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Section 5: Surface Treatments

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A surface treatment is similar to a seal coat but differs in that it is placed on a prepared base as opposed to an existing paved surface. A surface treatment provides a durable all-weather surface that seals and protects the base and provides a wearing course.

Prior to placing a surface treatment, it is general practice to prime the base first. The prime penetrates the upper layer of the base creating a better binder-to-base bond; makes the base less permeable to air and water; and provides a dust-free surface that further improves the bond between the surface treatment and the base.

Surface treatments are used routinely in Texas for the riding surface on construction or reconstruction of low-traffic volume roadways. There are also many cases where surface treatments performed successfully on higher-traffic volume roadways. Since they provide a relatively thin wearing course, any imperfections in the finish to the base will be reflected through to the surface and will have an adverse effect on the riding quality of the roadway. Sometimes multiple surface treatments are used on the prepared base.

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