Royal Pavement Solutions


Asphalt Paving – What is Binder & Topcoat?

A successful asphalt paving project requires contractors and their crews to take a step-by-step approach that will result in an attractive, safe, durable pavement. Skipping even a single step, or executing a step incorrectly, can have disastrous consequences, including costly repairs, an unsightly appearance, a rough surface, or the premature failure of the pavement. Two steps that you do not want your contractor to skip or botch are the binder and topcoat installations. To explain their importance, it might be helpful to review how asphalt pavements are constructed.

How Does a Long Island Paving Company Construct an Asphalt Pavement?

Normally, a paving contractor in Nassau or Suffolk County begins by determining the traffic that the new pavement will need to support. For example, experienced parking lot paving companies know that a parking lot that is reserved for passenger vehicles will not be subjected to the same demands as one that will need to withstand the weight of fully loaded tractor-trailers. Understanding the stresses that will be placed on the pavement allows commercial paving contractors to design a pavement that optimizes performance, durability, and economy. Once the design specifications are established, the paving contractor will usually take the following steps.

1. Prepare the soil. If the soil cannot be adequately compacted, the contractor may amend it
2. Construct and compact an aggregate base.
3. Install and compact multiple layers of asphalt. Two of these layers will be the binder and topcoat.

What Does an Asphalt Paving Contractor Mean When Speaking of the Binder Course?

The binder is a layer of asphalt that is applied on top of an aggregate base, so it is sometimes referred to as the base coat. The purpose of the binder is to make the base stronger and more stable. The asphalt mix that is used for the base coat normally incorporates crushed rocks that are approximately three-quarters of an inch in size.

What Does an Asphalt Paving Contractor Mean When Speaking of the Topcoat?

The topcoat is the surface layer, which is also called the driving course or finish course. The purpose of the topcoat is to ensure that the surface is smooth and attractive, so the aggregate incorporated in the asphalt mix is smaller than what is used for the base coat. For topcoats, most commercial paving contractors use aggregates that are less than a half-inch in size.

When Overlaying Asphalt Pavements, Do Contractors Install Binders and Topcoats?

Because overlays should only be installed on pavements with a stable foundation, binders are not typically needed. The exception would be a situation where the contractor has removed sections of the existing pavement to repair or strengthen the base; in that case, a binder may be installed on the repaired or renovated base. The contractor will install a topcoat, however.

Why Are Binders and Topcoats Important for Asphalt Pavements?

Properly installed binders can help reduce the need for costly repairs or the premature failure of the pavement. When combined with professional paving maintenance, topcoats help ensure that the pavement has a surface that delivers a quiet, smooth ride. Sealcoating Long Island pavements can help protect the topcoat from damage so that the driving course remains safe, smooth, and attractive.

When You Need a Reputable Paving Contractor in Nassau or Suffolk County, Contact Royal Pavement Solutions

We are a Long Island paving company with an impeccable reputation for craftsmanship, service, and integrity. We offer a wide variety of services, including sealcoating, asphalt overlaying and paving, site work, lot striping, asphalt repair, sweeping and portering, asphalt crack sealing, building maintenance, and concrete work. If you are interested in receiving a free quote, you can call 844-777-7924, or you can fill out our online request form.

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