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 a critical step in installing asphalt driveways and the quality and durability of the finished product strongly rely on it.

A quality sub-grade and base materials must have the following characteristics:

  1. The soil needs to drain water well. Poor water drainage will cost you a lot in future repair costs.
  2. The sub-grade and base material 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:

  1. Lay the asphalt on top of your old existing bitumen or asphalt driveway. This option is possible if the existing driveway is in reasonable condition and if the higher finished level doesn’t affect other structures such as fences, gates and paths etc.
  2. Lay the asphalt directly on the soil. The asphalt company will remove the excess material from the existing driveway (if any) and compact the existing soil, followed by a new layer of roadbase, gravel or limestone.
  3. Lay the asphalt on top of an aggregate base. The asphalt company will remove the existing driveway (if any) and add a 100 – 200mm layer of compacted aggregate underneath the asphalt. The thickness varies to suit the local ground conditions. This is an option and guarantees better durability because it isn’t affected as much by 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?

steep red asphalt driveway

Steep red asphalt driveway with white kerbing.

 

Because the asphalt needs to be hot to be workable, installing an asphalt driveway during the warmer weather can be easier. However, the regular heating by the weather does mean the asphalt takes a little longer to oxidise (stiffen).

In Perth’s cooler weather, asphalt can still be laid very effectively but requires a well organised process such as used by NK Asphalt to ensure optimum results. Less power steering scuffs occur in cooler weather.

 

How To: Maintaining Asphalt Driveways

Maintaining asphalt driveways is simple but important to maintain its durability.

Here are some tips to maintain your driveway:

EDGES

Keep grass and weeds away from the edges of the driveway. Weeds and invasive grass can make their way into the driveway and deteriorate the surface if left unattended.

SPILLS

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, as can be seen by the oily patches in a typical car parking bay.

Diesel spills, on the other hand, have very immediate consequences so you need to remove those spills and leaks in a matter of minutes as diesel is a bitumen solvent. The spill can be treated with clean sand if done soon enough, but will often need a patch or replacing.

As petrol is a lighter solvent than diesel, if spilt on an older asphalt surface, it can be left in place. The petrol will evaporate over time and, if not under traffic, will likely leave a darkened, stained area that will remain usable in future.

Choosing an asphalt driveway installer in Perth

If you are looking for an asphalt driveway installer in Perth, NK Asphalt established in 1989, 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 advice 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.

Paul Calnon
Director

Paul is a Director of NK Asphalt and has over thirty years of experience in the asphalt and bitumen industry since joining NK Asphalt in 1994. He’s an expert in all aspects of asphalt works - and can give advice on baseworks, kerbing and other site services. He is dedicated to providing the right solution for clients - and can give great advice on the pro’s and cons of different methods clients may be considering.