Asphalt paving is a type of concrete mixture black in color and made from a material found in crude petroleum. This material is blended with an aggregate. It is commonly used to create roads and driveways. Installing asphalt paving is a serious, multiple step project that may even have the best do-it-yourselfer calling in a pro for part of the operation. It is possible, however, for homeowners to tackle part of the job personally.
Step 1 – Prepare The Area For Asphalt Paving
Even if an old driveway is in place, it is often better to install asphalt paving directly on top of soil or a freshly laid gravel base. With this in mind, it is a good idea to prepare the area by either removing old driveway material and hauling it off, or removing all plant material from the swath that will be paved.
If an inset driveway is desired, it is a good idea to dig the foundation or mold at this time. Plan on digging the path for paving deep enough to accommodate not only the asphalt, but also the gravel base on top of which it will be poured.
Step 2 – Set the Gravel for Asphalt Paving
It is often recommended that asphalt paving be placed on top of a gravel base. This base should be between 2 and 8 inches in depth. Standard roadway gravel tends to suit well for this part of the job.
Step 3 – Select a Contractor
It is generally recommended that a pro be called in for the actual laying of the asphalt. Hot-mix asphalt requires specialized machinery to mix and lay. The temperatures required to keep the mixture fluid enough for forming can be a little much to handle without expert help.
When selecting a contractor for the job of asphalt paving, make sure to:
- Obtain multiple quotes;
- Vet backgrounds;
- Carefully schedule the project so the prep work can be completed prior to the contractor’s arrival.
Remember, when laying asphalt paving, outside weather can play a big role. A day that is rain-free and sunny is generally best. The temperature outside should be 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Step 4 – Allow for Settling Time
Before asphalt paving will be ready for use, it will need to dry and set in place. The time involved here can vary based on weather conditions. The actual installation can take under a half-hour if the conditions are right.
Asphalt paving is not an average do-it-yourself job. While it can be handled in-house, it is often recommended that a contractor be hired for all but the prep work.