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The Basics of Paving

Paving Philadelphia is when concrete or bitumen is poured onto a road’s surface. However, there are several steps that need to take place before this.


These include demolition and removal of existing surface, grading, and sloping. Then, a binder layer is added, which is a mixture of large aggregate and oil, creating strength and durability for the surface course.

When laying a paved surface, it’s important to build a sub-base. This acts as the primary load-bearing layer and dissipates the weight of the paving evenly across the whole area. This prevents the paving from shifting, sinking, or settling over time.

A good sub-base will also aid drainage and help to prevent the ruts that can develop in cheap installations of paving. It will prevent water from pooling beneath the paving, which can damage it over time and create a trip hazard. A properly constructed sub-base will also be able to cope with the weight of cars and other vehicles.

The sub-base is usually made of crushed stone that has been certified as MOT Type 1 by the Ministry of Transport (or DTP1 as it’s more commonly known). This material is strong and stable, allowing it to support the paving. It should be compacted thoroughly, either with a vibrating plate compactor (Wacker plates) or by dropping a concrete punnel down onto it, if space allows.

There are alternatives to MOT Type 1, such as sand blinding, but these shouldn’t be used under a patio or driveway, because they don’t have the same strength and durability. MOT Type 1 is a graded crushed stone that contains no fines, making it ideal for supporting paving.

Another alternative is to use an unbound granular material, such as Slag Bound Material (SBM) or Fly Ash Bound Material (FABM), but these aren’t suitable for road construction and have been shown to be less durable. Unbound granular materials are often used in conjunction with a more coarse, well-graded base or capping material to improve the grading and increase the strength.

If a paved surface is built without a sub-base, it will quickly become damaged and will need to be replaced in short order. This is because the paving will shift and settle over time, creating uneven surfaces that are difficult to drive over. A poorly-constructed sub-base will also allow water to pool underneath the paving, which can cause cracking and weed growth. If the paving is constructed on a poor quality base and sub-base, it will also require frequent repair and maintenance.

Base Course

Base course is a layer of aggregate material placed under a pavement surface. It is a significant intermediate layer that is a crucial component in the structural capacity of the entire pavement system. Base course layers support traffic loads from the asphalt concrete surface layer and dissipate/transfer those load stresses to the underlying subgrade and the subsequently constructed pavement. The performance of unbound aggregate base materials – gravel, crushed stone and/or sand – is largely a function of the specific properties of individual particle size, shape, texture, angularity, durability, permeability, specific gravity, and mineral composition.

The base course is usually composed of crushed aggregates, preferably with a maximum size of 3/4 to 1 inch. It provides a uniform foundation support that is the key to successful construction of any pavement structure, including asphalt pavement roadways, commercial/industrial/residential pavements and driveways. It is designed to provide a stable foundation for the asphalt surface, minimize damaging effects of frost action and improve drainage. It is also intended to prevent pumping of fine-grained soils from the subgrade at joints, prevent volume change in the subgrade and reduce settlement of the pavement structure.

Depending on the design, the base course can be either unbound or bound. Unbound bases are made of natural gravel and crushed rock materials that may be untreated or stabilized with asphalt, cement or lime. Bound bases or subbases are constructed of materials treated with an agent to impart a significantly higher tensile strength and/or shear resistance than those of untreated or unbound materials.

The choice of material for the base course depends on the intended use, environmental constraints, construction methods and climatic conditions. In general, a well-graded, durable aggregate with a high shear strength and good angularity is preferred. Aggregate should be free of organic matter, clay balls and silt. The construction of the base course requires careful spreading and compaction to a minimum of 95% relative compaction.

A well-designed base can greatly increase the service life of an asphalt pavement. Fatigue cracking is primarily caused by excessive bending strains in the asphalt concrete surface, and this can be reduced by increasing the thickness of the base course or by adding a geosynthetic overlay.

Surface Course

The surface course of a pavement is the top layer that is designed to meet the demands of traffic. It is commonly made of asphalt but other materials can be used as well. The surface course has several functions such as tire friction, resistance to skids and preventing the ingress of water into the base layer.

The construction of a surface course is important to the long-term performance of the paved surface. It must be made from a quality mix that is placed correctly. This requires good handling practices during construction including minimizing segregation, backscattering and raking. It must also be properly compacted to achieve proper density.

In addition, the surface course should have an adequate amount of dust control to minimize erosion and air pollution during construction. It is also a good idea to install a water drainage system on all new and replacement surfaces. Water problems are one of the biggest factors in pavement failure; if they are not addressed early they can lead to rutting and potholes.

Another way to improve the longevity of a paved surface is to add a leveling course. This is typically a cold mix asphalt mixture that is rolled and compacted on the top of the surface course. This is a cost-effective alternative to full depth reconstruction and it is a good choice for light traffic areas such as driveways.

A common type of leveling course is an SMA (Stabilized Mobile Asphalt) mix. SMA is a gap-graded, densely compacted, HMA that can be used on both new construction and surface renewal. This mix contains a larger percentage of coarse aggregate and is designed to reduce the effects of traffic on the surface course. It is more resistant to rutting and has excellent low temperature performance.

The HMA in a leveling course is usually produced at temperatures that are 20-40°C lower than in a typical hot mix asphalt, which produces significantly less energy and emits fewer fumes during the production process. This can result in improved working conditions for the paving crew and a quicker time to opening the road to traffic.


The overlay of a paved surface refers to the layer that is set on top of an existing surface. It is used to correct structural deficiencies as well as for decorative processes. For example, a paved driveway might be overlayed with a gravel surface to improve its drainage. This is a common process in the construction of roads and streets. It is a cost-effective way of improving the look of an area without having to completely rebuild it. The term can also be used to describe a resurfacing of existing areas.

A paving project is often completed in phases. The initial step is to prepare the base for paving. This involves clearing, digging and grading the area. This stage is important because it plays a key role in the stability of a highway. In addition, the sub-base acts as a frost barrier and prevents damage caused by seasonal freezing and thawing.

Once the base is ready, it is topped with an asphalt mixture to create a surface for vehicles to drive on. A binder layer is added, which consists of a mix of large aggregates and oil. This layer helps in achieving a high-strength and durable asphalt surface.

In order to ensure that the asphalt is pressed into a solid surface, it is subjected to heat and pressure. This is done in a paving machine called a paver, which is equipped with special heating mechanisms. This enables the paving equipment to achieve a higher level of density in the finished pavement.

It is a good idea to consult experts when it comes to paving. They will help you choose the best type of road pavement for your needs. They will also advise you on the best paving company to use. The experts have years of experience in the industry and will know which paving companies are legit.

Paving is a vital part of a nation’s infrastructure. It makes it easier for people to travel and access goods. It also promotes financial development by making it easier for people to get to their businesses. In the case of a public street, paving allows people to travel quickly and safely.