What is Whitetopping?

Whitetopping is ideal for high-traffic areas such as streets or roads that have a constant flow of traffic throughout a typical day.

Whitetopping is a construction process or strategy that requires the application of a layer of concrete to the surface of an existing section of asphalt pavement. The idea behind this particular process is to extend the life of the underlying asphalt and, in some cases, improve the external appearance. There are several approaches to whitetopping, with some processes requiring bonding the concrete layer to the underlying asphalt, while other methods do not require any bonding at all.

Whitetopping is a construction process or strategy that requires applying a layer of concrete to the surface of an existing section of asphalt pavement.

Typically, whitetopping bonding occurs with thicker applications of the concrete cover. Known as conventional or standalone whitetopping, this approach is ideal for high-traffic areas such as streets or roads that have a constant flow of traffic during a typical day. Bonding is actually accomplished by texturing the underlying asphalt before pouring the concrete, reducing the smoothness so that the concrete can partially infiltrate the asphalt surface. In contrast, bonded whitetopping typically requires applying a thin layer of concrete to the underlying asphalt, making it ideal for situations where relatively little traffic occurs.

In virtually any setting, the whitetopping process helps protect and extend the life of asphalt. Depending on the specific application, fiber reinforced concrete can be used to provide additional strength to the coating. This is particularly effective when the strategy is used to add strength and durability to a section of asphalt that sees continuous traffic and overnight stress. Typically, different communities have building codes in place that help determine the thickness of concrete when used in certain applications. Local road contractors consult codes before determining the type of concrete that will be used and deciding on the level of thickness needed to create the desired level of protection.

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As in any type of work, the correct execution of the whitetopping is essential for the success of the enterprise. Failure to use the right type of cement or mixing the cement with the right combination of aggregate and water can result in cracking, shrinkage, or other problems that make concrete cover ineffective. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the aggregate to be prepared and measured very carefully in relation to the cement that is also part of the concrete, and also to control the amount of water that is added to the mix. In some cases, this involves washing the aggregate to remove impurities that can cause the concrete to crack or settle during or after the curing process.

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