The Importance of Proper Drainage

By February 26, 2021 September 11th, 2022 No Comments

Asphalt pavements are attractive and economical, and they can have extremely long lives if they are properly maintained. However, they are not immune to the forces of nature. Although asphalt has long been praised for its waterproofing properties, water underneath or on top of an asphalt pavement can cause some serious problems that can result in the total deterioration of the pavement. Therefore, proper drainage is critical for ensuring a longer life for the pavement with fewer costly repairs.

What Happens to an Asphalt Pavement With Improper Surface Drainage?

Wet pavements are less safe than dry ones, but water standing on the pavement increases the chances that the water will penetrate beneath the surface. Water can leak through cracks, back up along the edges of the pavement, or penetrate around clogged drains or grates. As the water is drawn downward by gravity, it can wreak havoc on the entire structure of the pavement. When the trapped water freezes and expands, the damage to the pavement is exacerbated. However, freezing temperatures can also inflict pavement damage even if the water remains on the surface.

What Happens to an Asphalt Pavement With Improper Subsurface Drainage?

Asphalt pavements must rest upon a stable, well-compacted, strong foundation. Typically, paving contractors compact the soil, then they install an aggregate base before installing the asphalt layers. Whether the water reaches this foundation by penetrating the surface or from a subterranean source, it can pluck particles from the soil and the aggregate. An eroded foundation can allow voids to form beneath the pavement, the pavement sags over the voids, and potholes develop quickly. If water moves into these voids and freezes, the upward pressure can crack the pavement, or it can allow depressions to form when the ice thaws, leading to more potholes.

How Do Asphalt Contractors Ensure Proper Drainage for a New Pavement?

Proper drainage starts from the ground up. Contractors assess the soil at the building site to determine its clay content, its natural ability to drain water, and its ability to be sufficiently compacted. Based on their findings, they can address any drainage issues in a variety of ways. For example, they may remove some of the existing soil and replace it, they might install a thick layer of sand underneath the aggregate base, or they may install drain tile beneath the pavement. They will ensure that the site is graded properly, and they will calculate the proper slope for the finished pavement. Depending on the specific pavement, contractors may install trench drains, catch basins, gutters, or other features to ensure that water drains away efficiently.

How Do Asphalt Contractors Address Surface Drainage Issues on Existing Pavements?

Contractors will begin by determining the cause of the drainage issue. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as clearing a clogged drainpipe. At other times, milling can solve some drainage problems on its own, but other situations may call for milling the pavement and installing an overlay. Sunken catch basins can typically be repaired quickly and economically. There are many other options for correcting drainage problems, but contractors must evaluate a specific pavement to determine the best solution.

Trust Royal Pavement Solutions for the Help You Need

At Royal Pavement Solutions, we offer an extensive range of asphalt services, including paving, milling, repairs, and preventive maintenance. We also provide site work and concrete services. Our goal on every project is to ensure the customer’s complete satisfaction by delivering exceptional results through our craftsmanship, work ethic, and professionalism. To request a free estimate, complete our online form, or you can reach us by phone at 844-777-7924.