A new asphalt driveway can make your home look better. However, there are some things you should be aware of before installation begins.
1. You May Not Need a Full Installation
If you already have an aging or damaged asphalt driveway, you may not need to have a full installation. If the base material is still in excellent shape, there is the option of resurfacing your old driveway instead. The asphalt service will grind down the top couple of inches of the old asphalt after filling any deep cracks or potholes. They will then overlay your driveway with a thick layer of new asphalt. This asphalt is hot, so it bonds thoroughly with the ground surface below. The result looks and performs like new but at a fraction of the cost of a full tear out and reinstallation.
2. Integrated Drainage Increases Lifespan
One thing you don't want to overlook is drainage. Most driveways are installed at a slope that levels out or even dips down as it approaches the sidewalk or road. Water can collect in this dip, leading to drainage issues. Worse, water that stands on the asphalt will cause it to break down much more quickly. One way you can avoid this problem is by installing drainage at the same time the driveway is put in. Your installer can install a grate-covered drainage trench along the low area of the drive. This won't impede traffic but it will route the standing water to the nearest storm drain.
3. Sealing Shouldn't Be Done Right Away
It's no secret that seal coating an asphalt driveway can prolong its life and protect it against the damages of weathering. However, this isn't a task that should be done right away. New asphalt needs time to properly cure and harden. Recommendations on when to seal coat your driveway can vary, but in general, you want to wait at least three months and the driveway will likely be okay as long as it is seal coated within 12 months. Your paving contractor can provide the best seal coating time for your specific climate.
4. It Can Take Months to Fully Cure
Although you can typically walk on new asphalt within a couple of days and drive on it within a week or so, it actually won't fully cure for three to six months on average. During this time, it is slightly pliable, which often means it is more prone to damage. Treat the driveway with care during this curing period. Don't park overly heavy equipment on it for more than a day, and avoid using jack stands as they can leave small divots.
Contact an asphalt paving contractor, such as Virginia Asphalt Services Inc, if you have further questions or concerns.