Use an Asphalt Paving Machine

installing asphalt
  • 5-20 hours
  • Advanced
  • 500-5,000
What You'll Need
Breathing mask or respirator
Heavy gloves
Rubber work boots
Fire retardant coveralls
Asphalt paving machine

When you have some asphalt paving to do there are some steps you should follow in order to keep things as clean as possible. Your driveway will appreciate the new finish, but remember safety is first. There are dangerous fumes involved in paving with asphalt, and keeping safe and healthy should be top priority. Considering the following information and steps will help you.

Step 1 - Prepare the Surface for Asphalt Pavement

Mark out the area you wish to pave with asphalt and create a form to contain the asphalt and gravel until you are finished. Pour a layer of six to eight inches of gravel to create a base for the asphalt driveway. Make sure you put enough gravel down to accommodate the weight you will be placing on the asphalt.

If you do not make the gravel base thick enough it will cause the asphalt to crumble when vehicles are parked on it. When you pack down the gravel ensure it is slightly higher in the center to create proper runoff and eliminate the chance of water pooling on your driveway.

Step 2 - Apply the Asphalt

car on asphalt surface

Asphalt smells bad. It is a mixture of sand, rocks and asphalt cement. It is hot when poured so be careful to not burn yourself. Asphalt, being sticky, will stay on your skin and continue to burn because it also holds the heat for a long time. Pour the asphalt into the hopper of the driveway sized asphalt machine and start it up to heat up the asphalt.

Put on your respirator to reduce the amount of fumes you inhale, and wear your gloves and rubber boots to protect your skin. Slowly drive the asphalt paver from one end of the driveway to the other. Move slowly to maintain an even cover of asphalt over the gravel. The concept of the asphalt paver is a one-step process involving heating, pouring, and tamping down the asphalt to make a solid surface for driving on. You want to put a two-inch layer of asphalt over the gravel. This will ensure the driveway will last for many years.

Step 3 - Heavy-duty Driveway

If you expect heavy traffic on your driveway, if you have a parking lot or other heavy duty need, or you just want a more durable and longer lasting asphalt you should consider more gravel and more asphalt. When you do need more, consider eight to 10 inches of gravel base under two separate two-inch layers of asphalt to reinforce the strength. The first layer of asphalt would be a binder layer, a different mix of asphalt, and the top layer would be an asphalt mixture developed for driveway surfaces.

Step 4 - Finish

Be sure you have created an even layer of asphalt over the gravel for optimum life of the surface. Also make sure you have straight edges. Remove the forms, wait a day, and you can park on your driveway.