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Asphalt Paving Made Simple: Common Mistakes To Avoid

Key Takeaways:

  1. Asphalt is one of the most used paving materials for driveways, parking lots, and roads.
  2. The asphalt will crumble and break apart if the base is not properly compacted and leveled.
  3. Curing is a process that allows the asphalt to harden and bond to the subgrade.
  4. Asphalt paving must be scheduled for a cool, dry day.

Asphalt paving is a time-consuming & complicated process, which necessitates careful planning and execution to achieve the desired results.

Asphalt is a durable & long-lasting material, but only when it is installed correctly. You can make several mistakes during the asphalt paving process, from not preparing the surface to poor compaction.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some common mistakes to avoid when installing asphalt:

Mistake #01: Not Preparing the Surface

Preparing the surface means clearing the surface of all debris & vegetation, and any existing pavement should be removed. Then the surface must be leveled and compacted to create a solid foundation.

The base is an essential part of any asphalt paving project. Suppose the base is not properly compacted and leveled. In that case, the asphalt will not adhere correctly and crack and crumble over time.

Related: How to get rid of weeds on your pavement?

Mistake #02: Failing to Use a Primer

Applying a primer to the surface before paving is essential for two reasons. First, the primer will help the asphalt to adhere to the surface. Second, the primer will help to fill in any small cracks or imperfections on the surface, which will help to prevent future cracking.

A primer helps the asphalt adhere to the surface and provides a protective barrier against water and other elements. Without a primer, the asphalt is more likely to crack and fail prematurely.

Mistake #02: Failing to Use a Primer

Mistake #03: Applying the Asphalt Too Thin or Too Thick

When paving a surface, applying the asphalt at the correct thickness is important. If the asphalt is applied too thinly, it will not be durable, crack, and crumble over time. On the other hand, if the asphalt is applied too thickly, it will be difficult to compact appropriately, leading to cracking and failure. The ideal thickness for asphalt paving is between 2.5 and 4 centimeters.

Mistake #04: Not Compacting the Asphalt

One of the most common paving mistakes is not compacting the asphalt properly. Compaction helps to densify the pavement and make it more resistant to cracking and failure. Without proper compaction, the asphalt will be more likely to settle over time, resulting in an uneven surface.

Compaction is achieved through a hand tamper, roller, or plate compactor. For large areas, you may also use a pneumatic tire roller. The important thing is to make sure the asphalt is compacted evenly across the entire surface.

Mistake #05: Paving During Extreme Weather

Avoid paving during extreme weather conditions. Paving in hot weather can cause the asphalt to soften and become challenging to work with. Similarly, paving in cold weather can cause the asphalt to harden too quickly, making it more susceptible to cracking. If possible, try to schedule your paving project for a cool, dry day.

Mistake #06: Not Allowing Asphalt to Cure

It is essential to ensure that the asphalt pavement is adequately cured before traffic is allowed. Curing is a process that will enable the asphalt to harden and bond to the subgrade. If the pavement is not cured correctly, it can crumble and break apart under the weight of traffic.

Curing can take time because asphalt hardens slowly. During this time, it’s important to avoid driving or walking on the pavement too much, as this can cause indentations. Once the asphalt has cured, it will be much better able to withstand heavy traffic and daily use.

Mistake #07: Not Using the Correct Materials

Different types of asphalt mixes are available, and each has its specific purpose. For example, a mix for a residential driveway will be different from a mix for a commercial parking lot. If the wrong mix is used, the asphalt will not perform as it should and will likely fail prematurely.

What Happens During the Asphalt Installation Process?

If you’re considering installing asphalt, you should know a few things about the process.

  • First, you must thoroughly clear the area where the asphalt will be laid of debris or vegetation.
  • Once the area is prepped, a layer of crushed stone is spread over the top and compacted. This provides a stable base for the asphalt.
  • Next, hot asphalt is poured over the stone and smoothed out with a squeegee.
  • The final step is to apply a sealant over the asphalt to protect it from weathering and wear.

The entire process of asphalt installation usually takes one to two days to complete. And once it’s done, you’ll have a smooth, durable surface that will last for years.

Choosing the Right Asphalt Contractor for Your Project

Any major home improvement project is a significant investment, so you want to be sure you’re hiring the right contractor.

What to consider when choosing your asphalt contractor? Let’s find out!

  • Get recommendations from friends or family who have had similar work done. This is one of the best ways to find a reputable asphalt contractor.
  • Next, check out online reviews. Look for companies with mostly positive reviews & that have been in business for several years.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your options, get written estimates from each contractor.
  • Finally, ask lots of questions. A good asphalt contractor should be able to answer all of your questions & make you feel confident in their abilities.
  • Take your time & do your research. You’ll be sure to find the right asphalt contractor for your next home improvement project.


Asphalt paving is a great way to improve your home or business look. However, avoiding common mistakes is vital to ensure a successful project. Follow the tips above, and you’ll indeed have a beautiful new asphalt surface that will last for years.

If you’re looking for a high-quality asphalt paving contractor in De Pere, Wisconsin, look no further than our experienced and skilled team at Quality Asphalt. We specialize in asphalt paving, from new installation to repair and maintenance. No job is too big or small for our talented and dedicated crew. In addition to our outstanding workmanship, we offer competitive rates and flexible scheduling to meet your needs and budget. So if you’re in the market for a new asphalt driveway or need to repair an existing one, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Get a free quote now!