What is a Pavement Really Made Out Of?

A common misconception about asphalt and concrete pavement is that you simply pour the paving material when it’s hot, pack it down, and you’re good to go. But if you were to look at a cross-section of pavement, you’d see it’s composed of several layers of material to provide ultimate stability and strength. Join our team of experts as we review the paving process and get a better understanding of your paving investment!

Out with the Old, In with the New

Like anything, a great pavement starts with a strong foundation. When it comes to asphalt and concrete paving, there’s nothing more important than the meticulous excavation of any existing stone, concrete, or asphalt. For commercial projects, this requires well-maintained heavy machinery like bobcats, forklifts, front loaders, and dump trucks. It takes the right crew with the right experience to ensure excavation goes smoothly, that no property is damaged, and that the area is completely clear of debris.

Ensuring Proper Storm Water Management

After the area has been cleared of unsuitable materials, it must be compacted, graded, and contoured. We compact the raw earth beneath the pavement to ensure a fully stable base and then we grade and slope it to create a proper pitch for water drainage. Finally, we contour the area to match the layout of the project, whether that be a parking lot, drive through, driveway, or road. If the subgrade level is rough, uneven, or loose it can cause weak points in your asphalt pavement, leading to future issues with cracking, poor drainage, and even shifting. When it comes to professional pavements, there’s no “eying-it” – we work with skilled engineers and the latest technology to implement proper drainage management to ensure the life of your paving investment.

Applying the Subbase Material

Subbase is compactable crushed stone that must be applied before laying any asphalt or concrete. The size, composition, and thickness of subbase material differs for each type of application. For example, parking lots and roadways experience heavier traffic and require a  thicker subbase while walkways, patios, and paths require much less. We use the subbase to create a stable surface that is capable of supporting a pavement. The crushed stone acts as a weather shield, protecting the pavement from expansion and shrinkage due to inclement weather and creates a heavy duty, stable base that adds to the durability of the pavement. At Johnson & Sons Paving, we make our own crushed stone subbase to ensure quality materials on every project!

Inspecting the Prepared Paving Surface

Once we’ve excavated, compacted, graded, contoured, and laid our subbase – we inspect the prepared surface for any points of weakness. In doing so, we can ensure that any asphalt or concrete we apply has the strongest foundation possible to help protect your paving investment.


Adding a Base Coat to Reinforce Stability

Now that the area is completely prepped, we apply a load-bearing base coat or binder made of aggregate and hot-mix asphalt. This layer must be incredibly strong to withstand traffic, heavy duty vehicles, and even machinery!

Applying the New Asphalt Surface

The final layer of an asphalt pavement is referred to as “Surface” or “Top” coat and contains finer aggregate than the binder to provide a smoother finish. Our paving professionals install this top layer of asphalt using the latest application techniques and our own, in-house quality asphalt to ensure an even, and clean surface.  We use heavy duty rollers to smooth and compact the top layer of asphalt to even out any bumps or pieces of aggregate on the surface.

Adding the Finishing Touches

During the quoting process, we work with each client to create a customized pavement project to meet their specific needs. Once the asphalt is laid, we get to work adding all the finishing touches. This could be adding transitions, curbs, ramps, sidewalks, or even decorative concrete. We also have a striping team to add parking space and traffic management lines as well as ADA markings.

At Johnson & Sons Paving, we take your pavement investment seriously and continually seek new ways to make our processes and materials even better. We believe that sharing our experience and expertise is one of the best ways to help our clients make an informed and confident decision for their next asphalt project.

Connect with our team to learn more!