3 Things To Know About Installing A New Asphalt Driveway
Installing a new driveway can undoubtedly be an exciting project. Although the details will differ, the process is mostly the same whether you're replacing an old gravel driveway, expanding your existing parking area, or creating a driveway for a new home. Since driveways must deal with constant exposure to the elements along with the weight of vehicle traffic, it's crucial to have the job done correctly.
If you don't have much experience with asphalt driveways, then it can be tempting to leave all of the details to your contractor. While you should always trust the experience of experts, it's also helpful to know what it takes to create a durable and long-lasting driveway. These three factors are the keys to an asphalt surface that can last for years.
1. Proper Drainage
The blacktop surface of your driveway resists moisture, but water can also be its greatest enemy. When water seeps below the asphalt, it can create pockets of moisture that may cause severe damage over time. This problem can be particularly devastating in climates with substantial seasonal temperature variations, where subsurface water freeze can destroy asphalt in a process known as frost heaving.
Even without freezing temperatures, water can be problematic. Too much water below the surface of your driveway can cause the base layers to shift, leading to cracks in the surface. Once these problems begin, the cracks and potholes they create can allow more water to infiltrate below the asphalt. Over time, this excess water creates a cycle of expensive repairs and maintenance.
Avoiding this problem from the start requires proper grading of the area around the driveway to promote good drainage. If water cannot pool nearby, then the driveway is likely to remain much more durable.
2. A Good Base
The asphalt surface may be the most visible part of your driveway, but the base layers are the unsung heroes. Proper selection of the base layer is crucial for a long-lasting driveway. A good base layer must resist settling and shifting, while also providing a path for rogue water to drain away. Skilled contractors generally choose a base layer material based on the soil and weather conditions in your area.
3. Soil Preparation
A truly long-lasting asphalt driveway must take all factors into account, and that includes the surrounding soil. Good soil encourages proper drainage, helps to support your driveway's base layer, and resists shifting or settling that may cause damage over time. When your contractor evaluates your project, they should always test the condition of the soil and make amendments as necessary.
Asphalt driveways are attractive, long-lasting, and weather-resistant. By taking the time to ensure the proper installation of your asphalt driveway, you will be able to enjoy these benefits with minimal maintenance for years to come. Reach out to an asphalt paving company like Mariotti Site Development Co Inc for more information.