Asphalt pavement is a mixture of aggregate (stones and sand) with liquid asphalt cement (a petroleum product). Varying sizes of aggregates are heated, then mixed, in exact proportions, with asphalt cement that has been liquefied at about 300°F. While the mixture is still hot, it is delivered to your property and placed atop a prepared base or subgrade. About a week after paving, the mixture cools and hardens so that you can drive and park on it.
You'll recognize several benefits with asphalt pavements, compared to other, more costly options.
* It is strong and durable.
* It is a smooth, continuous surface.
* It is engineered to withstand freezing and thawing.
* No need to worry about salting your driveway in winter. Asphalt is unaffected by salt.
* Unlike other, more rigid materials, such as concrete, asphalt pavements are designed to flex and "give" with slight settlements or frost heave.
Asphalt lends itself readily to the types of service that are usual in residential areas. If a utility line or pipe must pass under your driveway, repairs are performed more easily and quickly than with alternative materials, such as concrete. The same is true if undue ground settlement should occur naturally.
The main concern as to when to pave a driveway is temperature. Asphalt must be placed and compacted while it's hot. Air and ground temperatures play significant roles in how fast the mix cools and therefore the time a contractor has to complete the work. Because seasonal temperatures vary throughout the U.S., average air temperatures serve as a better guide for paving than a particular range of months. So generally in New England late spring, summer, and early fall are ideal temperatures for paving.
Our crew will first dig out, remove, and prepare the base to make sure the sub-grade drains properly, and is built to support the anticipated load bearing needs. Next, the crew arrives with the paving equipment and product. Asphalt is placed in one or two layers, depending on the required specifications. It is finished by compacting with our 2 ton vibratory roller to a smooth finish.
This type of driveway can be expected to last 30 years or more, with proper maintenance.
Existing driveways of asphalt or concrete can be overlaid with asphalt with excellent results if the driveway is in decent condition. Usually for driveways, a surface course 1.5 to 2 inches thick will suffice. Before paving, we patch any serious holes or cracks with asphalt and compact it. We then clean the surface thoroughly and treat any oil stained areas. Once this is done, a tack coat (asphalt emulsion) is applied to the surface to bond the new overlay to the existing pavement and compact to finish.
This type of pavement would typically last 10 to 15 years, and is a more cost effective option.
All our work is covered for 12 months.
We will need full access, with cars off and away from the site and garage doors open.
Nothing specific is required. You may walk on it immediately, but it is best to wait at least 5-7 days before parking on the new surface. We often advise that you wait longer during hot weather. Following installation, be sure to follow a regular preventative maintenance plan, including sealcoating and crack filling, to keep your asphalt looking its best.
When your asphalt pavement is brand new the surface is very black. Because asphalt needs time to cure and harden, you may be able to notice roller marks or some areas where hand work was done may be more visible. After a short time of usage, however, the surface will blend together and have a very smooth appearance.
There are many things you can do to keep your asphalt paving looking great. Killing weeds along the edges, treating any oil or gas spills, filling any open cracks, and keeping the pavement sealed will greatly extend the life of any asphalt surface. Upon completion of your driveway we will provide a helpful driveway care booklet.
Unfortunately it’s not IF a new asphalt driveway will crack, but WHEN it will crack. Asphalt driveways cover a very large area so as the ground shifts and moves the asphalt needs to “give”. That means that it has to crack somewhere to give. In comparison, concrete driveways have what’s called controlled joints. Those joints or seams are put into the concrete while it’s still wet so that as the concrete dries and cures, it will crack in those joints and not through the field. But with asphalt since there are no controlled joints, it’s going to crack somewhere in the field of the asphalt.