Regarding your home’s driveway, your chosen surface can boost curb appeal and add resale value. Asphalt is the material of choice for paving most residential driveways. It has several advantages over gravel or concrete paving materials. Asphalt can be quickly laid so that you can use your driveway sooner. It is also quieter to drive on, as it absorbs engine and transmission noise.
Asphalt is popular in northern climates because it’s pliable and can handle freeze-thaw cycles. It’s also easy to repair if damaged, and the dark color helps absorb the sun’s heat and melt snow faster in winter. An underlying granular base is essential to your driveway’s long-term durability and performance. This layer is often made from crushed stone or “combat” (recycled concrete and asphalt that’s crushed and mixed with a binder to create a tough, settle-resistant matrix). Once your base has been prepared, professional paving experts can lay your new asphalt driveway in a few days. It’s important to wait to drive on a newly paved surface while cooling down, as the pressure can damage the pavement and cause rutting or depressions. This process can take up to three days, depending on the weather. It is also why it is always best to hire a professional for residential paving projects and avoid the DIY you may need to qualify for.
Asphalt driveways are highly durable if constructed and maintained properly. They can be a great value for your home as they protect against weather and environmental factors such as flooding, ice accumulation, and heavy vehicular traffic. It is also much cheaper to repair and resurface an asphalt driveway than it is to replace concrete, making it a good long-term investment. One key to a strong, lasting asphalt surface is an adequate granular base layer 6 to 8 inches thick that is properly compacted and designed for your region’s climate. Be sure to ask prospective contractors what fine material they use and how wide they make it. Proper drainage is also important. Drainage slopes should direct water away from the driveway to prevent moisture saturation that can weaken the subgrade and cause frost heaving. In addition, it is important to avoid using corrosive de-icers on your asphalt driveway and instead use safer alternatives like potassium chloride or rock salt.
Asphalt is a popular choice for homeowners who want to increase their home’s curb appeal. The smooth black surface looks much better than gravel or dirt driveways and is more attractive than a concrete one with a pattern imprinted. Asphalt is pliable and resists the freeze-thaw cycle and de-icing salts far better than other materials. Additionally, the black color of asphalt absorbs heat and melts snow faster than other materials. It is a major advantage for northern climates, where winter snow and ice can damage other paving materials, especially concrete.
Another benefit of asphalt is that it’s less prone to flaking like concrete, so maintenance costs are lower. In addition, asphalt is easy to repair and blends well with the surrounding pavement. It is also a good choice for driveways that need to be used occasionally for loading and unloading boats, trailers, equipment, or cars. This flexibility is a significant cost saving for homeowners over the driveway’s life.
Asphalt is cheaper than concrete, making it an ideal choice for new homeowners who want a long-lasting driveway that is easy to maintain. It is also more durable than concrete and withstands the freeze-thaw cycle better than gravel or dirt. If you see an asphalt crack, immediately clean it with a sealant or cold patch. Look for depressions where water gathers after a rainstorm, and watch for weed growth that can weaken your asphalt. Check for hairline cracks, which are easily repaired with a sealer. Asphalt’s dark surface hides oil stains better than concrete, but if you have an oil spill, spray a degreaser on it and let it sit overnight to eliminate the color. A bit of kitty litter tossed over the area can also help with cleanup. You can even get a squeegee to remove any remaining grease and oil. If you use a squeegee, it’s best to do this before sealing the driveway.