Paving is one of the most inexpensive ways to provide a clean, hard surface for your property. It is also quick and the preparation and usage time is much less than a concrete driveway. As well, asphalt driveways resist more chemicals than concrete and, if the base is properly prepared, will not crack or split in areas where there is a freeze/thaw cycle. Concrete, on the other hand, has to be heavily reinforced to prevent cracking.
Hot Mix Paving
Most paving jobs are known as hot mix which means that the material arrives on site already heated. An aggregate of small rocks and sand is mixed with an asphalt binder that has been heated beforehand. The asphalt cements the rocks and sand together much like Portland cement does in concrete. This mix has the consistency of a dry cement mix and is placed on the area by a special spreading machine. Then a mechanized roller compacts the mix into the base of crushed rock and makes the surface smooth.
Every driveway or sidewalk needs a prepared base before the surface can be installed. This is because there has to be a firm foundation that will not erode or sink during weathering or being subjected to heavy vehicles. To begin with, soft, porous earth or uneven hard pack is skimmed away and leveled. In rare occasions the base will be good enough to pave over but even highways are scraped before new blacktop goes down.
The crushed rock base can be from 6 to 10 inches thick depending on whether it will be a patio or have to take the weight of large trucks. It should be wider than the actual driveway to provide both drainage for water running off the pavement and to prevent the pavement edges from eroding or breaking off under the pressure from vehicles.
This base is divided into a lower layer containing larger stone size and and second layer with smaller ones. This top layer will be drenched with liquid asphalt and become part of the aggregate and the lower layer will be for strength and drainage. Before this, however, the base is compacted with a double-drum roller.
After the area is soaked with hot, liquid asphalt the first layer of pavement is installed. This is compacted pressing the hot mix and the asphalt oils lower into the crushed and making a strong base. The second layer then has a smooth surface for adhesion. This layer is then compacted and the pavement is complete.
However, it will a few days before vehicles can be allowed on the pad. This time will allow the aspahlt cement is congeal and provide a strong bond with the aggregate.
Getting our Paving Job Done
As in every trade all paving contractors are not created equally. There are those who have an artist's touch for perfection and there are those who are satisfied to slap down pavement and move on to the next job. Therefore careful scrutiny should be Job 1. As well, tray and get at least 3 quotes for the job.
- Where To Find Paving Contractors: More consumers are turning to online services such as TrustedPros contractor search tools to find and research local contractors. In addition, find out where the paving crews are working and go watch them. Then talk to the homeowner and see if he or she is satisfied with both the job and service.
- Plan Your Pavement: In many instances paving contractors will give a break in process if the equipment is already working in the area. Call up the companies and see if they will give you a lower price for being in line with the next job.
- Plan the Area: Be sure what you want paved before the paving crews arrive. Stake out the area so that there will be no confusion as to where the digging and paving will begin. Make sure that the width will be wider than the spreader's path: 8 10 feet wide. In addition, call the utility companies to make sure where the power and water lines are and how deep they are buried.
- Insurance and License: Make sure that paving company has insurance and that the license if applicable is current. This is crucial in case a laborer is hurt on the job in your yard or if one of the pieces of equipment ruins your backyard.
- Drainage: Explain any drainage problems to the foreman so that the proper pre-conditions for water removal can be met. The paving crew should also crown the pad so that water will run off the edges and not pool. This is important to prevent ice in winter-time.
- Leveling: The foreman should know the swing of the gate and the garage door so that the level is not too high. As well, the pavement should be well above the level of cut grass.
- Mess: Make sure the crews have provisions for preventing spillage of oil and pavement onto other areas like shrubs and gardens and that they will clean up any mess they make.
- Afterward: The paving foreman will mark off the pad and explain that you can't park your car on it for a few days. It might be prudent to place obstacles around like upside-down pails. Every 2 years you have the driveway coated with and driveway sealer.
To get an advantage on hiring a paving contractor, consult our Contractor Directory or post your project at TrustedPros.ca. This way you will be assured of qualified contractors for estimates.Posted by: TrustedPros