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Common Mistakes People Make When Specifying Paving And How To Avoid Them

Asphalt pavement has several functions in landscape architecture. It should be able to support the weight of cars and be attractive and fit with the property’s appearance.

However, some asphalt pavement projects are plagued with mistakes that could have easily been avoided. We will highlight common mistakes people make when specifying asphalt so you can steer clear of them on your next project.

Disregarding Future Purpose While Designing:

A common mistake people make when specifying asphalt paving is not thinking about the future purpose of the space. Right now, you may only need a parking lot, but what if you want to expand the building in the future? What if you want to add a loading dock or an outdoor seating area? It’s essential to consider these things when designing an asphalt pavement. You don’t want to rip up and replace asphalt pavement later because it wasn’t designed to accommodate future expansion.

Not Thinking About Drainage:

Asphalt pavement drainage requirements are straightforward – water must drain off and away from the pavement as quickly as possible. Pooling water can cause problems, from potholes to cracking and heaving. There are a few different ways to ensure proper drainage. You can install drainage ditches, French drains, or culverts around the perimeter of your pavement. You can also install sloped curbs and gutters. If you’re paving a large area, you may need to install a storm sewer system.

Not Accounting for Climate:

If you live in an area with harsh winters, you must ensure your pavement can withstand freezing temperatures and the weight of snow and ice. You might need to use a different type of asphalt mix or install a heated pavement system. If you live in a hot climate, ensure the asphalt mix can withstand high temperatures without softening or cracking.

Ignoring the Traffic:

Asphalt pavement can only handle so much traffic. The thickness of the pavement and the type of asphalt mix used should be based on the amount of traffic your pavement will experience. If you don’t account for traffic, your pavement will show wear and tear much sooner than it should. When paving parking lots and driveways, the number of vehicles and their weight are the two most significant factors to consider.

Ignoring the Subgrade:

The subgrade is the foundation of your pavement. It enables the pavement to bear the loads placed on it without fail. The subgrade must be adequately compacted and should be composed of non-expansive soils. Proper compaction ensures that the subgrade doesn’t settle over time, leading to cracking and potholes. Whereas using non-expansive soil helps to prevent the subgrade from heaving or swelling.

Not Incorporating a Pavement Maintenance Program:

A pavement maintenance program is key to prolonging the life of your pavement and ensuring it looks its best. Regularly sweeping and cleaning your pavement prevents the build-up of debris and grime that can speed up the deterioration process. You should also sealcoat your pavement to protect it from the elements and repair any cracks or damage as soon as possible.


An asphalt paving specialist can help you avoid common mistakes when specifying your pavement. Atkins Paving LLC has two decades of experience in commercial and residential asphalt paving in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Get a free quotation today!