As a driveway paving option, asphalt pleases not only by its reasonable price tag, but by its aesthetic appearance as well. In addition, an asphalt driveway will give you years and years of use--provided it's installed correctly, that is. If you would like to brush up on your asphalt paving protocols. Here are three important tips for getting the most out of your new driveway.
Put in a base layer of gravel.
It is important to understand that an asphalt surface is only as tough as its foundation. Building on top of dirt alone can lead to catastrophe in no time flat. That's because an un-reinforced base can lead to erosion, which itself can cause the asphalt to buckle, crack, and even split wide open.
In keep your asphalt in one piece, then, plan to put in a layer of crushed gravel approximately 6" thick. This gravel help to resist the weight of your vehicles bearing down. Not only that, but it will allow excess water to drain downward, rather than remaining in direct contact with the vulnerable asphalt above.
Make the gravel base good and wide.
Many people make the mistake of making their gravel base the exact same width as the finished driveway. While at first glance this may seem reasonable, it can actually lead to premature cracking and crumbling. You see, whenever anyone pulls their car up right along the edge of the driveway, there won't be enough support for the gravel beneath their outer wheels, and over time fissures will form as the asphalt pushes outward.
In order to prevent this from happening, you must make the gravel base wider than the intended width of the driveway. To be on the safe side, make sure the width of the gravel exceeds that of the driveway by a minimum of one foot.
Incorporate a layer of geotextile.
While a gravel base provides a decent amount of support, those who want a true Super Driveway should go one step further by incorporating a layer of so-called geotextile. Also sometimes referred to as filter fabric, this material is placed directly on the dirt below the layer of gravel.
Geotextile's tight weave keeps soil--and therefore water too--from migrating upward into the gravel. This ensures that your asphalt is kept far beyond the reach of moisture, by far its worst enemy. If you've got doubts about how much difference a layer of fabric can really make, you'll be interested to know that incorporating geotextile into your driveway will boost its stability as much as an additional inch and a half of asphalt. For assistance, talk to an asphalt paving professional.