Whether it’s an asphalt driveway, walkway, or parking lot, there are a few essential rules for installation, maintenance, and repair that, when followed, will create asphalt that looks nice and has a long life. The contractor will make any amendments needed to the soil, compact it accordingly and apply the proper subgrade. They will also make sure that the subgrade has proper drainage to ensure the integrity of the asphalt pavement. The following are the basic rules for creating and maintaining a quality asphalt driveway.
The beginning of any solid structure is a solid foundation. Find a solid subgrade and build a strong aggregate base upon it. If your subgrade is wet, soggy clay rather than sturdy ground, then the soft ground needs to be removed and replaced with a sturdy stone base. Building your asphalt driveway on a soft foundation can cause, cracking, potholes, and buckling later on.
Proper drainage is key for the longevity of your asphalt. The accumulation of water is detrimental to asphalt because it can soften the subgrade or become absorbed by the asphalt then create cracks when temperatures drop below freezing and the water expands. Your pavement should slope downwards so that the water rolls off the asphalt rather than collects in pools. Make sure that your runoff has somewhere to go, or else it will gather at the end of your driveway and damage the bottom.
Many contractors will use whatever asphalt mix they happen to be able to access on any particular day, and sometimes these asphalt mixes aren’t fit for driveways. Driveway asphalt mix should ideally be finer than highway asphalt mix.
Good Construction Practices
Compaction of the asphalt, especially at the edges and joints of the pavement, are crucial for creating a driveway that will last. Another important factor in creating a long-lasting driveway is the degree that the asphalt is mixed. If the asphalt is not mixed thoroughly enough, potholes may form.
If your driveway begins to develop cracks, it’s important to fill the cracks so that they will not allow water to permeate your driveway. After filling the cracks, you can choose to seal the whole driveway for further protection and aesthetic value.
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