At Tri-City Paving Inc, we provide an extensive collection of asphalt paving tips and guidance for different situations.
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Stuck in the Mud
Native soils underneath the area of your driveway often get weak when wet causing the asphalt to fail. Topsoil, loam and clay are not suitable to pave over. They need to be removed and better material put back in. Also, think about the surrounding sources of water such as roof water or old piping. Can these be diverted away from the driveway?
Turn up the Base
Commonly referred to as the “base” of the driveway, the aggregate or gravel layer underneath the driveway is the main supportive layer that asphalt is placed over. The base actually takes more of the overall weight of your vehicle than the asphalt layer. It is usually composed of free draining gravel with enough sand to compact it into a firm surface. Without a good support base, the driveway will not last as long as you would expect.
Grading the driveway surface so that water does not pool or flow in the wrong direction is a simple but important step before you pave the driveway.
Bang! Bang! Bang
Compacting the gravel base ensures the asphalt surface will not sink or become depressed. It also provides a solid surface for the asphalt layer to be applied to and compacted against.
It’s Not Just Tar
Asphalt is a mixture of sand, stone and liquid asphalt cement. The asphalt cement coats the aggregate and causes them to “stick” together when the asphalt is laid. When it is rolled and cooled, the asphalt cement hardens and the asphalt mixture is ready to be driven on. The sand in the mixture makes the asphalt easier to work with and fills in all the areas between the aggregate so it is not so porous.
Keep Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
After your asphalt surface has been laid it needs to be rolled and compacted, usually with a steel or rubber tire roller. Compacting the asphalt helps remove the air voids when first lay making it dense for weight bearing. Rolling also gives a smooth and level surface for an aesthetically beautiful driveway.
If the Shoe Fits
What is the right amount of asphalt or gravel for your driveway or parking lot? This will depend on many variables. A commercial building that sees many transport trucks may need more materials than a residential driveway with only cars or pickup trucks for example. Our sales team will give you the right advice and the right fit for your own personal driveway needs!
A Mixed Bag of Tricks
Typically three days of no vehicular traffic is sufficient after a driveway has been paved.
Avoid dry steering while the asphalt is newer and during warmer temperatures. While small surface markings (tire marks) are common these can be minimized by keeping the vehicle moving.
Offset your parking when the driveway is freshly done.
You don’t need to water your new driveway. It will cure naturally with time from the heat of the sun.
Don’t apply an asphalt sealer on your new driveway before it has cured. Wait at least one full year.
Salt or sand/salt does not harm your driveway.
No gasoline, please! Gasoline will dissolve the asphalt cement that holds the driveway together!
Clean wild vegetation (e.g. dandelions) in and around the driveway before paving.
No sharp or heavy pointed objects (e.g. motorcycle kickstands) on a newly paved driveway.
Driveways will naturally deteriorate over time. How long a driveway lasts depends on any number of variables.
Avoid driving over or constantly parking onto the free edges of the driveway that lack support.
Be informed of the by-laws in your municipality when it comes to driveway size or location!