Asphalt Paving – Proper Drainage Ensures Success

Asphalt Paving – Proper Drainage Ensures Success

Regardless of the intended use or size of the asphalt pavement that they are installing, credible paving contractors pay careful attention to ensure proper drainage. If the pavement does not drain correctly, you could be facing serious liability issues and the premature deterioration of your pavement. Whether your project involves new construction or replacement pavement, you should make sure that you hire an experienced, knowledgeable and reputable asphalt contractor. If you hire a contractor who does not understand how to ensure proper subsurface and surface drainage, the results could be disastrous.

Asphalt Paving – Proper Drainage Ensures Success – Subsurface Drainage

Subsurface water is the water that is present in the underlying soil or that has seeped through the asphalt pavement. Water that escapes or emerges from the underlying soil is called seepage, while the process of water leaking through the pavement is referred to as water penetration or infiltration.

Subsurface water may flow freely due to the effects of gravity. However, it may also move due to what hydrologists refer to as capillary action. Capillary action is a type of wicking effect that is responsible for the transfer of groundwater from wet soil to dry soil.

In some cases, subsurface water may collect in the pavement’s structural components. This will often require the installation of subdrains to channel the water safely away. Geotextiles can also be used to channel water quickly from the soil to a safe outlet.

Asphalt Paving – Proper Drainage Ensures Success – Surface Drainage

Although surface drainage may include the adjacent terrain and shoulders, the primary goal is to remove water from the pavement. To ensure adequate drainage, asphalt pavements are built with a crown or slope to channel water to gutters, drains, catch basins or ditches. The best slope for the pavement will depend on the intended function of the pavement. For example, most streets need a minimum slope of 2 percent, parking lots should have a minimum slope of 1 percent and steeply elevated curves on highways may require a slope of as much as 8 percent.

If the crown is too great, however, the longevity and safety of the pavement can be affected. For example, a slope on a highway must allow vehicles to cross over during lane changes without drifting, skidding or otherwise becoming unstable. Likewise, careful attention must be given to the slope at transitions and intersections.

If the surface of the pavement does not drain properly, water can collect in any low spots. The pavement underneath will usually fail quickly, especially if no internal drainage has been provided. In addition, the pooled water can freeze, posing a risk to pedestrians and drivers as well as exacerbating the damage to the pavement.

There are various ways to ensure that your pavement has adequate surface and subsurface drainage, but you will need to consult a reputable, experienced contractor. There are also methods that a knowledgeable contractor may be able to use to correct certain drainage issues involving existing pavements.

Let Dirtworks Help

Dirtworks is a full-service asphalt driveway and commercial paving contractor with over 20 years of paving experience in Cape Cod. Or services include driveway paving, commercial paving, asphalt overlays, milling, reclamation, parking lot striping, asphalt repair, dirt road repair and sealcoating. We also offer a complete line of site work and excavation services. Whether you own a residential or commercial property, we can provide you with exemplary service and exceptional quality at reasonable prices. If you have more questions about Asphalt Paving – Proper Drainage Ensures Success or would like a free quote call at 508-240-5541 or submitting the online form.

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