Having an attractive driveway in good repair
not only adds “curb appeal” to your house
and property, but it also results in increased
value to your home investment. Asphalt is
the most cost effective way to get a durable
driveway that will require only minimal maintenance.
Asphalt is an engineered mixture of stones
and sand combined with liquid asphalt cement,
a petroleum based product. It is heated to
a temperature of 300 degrees and then poured,
while still hot, on top of a prepared base
or sub grade. When the asphalt cools, the
mixture hardens and lasts for many years.
Asphalt is a particularly good choice for
areas of the country that experience low
winter temperatures since asphalt resists
freezing and thawing and is not affected
by salt. Asphalt is designed to accommodate
slight settlement and frost heaves. And in
the event of a problem, asphalt is more easily
repaired than other types of driveway paving.
Consider the following if you
of installing an asphalt driveway:
Asphalt driveways should have a high grade
asphalt emulsion sealer applied every two to five years, depending
on the climate and other wear factors. When
this mixture dries, the surface of the driveway
is waterproof. Sealed driveways will last
much longer and look better
- Asphalt mixtures can differ: some are smoother
on top than others or have a higher content
of asphalt cement. Make sure that the mixture
being used on your driveway will provide
the look and durability needed in your area.
- Subsurface preparation is important.
- If you are putting in a new driveway, make
sure that the subsurface
is thoroughly compacted.
- Clay soils may need to be modified to provide
better drainage. A base of
6 to 8 inches
of gravel may be necessary.
- A 4 inch thickness of asphalt may be adequate
for many driveways, but 5 to 6 inches of
asphalt will result in a stronger, more stable
driveway that will stand up to a wider range
of weight and temperature levels.
- It may be best to install a new driveway
in two separate layers. This is especially
true if there is construction in progress;
the final layer can be applied after the
building mess is over.
- It is possible to pour a new layer of asphalt
over an old concrete or asphalt driveway
to achieve the look of new paving. First,
holes or cracks in the original surface are
repaired, and then a 1 1/2 to 2 inch layer
Once your new driveway is in place, consider
a driveway gate to dress up the entrance.