Things To Know Before Installing An Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt is an attractive and durable choice if you are having a new driveway installed. Yet, like any paving project, there are important things you need to make sure are attended to if you want to avoid problems down the line. The following guide can help you understand what has the most impact on an asphalt driveway's longevity, which will allow you to ask the right questions when interviewing contractors to do the job.

Soil affects paving

Soil type can affect everything from the compression strength of the base and asphalt to how well the areas drains without unnecessary settling. For example, when it comes to compression clay soils are weaker than sandy soils, which means that they can settle over time from vehicle traffic. On the other hand, sandy soils are quicker draining and more prone to washing out from beneath a driveway. You can usually get a general soil profile for your region from a local city, county, or state extension office. You should also verify that the contractor will check the soil type. When interviewing contractor's, find out how they will work around any shortcomings in soil type. For example, for soil that retains water, you may need to have drain pipes installed beneath the driveway to prevent issues.

Drainage concerns must be addressed

As mentioned above, poor drainage can affect a drive. Quick draining soil may need stabilized, whereas wet soil may need additional drainage installation. The grade of the driveway is also a vital part of proper drainage. Typically, the driveway should have a minimum slope of 2 percent. It should slope away from the garage or house, preferable toward the street and municipal storm drain system. Otherwise, water can collect in the garage or around your foundation. In areas with heavy rains or poor drainage, a more extreme slope may be necessary.

Asphalt is only has strong as its base

Always inquire about the type of base the contractor plans to install. You can have damaged asphalt repaired relatively quickly and inexpensively, but a damaged or poorly constructed base will require a full replacement of the driveway. Make sure that the contractor plans to remove all the existing topsoil, since this is not stable enough for a driveway. The two most common options for a base are crushed gravel or an aggregate of asphalt and gravel or sand. The contractor should inquire about the types of vehicle loads you plan to have on the driveway so they can design the base accordingly.

Understanding these basics allows you to begin the paving process as an informed consumer. Contact asphalt paving services like Mariotti Site Development Co Inc for more assistance in getting your new driveway installed.