Asphalt paving is a popular method of providing driveways for homes and is even widely used in the industrial and commercial sector. It is fairly durable and definitely cost-effective. It costs far lesser than concrete and is ready for use almost immediately, and does not have to be cured for a few weeks like concrete. It is also easy to repair and maintain, though, over time, these costs can have the cost of an asphalt paved surface equal that of a concrete one.
Asphalt as a material and pavement type is also more flexible, and will not crack, like concrete will. The surface of asphalt can deteriorate, but this can be delayed through the use of sealcoating and it’s repeated application at intervals of two to three years. There are a number of factors that will have to be considered when you choose asphalt as a form of pavement for your driveway.
James, a good friend of mine who currently works as sealcoat machine operator at Northern Virginia Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating whose website is http://northernvapavingsealcoat.com recommends that you start with the size and dimensions of the area that you want to be covered by asphalt. Make sure that this area is stable and has a subgrade that is well consolidated, pros also call it a sub-base. It is best to get this consolidated with a heavy roller, a job that the contractor you have chosen to lay down the asphalt paving will be glad to do. You will then need to decide the level of the asphalt driveway you want to install. Is this level convenient to you for both the home and its relation to the road that serves your property? If not, you may have to do some earthwork to make it suitable.
It is best if your asphalt driveway has a proper base of at least 4 inches of gravel that has been properly consolidated. You will be adding a minimum 2 inches of compacted asphalt mixture over this. Decide on the top level of your driveway based on its relation to the roadway and the level of your garage floor. You may require to remove some earth, or if the ground is at a much lower level you may need to spend some extra money on filling it up. Whatever you do, it is important the subgrade be firm and the level such that it allows water that falls on the asphalt paving of the driveway to drain away easily.
Buy the right amount of road base that you need and have it laid out and properly consolidated before you bring in the asphalt paving layer. Asphalt is laid in layers and each layer must be properly compacted. See that your driveway asphalt has the proper slope and camber that allows water that falls on it to drain away. You also need to be sure that there is a proper outlet for this rainwater so that it does not accumulate within your property.
Your asphalt requires a proper seal coat, that will enable the surface to withstand the heat and rain and protect it from other outdoor element. You will do well to have this seal coat redone every two years or so, after making any minor repairs to the asphalted surface.