The decision to have an asphalt driveway installed at your home is a financial investment. This financial investment should provide the highest quality of work and materials from the best Youngtown asphalt contractor. There is a process of laying down asphalt and a qualified asphalt contractor should follow this process so the homeowner gets the proper asphalt needed for their driveway.
The steps that are involved in laying down asphalt include:
- The ground needs to be strong for the asphalt to be structurally sound. The foundation may need to have stones added to the ground so it can provide a sturdy foundation. If the foundation has a soft grounding material or stumps and roots, then this all must be removed first, then stones can be added to the area.
- The foundation is one of the most important features of the asphalt. Gravel is added to the foundation to create the sub-base. The gravel will allow for drainage of water from the asphalt, along with providing support for the asphalt. The sub-base is rolled with a vibrating roller that will compact the sub-base. The compaction should be around two to three inches of sub-base thickness. The sub-base can’t be soft or unleveled, as this will affect the asphalt completely.
- The hot asphalt is now ready to be laid. The hot asphalt is laid on top of the sub-base, and then rolled evenly. The surface has a paver and roller go over the asphalt so the asphalt is distributed evenly and compacted at the same time. The edges are hand tamped at a 45 degree angle so it provides the support needed for the asphalt.
- The asphalt is laid and the crew will block off the asphalt so that nothing and no one is able to drive or walk on the asphalt.
The process of laying asphalt sounds pretty easy, but there is a lot of detail and hard work that goes into laying an asphalt driveway. Being an asphalt worker requires determination, craftsmanship, and dedication, as this is a hard and tedious profession, but the rewards are unlimited.
An asphalt contractor can do a regular sized driveway in two days. One day is used for getting the foundation and area ready for the asphalt and the second day is the actual laying of the asphalt. You will be able to walk on the asphalt 24 hours after the asphalt is completed. You can park and drive on the asphalt three days later. The process for asphalt is not quick, but the wait is worth it in the long run.
The most common question that a homeowner wants to know when they are having AZ asphalt installed is when they will be able to drive or park on the asphalt. The importance of staying off the asphalt is vital for the asphalt. The asphalt goes through a curing process, and every day that the asphalt is going through this process, the asphalt grows in strength and durability.
Generally, in most cases a homeowner can park or drive on their asphalt within three days. The conditions that effect when the homeowner can drive or park on the asphalt include the weather conditions, type of asphalt, and when the asphalt contractor recommends this. The heat associated with weather can add a day or two to the time to wait before using the asphalt. If the amount of time to wait changes, the contractor will let the homeowner know.
Newly laid asphalt can be fragile. The purpose of allowing the asphalt to cure is so the asphalt will gain strength. The strength added to the asphalt will allow the homeowner to add weight to the asphalt without worrying if the asphalt will buckle.
These helpful tips will allow the asphalt to cure and gain strength:
- Limit heavy trucks on the asphalt.
- The open edges of the asphalt should have backfill added for support.
- Try to park the vehicle in different spots on the asphalt.
- Motorcycle kickstands shouldn’t be put on the asphalt.
- Watch acceleration while on the asphalt.
- Folding chairs should be eliminated from the asphalt.
- No sharp pointed objects to be on the asphalt.
- Don’t drive on the edges of the asphalt.
These tips will keep the asphalt safe and allow the curing process to continue. Asphalt will continue to get stronger and stronger. The more attention to detail and carefulness that a homeowner does for the asphalt, then the better the asphalt will be. After a year, the asphalt will have reached the full curing process. At this point, the asphalt will be totally cured and as strong as it can be. It is just that first few days and up to a year that a homeowner wants to give special care and attention to the asphalt.
There are different types of asphalt, so what type of asphalt does a contractor offer a homeowner and when should a homeowner use the different type of asphalt? The asphalt is basically the same when it is installed, but the materials used in each type of mixture are a bit different. There are two primary types of asphalts available, including:
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMAC): The hot mix asphalt (HMAC) uses a high temperature. The hot mix asphalt is heated up to a temperature of 320 degrees. The high temperature will decrease any moisture while providing a strong and durable surface. The hot mix asphalt is commonly used for highways and parking areas that get a lot of traffic daily.
Warm Mix Asphalt or (WAM): The warm mix asphalt adds zeolites, waxes, and even emulsion to reduce the temperature of the asphalt. The lesser temperature reduces the emission fumes that are commonly associated with asphalt.
Cold Mix Asphalt: The cold mix asphalt uses a process where the asphalt is soaked in a soapy water before it is mixed with the rock and sand mixture. The cold mix asphalt uses no high temperature at all. The cold mix asphalt is commonly used for less traveled areas or for a patching repair as the cold mix asphalt doesn’t provide the strength and durability that the hot mix asphalt can provide.
The three different types of asphalt allow the contractor and homeowner to select the asphalt that will best match the needs of the specific area. The hot mix asphalt and the warm mix asphalt are commonly used for driveways and walkways and is the best choice in asphalt for homeowners.
The asphalt provides a durable surface that can last the homeowner up to 30 years of life if the asphalt is laid down properly, with routine maintenance work performed on the surface. Homeowners that add asphalt to their home can expect the value of their home to raise. Asphalt is the leading choice for driveways, as it is affordable, durable, and long lasting.
Is the cost different depending on the type of asphalt? The price depends on the area of the asphalt project along with the heating, materials, and supplies. The asphalt contractor will go over the costs of the different asphalt with the you so you can decide, if the cost difference is the determining factor in which type of asphalt you choose.
For more information on asphalt paving and maintenance in Arizona, click here!