What To Expect When You Get A New Asphalt Driveway

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If your property needs a new driveway (from a local outlet such as Asphalt Maintenance), you may want to consider one made of asphalt. Asphalt has a smooth, attractive appearance, and it tolerates all kinds of weather extremes. Getting a new asphalt driveway takes several steps because the bed underneath the asphalt has to be built up first. Here is a quick look at the process of getting your new driveway installed.  

Prep The Area

The first step is to prep the area where your driveway will go. If there is already an old, deteriorated driveway in place, talk to the contractor about resurfacing it rather than replacing it. Resurfacing involves applying a new layer of asphalt on top of the old. This isn't suitable in all situations, and if it isn't an option for you, the old driveway has to be broken up and hauled away.

If there is no permanent driveway there now, the contractor will have to remove all the sod and gravel in the area down to the bare soil. The soil is leveled off and the slope is measured. It is important to install asphalt so rain drains off of it and away from the asphalt. If this step is overlooked, your new driveway will develop cracks and potholes sooner than it should. Once the bare driveway has the proper slope, the soil is compacted. The contractor does this with a huge drum roller. 

Add The Gravel Layer

The next step is to lay gravel along the driveway. This provides a drainage layer as well as support for heavy vehicles. This work goes fairly fast since your contractor has the heavy equipment needed to haul and spread large amounts of gravel. Once the gravel is in place, it is pressed into the soil with a roller. Then it's time to begin paving the asphalt.

Pave The Driveway

The contractor mixes the asphalt right before it is applied. It is warm when it is applied, and the work must progress quickly before the asphalt gets cold and hard. For that reason, it's a good idea to schedule the work for a warm, dry day. Extreme temperatures and high humidity affect how quickly the asphalt dries. The contractor spreads the asphalt along the driveway and levels it so the top is smooth. Next, the asphalt is compacted with a roller machine that presses the asphalt into the gravel while keeping the top of the driveway level. The final step is allowing the asphalt to cure. Asphalt dries quickly, so you may be able to use your driveway the same day or the next day. It all depends on the weather conditions.

Once your new driveway is installed, you can keep it looking like new by having a new top coat applied every few years. A new top coat rejuvenates the color and hides repairs you've made when filling in cracks and potholes.