Are you a homeowner in need of an asphalt paving contractor?
Below we have listed information based on the industry standards of various situations. We recommend you contact a civil engineering firm for particular details that may apply to your specific site. We also recommend that you contact the public works department for the city, county, and state in which you reside for permit requirements, and other pertinent information prior to construction.
Basic asphalt paving standards and application vary from site to site. There is much to consider as you begin construction of your new driveway or repair your existing drive. Keep in mind the traffic patterns you will require of your new drive. Also, consider the load weights, traffic volume, and type of equipment you may store on the asphalt. This will help you determine the asphalt thickness needed and sub-grade depth. Once you determine your structural needs, you must consider the drainage available to shed water. This is one of the most important considerations, as it will directly affect the life of your asphalt drive.
The industry standard for your residential driveway will require a 2” (compacted in place) asphalt mat. If heavier weighted equipment such as RVs or trailer traffic is likely, consider a 2 1/2” to 3” asphalt mat. If a higher mat thickness is desired, you may want to consider revisiting the sub-grade requirements for your project. In some cases, due to light vehicle traffic, low traffic volume, very good drainage, and tight budget restraints, some driveways may fall to a 1 1/2” mat. This is not recommended for heavy vehicles or high traffic driveways but will work in areas of low traffic. Sub-base for driveways should use a minimum 6” of 3/4” road mix (crushed aggregate) as a base material. Soft spots or heavier use areas may require fabrics, pit-run or washed rock under the road mix. Driveways being used for heavier RVs, equipment or trailers should consider a minimum cross-section of 6” of pit-run with 3” of 3/4” road mix under a 2 1/2” asphalt mat. For best results consult your local engineering firm.
Overlays are a repair option for many reasons. For some, it is a top consideration due to the new drainage laws enforced by many municipalities. Under many of the new laws, partial or complete reconstruction of a parking lot, or driveway requires the submittal of plans to the municipalities for review of existing drainage, landscaping, and street appearance prior to construction.
Overlays have a variety of looks for many different purposes. In preparation prior to any overlay, consult a reputable contractor regarding the need for paving fabrics, a wedge, and leveling course, crack fill of existing cracks, and repair of alligatored areas. Once the necessary steps have been identified, talk to your contractor about the long-term goals for your property, expected traffic volume, and vehicle weights. Each of these areas plays an important role in your decision for the capital investment in your property.
Remove & Replace / Patching
Asphalt patching consists of repairs to existing asphalt surfaces. Some repairs require subgrade excavation and replacement of structural materials while others require either minimal addition to the existing road-mix or re-compaction of existing gravel materials and placement of new asphalt. When patching drainage can sometimes be a challenge due to the existing elevations that must be met. In such cases, the asphalt patches are placed and compacted to push water off the new asphalt surface, if at all possible.
For You to Consider
When it comes to asphalt overlays or repairs to an existing surface, remember to take into consideration the fact that you are dealing with predetermined elevations. There are times when adequate drainage cannot be achieved, due to existing elevations. As an owner, this is a reality which is sometimes unavoidable at no fault of your own or the contractor. It is an issue that was designed and installed by others before and left to you to remedy.
Take proactive measures; walk the site with your contractor and discuss the repairs you expect to see. Ask if your requests are reasonable, and find out what areas of concern your contractor sees. When evaluating your drainage situation, use a little common sense of your own. Ask yourself if the drainage you expect is achievable without major reconstruction of your parking area. The more you educate yourself in the process, the less likely you are to be disappointed by the end result. Developing a good relationship with your contractor is a win-win for everyone involved.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to receive a quote!