If it's time to replace your tired old concrete driveway, consider asphalt. The following are the simple steps required to upgrade your old drive.
1. Concrete Demolition
Asphalt can't be laid over the old concrete or old concrete base, so the first step is to break up the old concrete paving for removal. Then the old base material is dug out and carted away, usually for recycling. Landscaping along the edge of the old driveway can be affected, so remove any plants that you want to save before the demolition stage begins. You can also have any sod cut and kept to the side for replanting after installation is complete.
2. Site Re-grading
The next step is to level and regrade the site. Your installer will make sure the depth is sufficient for drainage, base construction, and the asphalt overlay. They will then grade the driveway so water will flow away from the home and toward the storm drain system. If there are areas of poor drainage, the installer may install underground drainage pipes to better route the water from your driveway.
3. Base Construction
After preparation, the base is constructed. This typically consists of compacted gravel and and sand. These materials allow good drainage while preventing heave and soil shifting that can cause the asphalt to crack or fail. The base is typically built up to a layer several inches thick, as it needs to go deeper than the frost line in order to prevent thermal expansion shifts from affecting the new asphalt.
The next to last step is asphalt laying. Hot asphalt doesn't cure quickly, so the installers have plenty of time to spread it out and level it to just the right depth and width. The surface is smoothed and leveled one last time. Generally, asphalt is ready to drive on within a few days of installation, but it can take several months for it to cure completely. You installer will advise against placing anything heavy with low surface area, such as a jack stand, on the asphalt until after it has completely cured.
Sealcoating protects asphalt against damages from UV sunlight, weathering, and moisture. It can't be applied until the driveway has completely cured, though. The installer will return about 6 months after the original asphalt installation and apply the sealcoat.
For more information about residential asphalt paving, contact a local company.