When it comes to a newly constructed or reconstructed road, water proofing and stabilizing your aggregate road base is important. When well-bonded hot mix asphalt layers are placed over a primed aggregate road base, there are fewer chances of the asphalt overlay slipping, cracking, and breaking apart—all of which can be costly to repair. Prime coats are designed to reduce the likelihood of slippage by firmly bonding hot mix asphalt layers to the aggregate or stabilized base in order to create a stronger, more structurally sound foundation.
Prime Coat – Do You Really Need It?
Some might argue that with a thick enough layer of asphalt, a prime coat isn’t necessary. However, asphalt-based prime coats are important factors in achieving greater adhesion between an aggregate base and new layers because asphalt bonds to asphalt better than it does to an untreated base.
Another benefit of asphalt-based prime coats is that they can be used to upgrade gravel roads to paved roads. Chip seals are generally applied to facilitate this transition. And because asphalt likes asphalt, applying an asphalt-based prime coat prior to the chip seal, which requires the use of an asphalt binder, further strengthens the structure of your road through optimum adhesion.
And (as if a stronger bond is not enough), new technologies and chemistries have made way for solvent-free prime coats that allow for same-day paving due to faster drying characteristics. Why is this a big deal? Because prime coats have traditionally been solvent containing, meaning contractors would have to wait for the solvent to evaporate before they could pave. Now, you can strengthen road foundations with solvent-free prime coats that save valuable construction time and money.
Extend Your Road’s Service Life by Starting Off Right
Ultimately, it’s all about finding the most cost-effective treatment that meets the current and future needs of your road and fits within your budget. Priming alone will not prevent base failure forever, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to build the strongest possible section. A solvent-free prime coat ensures a less costly, more environmentally friendly approach to roadway construction by allowing for greater adhesion, strengthening your road from the start. This economical investment on the front end can help save thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.
Prime your base with the best — Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions’ ePrime eco-friendly prime coat.