All asphalt driveways begin with a level and strong base, topped by a hot asphalt mix. Beyond these basics, though, you have several choices when it comes to the asphalt itself. Knowing what they are can help you make the right choice for your driveway.
Porous asphalt is one of the most eco-friendly driveway choices you can make when it comes to paving. It's made by mixing together large and small aggregate in the asphalt to allow for air pockets in the paving. The surface of the paving is porous yet still firm enough to support the weight of your vehicles. Water from rainfall and irrigation can trickle through and drain back into the groundwater table. Not only is this good for the environment, but it also prevents standing water on the paving that could lead to puddles and future pothole formation.
Another eco-friendly option is recycled asphalt. Asphalt is one of those materials that can be recycled many times over. For this reason, more and more paving services are beginning to use recycled asphalt for some or all of their paving jobs. The asphalt comes from old shingles and torn-up paving. It's reheated, filtered, and mixed with some fresh asphalt to become a new substance. This keeps asphalt out of the landfills and helps to conserve the finite petroleum resources needed for asphalt paving.
Your driveway doesn't have to be plain black or dark gray, although this is the natural color of asphalt. There are special dyes that your asphalt contractor can mix in with the material before it is installed. These dyes provide vibrant color that isn't prone to fading since it is integrated throughout the paving. More subtle color can also be realized by mixing in brightly colored aggregate with the asphalt. Color can be used for the entire driveway, or it can be an accent border on either side depending upon your style preferences.
Chipseal is a highly decorative and durable asphalt driveway option. It begins with a standard asphalt layer, then attractive gravel is installed into the top of the asphalt. This gravel is then sealed with special polymers to create a durable and high gloss natural stone finish. There is a wide range of gravel aggregate sizes and colors available, which can be used in different combinations to achieve the final look that you desire.
Contact a residential paving contractor to learn more about the asphalt options that are available for your new driveway.