New Home - Driveway Questions

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Old 06-20-14, 06:01 AM
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New Home - Driveway Questions

I just purchased my first home in Jan of this year. It was built in 1973 and while everything was taken care of, pretty much the entire house is original.

One of the many projects I have on my plate is redoing the driveway. The front yard is a pretty steep grade and the asphalt is showing its age. There is cracking throughout, dips near the top where cars park, etc. There is also an issue at the bottom where the driveway meets the road. There is a 8" diameter hole that is starting to grow. It appears that this is where water is washing underneath it. It appears the entire side of the neighborhood on our side has water collecting in this area.

I have had two companies come out and quote repaving the driveway. I initially thought that the driveway would need to be demoed due to it's age/condition. However these two companies gave quotes of ~$3000 to fill the dips, kill the weeds in the cracks, dig up the bottom near the wash out, and put 1" compacted asphalt on top.

As my username suggests, this is all new to me. This entire house has been overwhelming as I am anything but handy or knowledgeable in these areas. Does this seem like a good approach for my driveway? Should it not be demoed and start over? If not does this seem like a good price for my driveway. (I left my estimates at home so I will have to update with dimensions which obviously effects price).
 
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Old 06-20-14, 06:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

My non expert opinion is what they propose should be ok. The main thing is for the existing asphalt to be solid and it sounds like they intend to address the one area that isn't. Hopefully some of the others will have better advice for you.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply and welcome.

Both assured me that it was fine to cover the old driveway. I just wasn't sure if that was really the best approach with it being as old and broken as it is. Thanks for the reassurance.
 
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Old 06-20-14, 10:22 AM
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I'm not sure I'd go with just a thin asphalt overlay, for several reasons. If the base and sub-base soil below it were not properly prepared when first constructed, no amount of new asphalt will fix what's there. I've only owned two houses having asphalt driveways, but neither of them ever developed any dips where cars or pickups were parked--a combination of insufficient base course thickness, prep or drainage are probably the causes. Weeds growing in cracks are usually an indication that the original placement wasn't thick enough, as well as sterilant not having been applied. Something is causing the cracks, and weed-killer won't do much to prevent them from reflecting right through the new overlay.

I'd suggest getting a few quotes for complete replacement. Sure, they'll be higher than the overlay guys (who sound like they do just overlays, and aren't equipped to do complete replacements), but are likely to perform far better. If you could post a few pix of what the present driveway looks like, we could make a more accurate determination of the best course of action.
 
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Old 06-21-14, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the information. It appears I need to find a company willing to do a total repave. I've attached photos of the driveway.
 
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Old 06-21-14, 05:28 AM
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it takes the same equipment to o'lay a d/w as it does to pave a new d/y - you still need a paver & a roller,,, tearing out the old requires another machine - typically either a skid-steer loader or backhoe.

then you cut out the soft spots where the dips are - parking area loads are heavier on pvmts than rolling loads - that's why airport aprons are thicker than runways,,, acc ( asphalt cement concrete ) [ blacktop roads & streets to you ] pavements/roadways crack,,, so do driveways & maintenance is required.

i'd think both of your estimates probably were from guys who pave - repaves, tearouts, new - whatever - you had to get their name somewhere,, but, to cya, what's the harm in getting 2 or 3 new looks then talking w/the 1st 2 again ? after all, its not like you know what you're doing so grab up this chance to learn,,, yes, its a pita getting ' free ' estimates but you need to invest the time,,, nothing in life's free - in your case, you need to spend time & LISTEN

just remember owning a home's never like you saw on tv - GOOD LUCK !
 
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Old 06-21-14, 05:48 AM
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Techie, from what I can see, the part that concerns me is the hole that is growing at the bottom of your driveway. Is there a storm pipe that runs under your driveway? If there is you have a broken pipe under your driveway. before doing else make sure there is no pipe. Your local street dept will have a storm plan for your area. I never seen an overlay last long. Bridgeman is right, new is better. Make sure they put at least 6" of base course down and at least 2" of asphalt. More base if you are in an area of substandard soil.
 
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Old 06-22-14, 09:09 AM
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Thanks again everyone for the replys. I do plan on getting a few more estimates and talking to them.

As far as the hole, I'm not sure what's under there. As you can see its the bottom of the hill and is the same throughout my side of the neighborhood. It also appears to wash out near my mailbox as well. I don't know if there is drainage down there or just years of erosion.
 
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Old 06-26-14, 05:14 AM
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I was able to locate someone who would quote for a replacement. They gave a quote of $4,400.

1. Excavate entire asphalt driveway, approx 1178 SF.
2. Evaluate sink hole in asphalt, bottom right of driveway. Evaluate and determine repair if necessary.
3. Find sink hole in grass to right of lower portion of driveway, approx 2-3 from edge of driveway. Evaluate and determine repair if necessary.
4. Customer to be consulted if repairs involve additional costs.
5. Grade, level and compact driveway 2.0 inches below finished elevation.
6. Machine lay approx 2.5 inches of wearing course hot asphalt compacted to approx 2.0 inches covering approx 1178 SF.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 06-26-14, 06:04 AM
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Sounds like a plan, did they say anything about excavating deeper than the old pavement and laying down a new base? Might not be necessary but if the existing base isn't good enough .....
 
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Old 06-26-14, 10:04 AM
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Compared to 3 grand for just an overlay, I suspect the $4400 quoted is a bargain. As marksr mentioned, you should also have a clause that addresses placing and compacting new gravel base material if what's there now is questionable or substandard (such as containing mucky soft areas, or is just soil instead of a well-draining base with rock in it). Also, and as mentioned by someone earlier, you should explore whether or not a cross-culvert is present at the foot of the driveway. The street slope and swale in the photo definitely indicate that one is needed to move water along instead of it just letting it percolate into the ground, under your driveway. If you find a new culvert is needed, getting sufficient cover over it because of shallow grade may require you think about a reinforced concrete apron over the culvert.
 
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Old 06-26-14, 08:44 PM
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I purchased my home about a year and a half ago knowing the driveway would eventually need work. Next year I will probably be ripping up 3 layers, re-doing the base, and getting fresh asphalt. They did 2 overlays over the years on top of the first layer and it probably bought them a decent amount of time. But it most likely didn't give as much value for the dollar as if they would have ripped it up and re-done it properly one time. Eventually all the problems with the first layer telegraphed through all 3 and are just as prominent as they probably were years ago when the first one began to buckle and crack.

You will save some money going over the old asphalt but it will be cancelled out when problems telegraph through the fresh stuff and it all needs to be re-done sooner.
 
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