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Our Process

1. Utilities Staking

If the project requires excavation, we have Ontario One Call identify and mark buried utilities near the work area (gas, electrical, cable, and telephone) in order to help prevent damaging these underground facilities. Excludes private facilities.

2. Arrival of Crew, Machinery & Equipment

Our experienced crew arrives at the job site with all of the modern and specialized asphalt paving equipment needed to deliver a superior quality installation. See our equipment by clicking here. We have a lot of heavy construction machinery and equipment, and care is always taken to unload and park it safely and respectfully in your neighbourhood.

3. Work Area Designation

The crew begins by measuring the work area as outlined by the dimensions in the contract, and setting up string lines around the perimeter to ensure that the boundaries of the work area are clearly and accurately identified.

4. Excavation

All visible weeds in the work area are removed either by hand (in hard to reach areas) or with the help of a skid-steer to help prevent them from growing through the finished product in the future. In the event that the job requires excavating to a depth or complexity beyond the capabilities of our skid-steer, this is done properly and efficiently with our other excavation equipment - our back hoe, excavator, or front-end loader as required.

5. Base Preparation, Grading & Drainage

This is where we ensure that the work area has the proper base materials and is sufficiently level (i.e. we minimize the occurrence of high and low spots) to lay hot asphalt on top of as well as constructing the drainage plan. Levelling the base often requires the use of machinery, hand tools (rakes and levels) and where appropriate we use a laser transit to survey the area and ensure proper grades.

For larger projects like parking lots and roads, we use our grading machine to consistently level out large areas of the base materials. The drainage plan consists of planning and installing the appropriate slopes and angles to the base surface such that it flows at an effective rate to avoid pooling and drains efficiently away from buildings, walkways, other properties etc. to the desired drainage locations.

6. Base Compaction

Proper compaction of the base materials is critical as the overall quality of the paved surface is directly related to the quality of its base. Think of the felt on a pool table - you push down on it with your finger and it doesn't move at all. It's not the felt that is strong, but rather the hard slate slabs that are beneath it. This is the same for asphalt as it is actually a flexible material (unlike concrete), and will adopt the shape and form of whatever is underneath it. Therefore, when the base moves, the asphalt pavement above it moves as well, resulting in cracks and depressions. This is why we use a variety of machinery for compaction.

We compact all of our project's base materials with a 6,000 lb (3-ton) tandem vibratory roller, which provides centrifugal compaction equivalent to a 15,000 lb (7.5-ton) compactor, enough to achieve the maximum compaction density on most commercial and residential projects. Compactors with vibratory capabilities are the most effective as they reduce the volume of air in aggregate materials by vigorously shaking the aggregate particles into a more closely spaced arrangement (think of the warning's you've seen on cereal boxes etc. that read "contents may have settled during shipping").

7.Final Grading

After the base has been thoroughly compacted, we recheck the drainage plan and fine tune as required, removing, adding or rearranging base materials as needed. Final compaction is also performed as required by any refinements made during this phase.

8. Installing the Asphalt

When the asphalt arrives, it is either dumped directly from the truck into the paving machine or moved from the dump-truck tot the pacing machine using a skid-steer. The paving machine is then set to lay the asphalt at a uniform thickness and smoothness that will later be compacted to an average thickness of 2.5" (63mm). 2"x 4" boards are placed along any edges that are required to be straight and the asphalt is placed up against these boards in order to achieve this.

A special asphalt "glue" may be used at any joints where the new asphalt may be meeting old asphalt in order to help prevent the two from separating in the future (as a result of contact with snow-plows, frost, different ages and therefore different degree of flexibility of pavement, etc.).

Unless the project calls for a different combination of aggregate size and sand quantity, Positano Paving typically uses a Ministry of Transportation (MTO) approved hot asphalt mixture called HL3 (H=Hot, L=Liquid, 3=3/8" aggregate size) as the final (top) layer of paved asphalt. HL3 It is the same mixture that is used for the top layer of highways and roads in Ontario, so it is durable and long lasting. Another common mixture is HL3A (where A=extra sand) - while this mixture is a viable option, it is not as strong or durable as the less sandy HL3 version.

9. Compacting the Asphalt

When the asphalt has cooled to the proper temperature (we measure this using an infrared thermometer), the crew begins the process of compacting it. Proper compaction is the key to a long-lasting, low maintenance asphalt installation. When asphalt reaches a temperature of around 175 F (79 C) it loses its ability to be properly compacted. That why we measure the asphalt temperature using an infrared thermometer to determine when we can start and stop compacting.

Positano Paving uses 6 different pieces of equipment to compact our asphalt installations. First, the asphalt is initially compacted by our paving machine as it compresses the asphalt upon laying it down. Then we compact the entire area with a 6,000 lb (3-ton) combination pneumatic and steel drum vibratory roller that compacts to the equivalent of a roller weighing 15,000 lbs (7.5-tons). This combination roller has a vibrating steel drum on one end and 4 pneumatic rubber tires on the other end. The pneumatic tires are smooth (i.e. no tread) and apply a kneading action to the asphalt which not only provides excellent compaction, but also efficiently seals in the smaller sand and aggregate particles giving the pavement a uniformly smooth and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

We then compact the area with a 4,000 lb (2-ton) static compactor, followed by a 2,000 lb (1-ton) static compactor running perpendicular to each other (if space permits) to smooth out any lines or patchy looking areas to deliver the superior quality finish Positano Paving is known for. In addition, we run a vibrating plate tamper along areas where the wheeled rollers cannot reach, and hand compact any edges at a 45-degree angle with a hand-held steel tamper.

The compactors also discharge a significant amount of water to keep asphalt from sticking to their wheels and to help with cooling the mix to a temperature that is suitable for compaction. This water also helps us to observe the effectiveness of the drainage plan at directing flow to the desired locations, and make any necessary adjustments while the asphalt is still hot and pliable enough to work with.

10. Completion, Clean-up & Caution Tape

Asphalt installation is messy work. That's why, at the end of each project, we clean the edges of the paved area by hand as well as any mess we may have made while working, including sweeping or power sweeping the road and any other areas where our equipment has been operated. We then erect either barriers or bright yellow caution tape to keep vehicles off the newly installed pavement while it is cures, usually a couple days.