Whether you are paving a new driveway in your yard or replacing an old driveway with a new layer of asphalt, it is important to take the proper steps to help your asphalt driveway be a strong, durable surface and last as long as possible. Here are two tips to help you do this when laying a new asphalt driveway.
Pave in the Right Weather Conditions
When you are planning to pave your home's driveway, be sure to plan the job for the late spring, summer, early fall, or another warm time of year. During warm weather, the hot-mix asphalt remains warm and in an easily-compacted pliable state so it can be properly poured and compressed.
The trouble with laying asphalt during cold weather is that the hot-mix asphalt poured from the truck can cool too quickly and cause cracks to form in the asphalt, damaging its surface. This can lead to problems with the integrity and strength of the asphalt surface when it is subjected to pressure from vehicles.
Asphalt that is poured in wet weather can also be compromised with the moisture mixing into the hot mix asphalt and onto its surface, cooling it too quickly, and not providing time for the surface to cure properly. Some asphalt paving companies have heated trucks and equipment to prevent the hot mix from cooling too quickly when it is being installed in cold weather, but this can cost extra and it may be worth waiting until spring to have it poured.
Prepare a Solid Road Base
When the appropriate weather conditions are met and you can install your new driveway, it is important to make sure the ground is prepared with an appropriate gravel base. This base layer will provide adequate drainage under your asphalt driveway to prevent moisture from collecting, potentially freezing, and causing damage to your asphalt surface.
The thickness of the base layer depends on the type and condition of soil you have in the driveway work site. Take a sample of wet soil in your hand and compress it together within your fist, then release the sample. If the soil remains compacted together, your soil contains clay. If the soil crumbles apart, you have more sandy soil.
Install an eight-inch layer of crushed gravel on top of clay soil and a four-inch layer of crushed gravel on top of sandy soil. Then, with a compactor roller, compress the crushed gravel. The rough, sharp edges of the gravel will grip at one another to form a solid base for the asphalt layer.
Use this information to help you succeed when installing a new asphalt driveway. Contact professional paving contractors for more information.