Why Isn’t My Asphalt Surface Smooth?

Why Isn’t My Asphalt Surface Smooth?

Key Takeaways:

  • Paving installed with care will have a smooth surface while paving that has been rushed will be bumpy and uneven.
  • One easy way to tell the difference is by looking at the asphalt surface texture.
  • If your asphalt surface is not smooth, it could be due to many reasons, including poor installation, bad materials, or extreme weather conditions.
  • Poor compaction, uneven aggregate mix, and too much water during installation are common causes of an uneven asphalt surface.

Whether you hired an asphalt company to lay down an overlay or create a new pavement, you expected a nice, level surface. After all, blacktop pavements have long been praised for their smooth, smudge-free ride, lovely look, and even color. You naturally wonder what went wrong and how to fix it because you weren’t prepared for a rough, uneven asphalt surface.

In this blog post, Asphalt Maintenance & Paving Solutions will look at the most common issues and careless mistakes of a contractor that can cause an asphalt surface to be rough and explain how to remedy them. Keep reading to learn more!

Importance Of Smooth Asphalt Surface:

Asphalt is generally praised for being a very smooth surface. It can provide drivers with years of comfortable travel when installed and maintained properly. Not to mention, a well-maintained asphalt pavement looks much nicer than one full of cracks, potholes, and other damage. Here are some reasons why a smooth asphalt surface is important:


The first thing you’ll notice when your asphalt pavement is installed improperly is that it looks terrible. Uneven, lumpy surfaces are unsightly and can reflect poorly on your business or home if customers or clients see them. A shoddy-looking parking lot can make potential customers think twice about doing business with you.


Rough surfaces can also pose a safety hazard. Uneven asphalt surfaces can cause trips and falls, and potholes can damage vehicles. If you’re responsible for maintaining a parking lot, keeping it in good condition is important to avoid potential liability claims.

Proper Installation:

A smooth, even asphalt surface is a sign of proper installation. The surface will likely be uneven if your asphalt contractor rushes through the job. A good contractor will take the time to properly prepare the surface and ensure that the asphalt is evenly spread.

Be sure to talk to your asphalt contractor if you’re not satisfied with the outcomes of your paving work. If they’re unwilling to make things right, you may need to hire a new contractor to fix the problem.

Reason For Uneven Asphalt Surface:

Reason 01: Poor Compaction

A local asphalt paving business can mess up a project in various ways, but poor compaction tops the list. Contractors can only compress hot mix asphalt for a limited period before it becomes too rigid to handle. Compaction increases the material’s density by removing the air from the mixture. If the mix is not sufficiently compacted, bubbles and gaps may remain, compromising the structural integrity of the pavement as well as the smoothness of its surface.

If your pavement has a rough surface, loose rocks are visible on it, or you can kick your pavement and remove aggregates or pieces of asphalt, the contractor likely missed rolling or tamping the surface layer and let it dry naturally. The type of roller used can also impact the finished surface. A vibratory roller, for instance, can produce noticeable bumps when used for breakdown rolling.

Unfortunately, improperly compacted asphalt is difficult to repair. To fix this issue, you’ll need to hire a new experienced contractor to mill and repave the surface.

Reason 02: Installation at The Wrong Temperature

Another common reason for a rough asphalt surface is that the asphalt wasn’t installed in hot weather. Asphalt must be installed when temperatures are between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit to adhere properly to the ground. If the weather is too cool or warm outside, the asphalt will not stick to the ground correctly and will likely develop cracks and potholes.

Reason 03: Lack of Asphalt to Bind the Aggregates

Hot asphalt is poured over an aggregate mixture to form an asphalt surface, such as a road, driveway, or sidewalk. Asphalt becomes a thick, a little soupy, or watery viscosity when heated. This enables the asphalt to fill in every space between the aggregate mixture’s particles and create a solid surface when it cools and hardens. The surface, however, cannot be created if not enough asphalt is spread over the aggregate mixture. Fortunately, this can be fixed rather quickly. An asphalt expert can lay down a brand-new layer of gravel and asphalt to help level and smooth the surface.

Reason 04: The Wrong Mixture of Aggregates

For a smooth surface, the right aggregate selection is crucial. The mixture has to contain crushed rocks and sand or other small particles. The edges of the rocks also shouldn’t be polished because doing so will make it harder to compress them properly. The aggregates must also be the right size to allow for the ideal depth of asphalt covering. If the aggregates are inappropriate, the pavement will be uneven and start to crumble and chip off very soon.

To fix this, you’ll need to have the right mixture of aggregates installed by a professional.

Reason 05: Too Much Water During Installation

When asphalt is placed, too much water in the mix might eventually result in issues with the surface. The water will evaporate as the asphalt dries, leaving voids in the pavement behind. These voids make the surface weaker and more susceptible to damage.

To avoid this problem, make sure that you hire a verified contractor and that they use the proper amount of water when mixing the asphalt.

Ending Note:

When thinking about the asphalt surface, be sure to keep texture in mind. A surface installed with care will have a smooth finish, while one that’s been rushed will be full of bumps and lumps. This not only has a terrible appearance but may also cause issues.

Want to ensure a good asphalt job in your project?

Asphalt Maintenance & Paving Solutions, serving Durand can help!

We are experts in everything asphalt and can help you get the job done right. We’ll help you choose the right surface texture and make sure your job is done right the first time.

Get a free estimate today!