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Asphalt Driveways

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 are thinking of installing an asphalt driveway:

  • 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 is applied.
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

Once your new driveway is in place, consider a driveway gate to dress up the entrance.

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