Asphalt paving is getting to be a more and more often preferred choice when it comes to the paving ones driveway. This is because of the various properties of asphalt that make it excellent as a pavement material.
Asphalt is the dark, almost black material also used on most new roads nowadays. What is known as Hot-mix asphalt paving is a combination of asphalt, stone and sand, all mixed up together and liquified at a searing 300 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them fluid and easy to apply. Once it cools down, it actually hardens. That is why it sets more easily than concrete, which needs to dry before setting.
Asphalt is more affordable than concrete, and at the same time more flexible and durable, and therefore less prone to damage and cracking. It's especially suited to cooler climates, and isn't that much damaged by ice melt, as well as rock salt. Asphalt maintenance is also relatively easy and infrequent.
If you have been wanting to repair your old driveway and replace it with something new, then asphalt paving is probably the best bet for you. Read more on some tips to have asphalt paving installed on your driveway.
Determine the Foundation of your Asphalt Paving
Before you have asphalt paving installed, it is best to check your current driveway and see what you can work with from there. Is it in good condition? Are there any cracks on the surface? If you have such a driveway, then you have an option of pouring asphalt directly over this. It is definitely the easier solution and there is no dig to dig and prepare the foundation. However, you do need to consider if adding a four-inch deep layer of asphalt to your existing driveway is going to be too high for your existing garage and everything else surrounding it. Most of the time, if you do choose this option, you will have to remove the fence and reinstall it after to adjust to the new height.
Most people prefer to just take out their old driveway and rip it out, and start applying asphalt paving directly over the soil. Yet another option is to remove the driveway, dig a bit into the soil, and apply an aggregate base of stones over the soil before applying the asphalt paving. Usually the aggregate base is 6-8 inches deep. This is used to provide a steadier, more stable surface for the asphalt.
Wait for the Right Conditions to Occur
Because the asphalt is very sensitive to the moisture as well as temperature, you need to wait for the right weather conditions before proceeding to lay it out on your driveway. If you want more time to apply and set the asphalt paving, then it's better to choose a day that is warmer, because the asphalt will not readily harden in warmer conditions. This gives you more time to plan and execute your paving. You can apply asphalt in temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but for best results, days with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are optimal.
You don't want the day to be too humid as well. Moisture may seep into the asphalt and prevent it from setting easily, and may lead to delays and prolonged periods of waiting and setting.
Apply the Asphalt Paving
Now, once everything's all ready, it's time to lay the asphalt to the ground from the hot mixer. Now, since asphalt sets upon cooling down, it must actually be applied quickly before it even sets. This is why the laying of the asphalt pavement is usually a quick process, involving usually around 20 minutes on a standard driveway. You will have to stay on your feet and make sure everything is fine before it actually sets. Usually the asphalt layer is about 3 to 5 inches thick.
Asphalt maintenance is easy as long as you do it as soon as damage starts. This is to prevent the spread of damage over the asphalt. You can periodically apply driveway dealer on the paving just to keep water from getting into the smaller cracks on the surface. Also, check your driveway occasionally. As soon as you notice any cracks developing, seal it with crack sealer at once to prevent it from getting larger.
More likely than not, the installation of asphalt pavement is a job reserved only for professional companies. However, you can't just go to any service provider. It is important to know which the right companies are and which are the more dubious. Sometimes they will try to sell you questionable, low-grade asphalt and install it at a price higher than it's supposed to be. Visit our contractor directory to find out where all the good and reliable companies are in your area. They will surely be more than happy to assist you in your home improvement projects.Posted by: TrustedPros