base. The base is the foundation that supports the asphalt. While the flexible makeup of asphalt makes it less prone to becoming damaged, without a reliable base, this flexibility becomes a liability. Without a strong base, asphalt will degrade and deteriorate quickly. RS asphalt employs a multi-step process to ensure that the asphalt pavement we apply will be supported by a reliable base.

How We Create the Asphalt Base

  • Demolition. The first step in creating an asphalt base is to demolish and remove the existing surface (if there is one) and remove any loose gravel or debris.
  • Grading. Next, we grade the subsurface to ensure that water is able to run off the surface rather than collect on it. Water ponding and pooling causes asphalt pavement to heave and collapse, so proper grading is critical. Usually a horizontal or vertical grade of 3% to 5% is ideal.
  • Compacting. In this step, we use a heavy roller (1 to 3 tons, depending on the site) to pack down the base soils. Compacting is essential to creating a level surface that will withstand the pressures of heavy traffic.
  • Covering. Once the base soils are compacted, we cover them with coarse crushed rocks or shells, recycled asphalt or concrete, limestone, or other jagged yet compactable materials. The purpose of these rocks is to facilitate efficient water drainage. The depth of this layer of crushed materials depends on the makeup of the subsoils. Sandy soils require less of this material than clay soils do.
  • Packing. The final step in preparing the asphalt base is to pack down the crushed layer so it compacts with the subsoil beneath to form a strong support for the asphalt that will be applied on top of it.