When a home has a driveway leading to the front entrance or to garages, it is important to have a pavement that will be both economical and durable. Good driveways also enhance the beauty and aesthetic appeal of any property and greatly enhance its value.
Construction of driveways or simply long stretches of paved areas that have striped parking spaces can benefit you greatly! By installing asphalted surfaces you provide the necessary area needed by vehicles to park. It can be a great source of income, especially if your property is located in an in-demand area of town. Some contractors capable and entrusted to complete this work will suggest the use of concrete that can be expensive or blacktop which even though is cheaper, will, in the long run, require more maintenance and upkeep, that will negate the initial lower cost.
I’ve spoke with a driveway paving company based out of Leesburg and according to their crew leader Marcos, the installation of asphalt can and often does require the employment of a fairly large labor force and requires specific steps to be followed that can make the work slightly complicated, such as weather precautions and local regulations.
Initially, the area requiring to be asphalted must be properly marked and the existing levels must be noted. A good asphalted driveway or parking lot will need a proper foundation, a layer of compacted gravel about 4 to 8 inches thick, and a further 2 or 3 inches of asphalt pavement. While the top surface of the pavement must remain at a level that allows it to drain away rainwater or any water used to maintain it clean. It can remain just slightly higher than the surrounding areas, but if you want to make it still higher you may need to create a bund at the sides to support the asphalt.
With all these thicknesses required for the gravel layer and the asphalt, you will know the thickness of the marked area that you will need to excavate. Dig out this area, dispose of the excess either at other spots in your property or to landfill sites. The dug up area must then be compacted with a compactor or road roller, which most asphalt paving companies will have. Your asphalt paving contractor will then come in with the gravel, that will be laid down in layers and each layer fully compacted with the roller to achieve the desired thickness. The top surface of this layer can be cambered so that proper drainage can be assured for the final layer of asphalt.
Asphalt is a product of crude oil and requires to be melted in a hot mix plant before it is mixed with a combination of stone, sand or gravel (95%) with hot mix asphalt (5%). The hot mixture then needs to be loaded into trucks and transported to the site where it has to be laid down. The material requires to remain hot and plastic when it is laid down, and must then be compacted immediately with a heavy roller, taking care to see that the required levels are achieved. It is customary also to use a sealer over the asphalted surface before it is opened to traffic. This sealer saves the asphalt from the effect of UV rays and extends the life of the surface. It is customary to put on an additional coat of sealer every two or three years to increase its life.