Noise and Road Pavement Types

Traffic noise is an environmental issue and is even called “pollution,” and for good reason. It might not belch soot into the air or contaminate water sources, but in urban areas it’s critical to take it into account so people can live comfortably (without suffocating in the thunderous noise coming in from roads outside).

The combination tire speed and pavement type is what determines traffic noise. Tire-pavement noise is made worse with rolling, slipping, or dragging tires against pavement, especially when vehicles are moving at a higher speed. Other factors that affect tire-pavement noise including the type of vehicle, temperature, weather, the age of the pavement surface, and the surface type itself.

While most of these factors can’t be controlled, the one factor you have control over is the pavement surface type. You’re able (and empowered) to strategically choose a surface to reduce noise. Using traffic noise on a typical highway as our baseline (which ranges from 55 to 80 decibels of volume), we analyzed the different types of pavement and their noise levels to help you choose the best pavement for your project.

 

Open Graded Friction Course

Open-graded friction course (OGFC) is the quietest pavement surface, producing even less noise than conventional HMA and PCC surfaces. Its noise production is estimated to 69-77 dB(A).

OGFC uses small holes (or “air voids”) in the pavement to provide a sound-absorbing negative texture. OGFC can be made with conventional liquid asphalt or with polymer-modified asphalt, including rubberized asphalt. Rubberized OGFC typically uses finely- ground rubber that’s been recycled from tires in order to change the asphalt binder in the mixture.

Because they have air voids, these OGFC varieties differ from a more conventional, densely-graded hot mix asphalt (HMA) in several key ways. For one, OGFC air voids start from 10 to 22% and usually see a little decrease over pavement life. And because of those air voids, the surface is also referred to as “porous asphalt.” These air voids absorb a large amount of noise generated by the friction of the tires and the surface itself.

 

Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt (HMA) can generate a noise production equivalent to 72-79.5 dB(A). HMA is made by heating aggregates to decrease the viscosity of the binding agents and make the whole mix more fluid. Then, it’s dried to remove any moisture.

HMA air void structure generally ranges from 6 to 7%. Anything above 10% gives the asphalt a shorter life. On the other hand, even if hot mix asphalt isn’t the quietest, it is considered as the most durable type of pavement—which is why it’s generally used for highways and high roads. Asphalt is weather resistant and can efficiently stand up to wind, heat, freezes, and floods. Its heat absorption, in fact, has the capacity to melt snow and ice faster than any other type of paving material.

 

Stone Matrix Asphalt

Stone matrix asphalt (SMA) is popular because of its durability and resistance. It’s considered to be a great option for high-traffic areas, including highways and interstates, as well as busy intersections. This pavement type is a gap-graded HMA originally developed in Europe.

Since this material allows less elasticity but greater resistance, it’s noisier than the two mentioned above. However, used in the right situations, it’s more cost-effective and has greater resistance over the years. Even the quietest pavement type will get noisy when it gets filled with cracks and potholes.

 

Portland Cement Concrete

Portland cement concrete (PCC) is, once again, a degree less “quiet” than the pavement types above since it generates approximately 76-85 dB(A) in traffic noise. It’s commonly made from materials like limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, or iron ore.

The difference in noise levels between HMA and PCC surfaces is a little more dramatic when PCC is grooved or tined, too (which is commonly done to improve skid resistance). However, if the surface is diamond ground, it becomes equal to HMA as far as noise reduction.

Additionally, Portland cement concrete is more economical than other pavement materials.

 

Composite

Composite is not usually used to pave roads on its own. It’s actually a mix of asphalt and concrete and it is used as a repair material for pavement maintenance. It’s often seen as an asphalt overlay for damaged areas, such as to fill cracks and potholes.

 

Depending on the location of your project, always take the road noise into consideration when choosing your pavement type. Other priorities like resistance, durability, elasticity, and aesthetic will help you make your final decision.

Though traffic noise is produced by many different factors, the pavement type has a big impact on the end noise perceived by those who live or work in the zone. Without a doubt, OGFC is the best option for areas where traffic noise reduction is of the utmost importance. However, its longevity is less than other paving options, usually needing to be repaired or repaved every 9-10 years.

Hot mix asphalt is another popular go-to since it still helps reduce traffic noise and usually lasts 12-15 years before requiring repair.

Which pavement type makes sense for your roads or parking lot? Get a free quote from Reliable Paving today.

dimly lit parking lot

Top 8 Tips to Keep Your Parking Lot in Good Shape

At Reliable Paving, we’ll be able to help you out no matter the state of your parking lot.

That said, it’s more important to us to save you money and make your life easier. We strongly advise performing regular general maintenance on your parking lot to extend its longevity as much as possible.

“That sounds expensive,” you think. Or maybe you think it sounds complicated. But it’s not. A clean and flawless parking lot is on the other side of these 8 tips. Not only will your lot stay in better condition longer, but the look of your overall property will benefit.

Here are our top 8 tips to maintain your parking lot in brag-worthy condition.

 

1. Seal-coat your parking lot

Asphalt deterioration is unavoidable. However, it can definitely be slowed down. Have your asphalt seal-coated between three and six months of its initial installation. Seal-coating for asphalt is where a professional paving company applies an overlay on the actual pavement. Not only does this give your asphalt a slick and flawless look, it also acts as a protective shell.

There are many factors in the regular deterioration of asphalt, including the sun, brutal temperature changes, tree roots crawling under—the list goes on. And all of these have the consequence of reducing the elasticity of the asphalt, allowing water to get in. With water filtration, cracks form, and cracks lead to potholes. Seal-coating your asphalt is an investment that results in savings later in repair and even accidents. Seal-coal your asphalt every three to five years for maximum protection.

Check out our seal coating service to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

2. Perform efficient and regular clean-up

Removing dirt, leaves and debris from your parking lot on a schedule you can stick to will improve its physical aspect, prevent damage in the long term, and create an optimally safe space for the people using the space. By regularly cleaning up, you enable optimal water drainage, too, minimizing standing water on your lot along with the damage it causes.

 

3. Maintain proper drainage

Speaking of drainage issues, it’s your responsibility to the longevity and condition of your parking lot to make sure that drainage is working right. Proper drainage allows water to channel out of your parking lot, because standing water will allow moisture to seep into the asphalt and promote faster deterioration. Drainage directly affects your parking lot’s lifespan.

 

4. Repair cracks regularly

As soon as you note a crack on your parking lot, get it sealed. The longer you wait to have cracks repaired, the bigger the cracks will become. It’s simple science. By waiting, you face the risk of any one crack turning into a pothole. Not only do you save later by having a crack quickly sealed, you also preserve the natural elasticity of your parking lot. Moreover, cracks make your parking lot look ugly and unkempt, and they present a certain safety risk for pedestrians. Believe us—you would rather call a crack sealing professional now than rack up medical bills or complaints.

Check out our crack sealing service to get a free quote.

 

5. Look at the calendar—and repave if it’s been 10+ years

If you didn’t pay enough attention to the cracks in your parking lot in the past, and the state of your lot has gotten pretty bad, you might want to consider repaving. You might observe asphalt crumble in places. If this is the case, the only possible course is to repave. For any lots 10+ years out from their last reconstruction, the asphalt’s loss of elasticity will require this no matter the state of the surface.

Check out our asphalt paving to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

6. Ensure a well-illuminated space

Hazards become exponentially more dangerous where there isn’t enough light, and that goes for your parking lot, too. Again, for safety reasons, make sure your parking lot is well-illuminated for visitors to the property. Lighting also helps in theft-prevention by allowing your security cameras to cover the whole area with usable footage in the case of a problem.

 

7. Regularly re-stripe when the paint fades

To make sure the users of your parking lot use it correctly when they park their vehicles, make sure your parking lot striping is clearly visible. Moreover, you should also make sure your parking lot is fully ADA compliant. That way, you enable an easier access to your facility to anyone who wishes to use it and avoid steep non-compliance fees later.

Check out our parking lot restriping service to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

8. Invest in an efficient landscape

Consider adding design and landscaping features to your parking lot for better performance, too. Adding trees, plants and bushes around the edges or in raised curbs across the lot can add color and make it a more natural space for pedestrians to enjoy. In addition to the boosted appearance, landscaping also helps prevent soil erosion, reduce storm water damage, and reduce carbon dioxide in the area.

 

Maintaining your parking lot is a basic tenant of good property ownership. Not only is guaranteeing the security of the pedestrians using your parking lot your duty, but if you want to make the most out of your investment, this maintenance is in your own best interest. Pay close and regular attention to the state of your parking lot, starting with an inspection today. And if you do find something worth fixing, you know who to turn to. We’ll get you started with a free quote, just click below.

Asphalt & Concrete Team Members

We are looking for skilled and non-skilled asphalt and concrete team members.

Qualifications:

  • Regularly exposed to weather conditions (heat and cold)
  • Regularly required to bend, kneel, stand, squat, stoop, walk, climb, lift, push, pull, reach with hands at, below and above shoulder level.

Positions available:

  • Licensed drivers
  • General labor
  • Concrete finishers
  • Asphalt rakers
  • Shovel men
  • Paving machine operators

Details:

  • Good pay
  • Paid health benefits

 

APPLY NOW

Assistant CAD Technician

Our ever-growing construction business is in immediate need of an experienced assistant CAD technician.

Requirements:

  • Experience in rough and detailed scale, structural, site and civil plans
  • Must be able to continuously update as-builts, revise for construction, and make change orders based on client’s needs
  • Work closely with project managers
  • Create and compile presentation concept boards
  • Produce and edit renderings
  • Ability to work under deadlines and in a team-oriented environment
  • Quality-check all drawings for detail information, dimensions, lines, text, scales and revision updates
  • Combine drawings from different sources into a consolidated drawing with consistent scales, fonts, line weights and blocks
  • Verify all drawings for delivery to clients and approval of engineers
  • Strong written and verbal English communication skills
  • Work with clients/engineers when needed

Details:

  • Above-average market pay rate
  • Paid health insurance
  • Bi-lingual a plus
  • Great working environment

 

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Assistant Construction Superintendent

We have an immediate opening for an experienced assistant construction superintendent with a strong background in concrete and/or asphalt paving for small to medium-sized projects.

The following qualifications are MANDATORY:

  • Organization/scheduling skills
  • Clean driving record
  • Read and understand blueprints
  • Instruct and direct others
  • Ability to complete paperwork
  • Work as a team member
  • STRONG understanding of concrete preparation and construction

Details:

  • Bi-lingual a plus
  • Above-average market pay
  • Paid health insurance

 

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Experienced CDL Driver

There is an immediate opening for an experienced CDL driver.

Must Have:

  • Valid Texas CDL
  • Clean driving record
  • At least 2 years driving experience in a dump truck
  • Ability to read and speak English

Details:

  • Bi-lingual a plus
  • $21.00 per hour
  • 40-hour payroll check Christmas bonus
  • Paid health insurance

 

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