Having a new asphalt driveway is like having a new household investment, and it is never too late to learn how the process works. Learning how it works will guide you in your project whether you go the DIY route or hire a contractor. When working on a new project the DIY way, it is obvious why you should learn asphalt paving works. It may not so obvious why you should learn the process when you are planning to hire a contractor, but a little knowledge about the process will help you a lot. With your knowledge, you would know what each contractor should do and shouldn’t do. With this in mind, here are the basic steps of installing a new asphalt pavement.
Step 1: Location Preparation
The first thing that you need to do or any qualified contractor should do is prepare the site. You should make sure that all utility lines are marked so they won’t be disturbed or damaged during the preparation and construction. As the owner, you should also bear responsibility for marking the things that are installed in your house that are not visible – e.g. sprinklers, alarm sensors, invisible fence, etc. This will help hasten the preparation process. Once this process is done, you can now excavate and remove any existing surface to make the area smooth and flat for asphalt paving. This can be done using heavy equipment. This process is highly recommended to be accomplished by professional contractors as they have the right tools and equipment for the job. In addition, they have the experience and expertise to get this process done the swiftest time possible.
Step 2: Base and Grading
The base of your driveway should be prepared well as it will be the foundation of the overall driveway structure. The right amount of crushed stone should be used to create the base. Most of the time, a professional contractor will use a skid steer to spread the crushed stones evenly. This will make sure that the proper thickness is achieved for the base. In addition, the stone base should be thick to support the entire structure, but also thin enough to accommodate proper water drainage. Water is one of the reasons of asphalt damage. Thus, it is important to ensure proper water drainage. Once the stone base is spread and the appropriate thickness is achieved, a roller is used to compact it. It is important that the base is compacted correctly as it also determines the service life of the asphalt driveway. A binder is then added to the sub base.
Step 3: Laying The New Asphalt Layer
Once the binder is added to the sub base, the area will then be ready for the new asphalt layer that will serve as your new driveway. This is usually done using heavy equipment like dump trucks. These dump trucks will contain the new asphalt mixture, whether from recycled asphalt or fresh ingredients, to construct your driveway. If you have an existing driveway and if you are constructing a new asphalt pavement so it connects to the existing one, you have to make sure that both surfaces are at the same level. You can do this with the use of ropes or any material that can help determine the right height of the new asphalt layer. If you are taking the DIY route, you can rent the right equipment to do this project right. You may still need assistance when laying the new asphalt layer as the project requires more than just a pair of hands.
Step 4: Final Compaction and Finish
Just like the sub base of your asphalt driveway, it is important to compact the new asphalt layer. Without doing so, the new asphalt layer will not bind well and will not be able to endure the different seasons in each year. Compaction can be done with the use of a roller – the same kind that is used for compacting the base material. Compacting the new asphalt layer will help ensure that your new driveway is strong enough to hold and support vehicles.
It is important to follow these general processes of laying asphalt pavements to ensure quality and durability of the new driveway. If taking the DIY route is something that you are not comfortable with, then you can always hire the right people to get the job done for you. Now that you know the right process of laying asphalt pavements, it will be easy for you to determine the right contractor for the job. You will know the right answers to the questions that you may ask.