Many surfacing materials can be used to lay a driveway, and asphalt is often a popular choice. A big reason for this is maintaining asphalt driveways is fairly simple. Another benefit of asphalt driveways over other laying materials such as concrete, for example, is that you can start using the driveway almost immediately.
An asphalt driveway can be ready to be used just a few hours from its installation as opposed to days or even weeks for other materials such as concrete. This is because asphalt hardens by cooling instead of “curing” like concrete.
Other benefits of installing an asphalt driveway include:
- Material flexibility, which makes the driveway less prone to cracking.
- Cost, because asphalt tends to be cheaper than concrete for large areas (over 150m2), for example.
What You Need To Know About Installing An Asphalt Driveway
The sub-base is the most critical step in installing asphalt driveways and the quality and durability of the finished product strongly rely on it.
A quality sub-base must have the following characteristics:
- The soil needs to drain water well. Poor water drainage will cost you a lot in future repair costs.
- The base must be compacted, providing stability to the asphalt layer on top.
This will reduce the asphalt from shifting and maximise durability.
You normally have different options to choose from for your base, and an asphalt contractor such as NK Asphalt will be able to advise you on the best option:
- Lay the asphalt on top of your existing driveway. This option is only possible if the existing driveway is in very good condition and if the higher paver level doesn’t affect other structures such as fences, gates and floors.
- Lay the asphalt directly on the soil. The asphalt company will remove the existing driveway (if any) and compact the existing soil. This option can be the most cost-effective but it can also be less durable, depending on whether the existing soil can drain well or not.
- Lay the asphalt on top of an aggregate base. The asphalt company will remove the existing driveway (if any) and add a 15-20cm layer of compacted aggregate underneath the asphalt. This is often the preferred option and guarantees more durability because it is independent of external factors (such as original soil and existing driveway).
How Long Does It Take To Install An Asphalt Driveway?
Depending on the size of the project, the installation can take around 1-3 business days.
In most cases, the asphalt driveway can be used just a few of hours after the installation is complete, although the “curing” process can last for up to a month.
When Is The Best Time To Install An Asphalt Driveway?
Because the asphalt needs to be hot to be workable, warmer months are ideal to install an asphalt driveway.
Cooler temperatures can cause the asphalt to harden too quickly, allowing the crew less time to compact and level the asphalt layer.
How To: Maintaining Asphalt Driveways
Maintaining asphalt driveways is simple but important to increase its durability.
Here are some tips to maintain your driveway:
Keep grass and weeds away from the edges of the driveway. Greens can make their way into the driveway and deteriorate the surface.
Oil spills are not only unpleasing to the eye, but they can also cause damage to an asphalt driveway.
General oil or fuel spills and leaks take a long time to ruin an asphalt surface. They can cause the surface to soften over time, we recommend that you treat those areas and protect the paver.
Diesel spills, on the other hand, have very immediate consequences so you need to remove those spills and leaks in a matter of minutes.
Diesel is an asphalt solvent, so a leak can quickly turn into a hole in your driveway.
A sealant will help you protect the surface from water. If water infiltrates from the asphalt layer to the sub-base, it can cause undermine the asphalt layer and cause surface failures such as potholes.
We recommend sealing the driveway every 3 to 5 years. However, individual cracks should be sealed at least once a year to minimise water infiltration.
For more tips and some step-by-step guides to cleaning asphalt, see this article.
Choosing an asphalt driveway installer in Perth
If you are looking for an asphalt driveway installer in Perth, NK Asphalt have over 30 years of experience and a track record of successful asphalt installations.
We pride ourselves on being there every step of the way for our clients: from providing on-site consultation and quote estimates to answering any maintenance questions after the job is completed.
Get A Long Asphalt Driveway Quote
If your job is 150m2 or more and in the Perth or surrounding areas.