Whether you are building a new home or looking to update an older lot, it is a good idea to consider the investment of driveway paving. Your driveway or any other walkway on your lot is important not just as a practical path of entry and exit, but also as a design feature that affects the aesthetics and value of your home. There are several common options for pavement, including slab concrete or interlocking pavers, but one of the most popular, affordable, and versatile methods widely available is asphalt paving.
As with any type of construction or renovation, there are a number of different factors to take into consideration when you are choosing your driveway paving. The size and dimensions of the area covered, the environment in which your home is located, and your budget will all affect your final choice. Some companies offer a wide variety of customization in the color and styling, so you will also want to keep those options in mind.
Before you start laying down any sort of asphalt, it is important to be sure the surface beneath the site of your driveway is stable and you are working on the proper subgrade. If your lot is a new construction or the ground has just been leveled or shifted, your contractor may wait for the dirt to settle and compact before pouring any new mix on top. It is not uncommon to lay down materials such as gravel to build the optimal subgrade. Extra layers may be needed to ensure a level grade or appropriate drainage.
Heat is an important variable in making sure that your asphalt pours and sets correctly. The substance itself must remain at a certain temperature, or its integrity will be compromised, resulting in weakened or even cracked asphalt.
The air temperature outside must also be taken into account. Your driveway paving may depend on the season and climate of your area. Different environments require different mixes of asphalt, so be sure to hire a contractor with knowledge and experience of your region.
The thickness of the asphalt and the manner in which it is laid down also affects the quality of your driveway paving. Most experts suggest full-depth paving with a minimum of two inches of compacted mixture, though more is often recommended. When you are receiving estimates, make sure they are based on compacted thickness. Most asphalt is rolled out in multiple layers, so allow for time to build up your driveway to your full specifications.
Beware of door-to-door sales pitches advertising “discount” asphalt that may be leftover from other jobs. Collect several bids to compare and check references. To ensure you receive the long-lasting, quality product you deserve, take your time in selecting a contractor with high standards for their materials and service.