Asphalt Driveway is an excellent choice for residential driveways because it dries quickly, and the dark color hides oil stains. It is also less prone to cracking from freeze-thaw cycles and de-icing salts than concrete.
Experts recommend evaluating the climate conditions and expected traffic load when determining the ideal thickness for your asphalt driveway. Consulting professionals is the best way to ensure that your pavement has the right thickness.
Asphalt has an impressive lifespan, but its longevity depends on how it’s used and maintained. It can last decades if it’s kept clean and protected from sunlight and moisture penetration. If not maintained properly, paved areas will deteriorate at a much faster rate, leading to cracks and potholes.
The durability of asphalt makes it a good choice for a driveway, particularly in colder climates. It is also less prone to cracking from freezing and thawing than concrete. Asphalt paving contractors typically use hot-mix asphalt, which is heated during the paving process to improve its flexibility and durability. It’s important to choose a quality mix for your asphalt project, however. The best mixes are made with good angular aggregates that create stone-on-stone contact. Experts advise steering clear of sand and rounded particles, which are softer and have less strength.
Before laying down the actual asphalt, a contractor usually preps the area by grading it. This helps to ensure that the resulting surface is level and slopes away from home foundations to prevent water buildup. Once the ground is ready, the contractors put down a layer of aggregates, followed by the asphalt binder and proof roll layers. The proof roll is important because it detects any soft areas that are not strong enough for load bearing and replaces them with stronger aggregate materials.
When the final asphalt layer is poured, it’s rolled and compacted to create a smooth, durable surface. It dries relatively quickly and can be driven on immediately afterward, though it’s usually recommended to wait a few days before driving on an asphalt driveway to allow it to fully cool down.
Asphalt is a more cost-effective option than concrete, which can be quite pricey depending on the size of your paved space. A typical sized asphalt driveway costs between $5 and $7 per square foot.2
Repairing and resurfacing asphalt is also a fairly easy DIY project for homeowners. This helps to lower overall maintenance costs and avoid expensive repairs down the road. Asphalt can also be stained with a variety of colors to add an aesthetic element to the driveway while maintaining its high durability and low-maintenance qualities.
Asphalt driveways are generally much easier to maintain than concrete ones. The natural dark color of asphalt hides oil stains and other debris, so they don’t require regular cleaning like other materials do. They also dry quickly, with most asphalt driveways being able to be used within three days of being poured. This is much quicker than the time it takes for concrete to fully cure. The flexibility of asphalt makes it less prone to cracking than concrete, and it is more resistant to the freeze-thaw cycle.
Proper drainage is essential for any driveway, and asphalt is no exception. A good drainage system keeps standing water from damaging the surface and eroding the soil underneath. An asphalt contractor should always ensure there is a plan in place for drainage during the installation process. This prevents water from pooling around the edges of the driveway, which can eventually lead to cracking and potholes. An asphalt contractor can also grade the driveway so that it slopes away from the house, which further helps with water drainage.
When an asphalt driveway does begin to show signs of damage, it is best to contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid further deterioration. Any cracks in an asphalt driveway should be filled as soon as they are noticed to prevent them from spreading, and it is also important to remove any oil or chemical spills from the surface immediately.
A properly installed asphalt driveway will last between 15 – 25 years, but the lifespan can be shorter if the pavement is not maintained regularly. The climate in an area can also have an impact on the longevity of an asphalt driveway, as snow and ice can cause the surface to deteriorate more rapidly than sunny areas.
To increase the life of an asphalt driveway, it should be resealed every two to three years to protect against the elements and prevent cracking. Resealing the driveway will help to extend its lifespan, and it will also improve the appearance of the driveway. It’s possible to do this on a DIY basis, but it’s always best to have it done by a professional.
Asphalt driveways provide a sleek, uniform appearance that complements a variety of architectural styles. The dark surface of the pavement also stands out against landscaping and concrete buildings. This aesthetic makes it a great choice for commercial properties looking to improve curb appeal and boost their bottom line.
Whether you are installing an asphalt driveway or replacing your existing one, there are a number of ways to improve its look and boost its curb appeal. The use of curved edges, for example, can create a more organic feel to the driveway while adding visual interest. Another way to add style and texture is to opt for an exposed aggregate finish. This technique involves embedding decorative materials, such as pebbles or colored stones, into the asphalt surface to create a unique and eye-catching effect.
You can also use plants to add color and visual interest to your driveway. Choose low-maintenance species that can withstand harsh conditions, such as reflected heat from the pavement and automobile exhaust. A combination of blooming flowers for spring, foliage for summer and autumn, and evergreen plants for winter will offer year-round interest and ensure that your driveway looks its best.
Aside from the visual appeal, a well-maintained asphalt driveway can improve the sound insulation of your property. This is because it reduces the noise from vehicles moving on and off the pavement. This can be an important consideration for commercial complexes, residential apartments, resorts or any other building that requires a lot of vehicle movements.
Another advantage of asphalt is that it is less damaging to the environment than blacktop. This is because it uses recycled pavement materials, minimizing the amount of waste material sent to landfills. In addition, you can use permeable pavers that allow rainwater to infiltrate the soil, reducing runoff and flood damage.
When deciding on the best pavement for your residential property, asphalt is an excellent option. Its durability, ease of maintenance, and affordability make it an attractive choice for homeowners across the country. By choosing a trusted contractor and properly maintaining your driveway, you can ensure that it will be a stylish, functional, and durable asset to your home for years to come.
Asphalt driveways are safer than concrete ones because they can withstand occasional overloads without significant damage. They also resist the freeze-thaw cycle and de-icing salts more than concrete, allowing homeowners to maintain their pavement’s condition for longer periods of time.
However, the longevity of both paved surfaces can be affected by climate and weather patterns. For example, cold winters can weaken a lot’s subgrade and cause cracking, while hot summers can cause surface erosion. This is why it’s important to consider an asphalt driveway’s maintenance needs when deciding between asphalt and concrete as your pavement material.
Unlike poured concrete, asphalt requires a cooling period of at least 14 days after installation to allow the mix to set and harden properly. Parking on a new driveway before this time can lead to scarring, depressions, and subsurface damage that are easily avoided by waiting for the proper resting period.
While paving isn’t necessarily an unsafe job for homeowners to attempt on their own, it should be done by professionals. Even with the best equipment, specialized tools, and experienced crews, accidents can happen. Among the most common injuries involves getting on and off machines, which is why you should always position family members several feet away from the work area. Additionally, make sure that all workers are wearing personal protective equipment and are aware of the hazards associated with asphalt.
Engineered safety controls can greatly reduce the risks associated with working with asphalt. Ideally, you should use mechanical devices to mix the asphalt rather than open kettles that expose workers to hazardous fumes. You should also provide all workers with a copy of the product’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) that lists the chemical composition, flashpoint, acute and chronic effects, recommended PPE and emergency cleanup procedures.
It’s also vital to ensure that proper drainage is installed during construction and that your paving project is completed on a dry, stable site. Improper drainage can cause water to seep into a lot’s subgrade, destroying a stabilized base and potentially causing early pavement failure. This is especially true if the lot is in a low-lying area.