Is the removal of all existing gravel required when having a driveway replaced?
Is removal of all material down 12 inches required?
I get conflicting advice on this subject.
80 percent of the old driveway appears to me to be sound. I park two cars on it everyday all year long. My driveway is over 30 years old and is starting to show its age. Although it is still usable, the outerside away from the house has sunk down a couple of inches. I should be so lucky to have a new drive way last as long.
It would seem to me that when the old asphalt is removed, at that point, a decision to replace the gravel would be made.
Your thoughts and recommendations are requested.
In regards, to the gravel being excavated, no, is the answer.
The only time it is necessary to remove the gravel is when it has become contaminated or "mixed in with the soils or dirt "
Many times, a driveway will sink due to there not being enough gravel for a base, but this is highly unlikely. (especialy on older driveways, 20 yrs or more)
If the existing area of the driveway has many small cracks (alligator style cracks),,, then maybe the base is soft & the dirt underneath has taken over. This is when its necessary to excavate that area in particular.
Remember,,, when the gravel base of a driveway is removed & replaced with new gravel, a settling process needs to occur before you repave. This sometimes could take up to 2 months or more if you have the time to wait. (the longer the better)
In the case of removing just a few small areas of the base, where the contractor finds it to be soft, then its ok to pave in a week or two.
Furthermore, in regards to the gravel being used for the base, if replacing the gravel, try to ensure that the contractor is using crusher run (3/4 inch) and not recycled or crushed concrete. The gravel they use should not look like it has chunks of broken asphalt in it. It should be very consistant looking.
With proper watering, after a week or two, a limestone based gravel will turn rock hard throughout.
This will allow the gravel to settle & give you a proper foundation for your driveway.
(Same goes for patios & walkways).
Good Luck !
Sealer People & Perma Landscape Services.
Whatever you do, do NOT remove the exciting under side it has settled real good, what you need to do is remove the asphalt carefully do not make holes under that, then fill the holes, with limestone, making sure that is it always slopping away from the house, if you need to add limestone all over to make it slop away from the house, do so, takes pictures before you remove the asphalt, this will show you where to add limestone.
The removal of all the base is not necessary, but there are two factors to deal with, the first factor is warranty. No one will give you a warranty if they did not supply and compact the base themselves and the other is water control and getting the right grade or slope, you usually always have to cut the base down to allow for the 2-3 inches of asphalt topping.
I believe you are correct that when the old asphalt is removed you would then make a decision on what to do about the base.
Dig a test hole in a couple spots to see how deep the substrate is. If it is not deep enough but the gravel is clean, a good contractor should be able "scrape off" the gravel and recycle this material to some degree. Hopefully saving some money for the project but adding new material as is needed.
Mother nature is fickle, and she will do what she wants to your property. Taking the time to properly prepare the base for your paving will help to ensure you get another 30 years out of your driveway.
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