What makes a good asphalt driveway?

Introduction

If you have decided to upgrade the driveway to your home, what makes a good asphalt driveway? better to chose asphalt as your driveway surface.  Asphalt (which is also known as bitumen) can be found in natural deposits, but the stick, black, substance that is used on our driveways is a refined product that is essentially a solid form of petroleum, binding rock particles together to create a strong, concrete-like surface.

Preparation is the key

Because of the specialist and heavy equipment that is required for a major project such as installing a new driveway it is highly likely that you will have brought in a contractor to do the job for you.  You will soon get a feel as to whether you have chosen a good contractor by observing the way that they approach the preparation for the task. If you have an existing driveway of any kind, the surface will most likely need to be broken up and removed, creating a clean base from which to start with.

The next step is to assess the drainage requirements – if the surface is completely flat this could lead to pools of water forming on the finished driveway.  A gentle gradient is normally created so that the water runs away freely. A layer of crushed rock is then applied to the base – this creates the porous layer that will enable water to drain away underneath the driveway. See how.

Choosing the surface of your driveway

Asphalt is a popular choice for creating your driveway surface, but there are a number of different styles to choose from – these include red oxide gravel asphalt which comes in red or brown; non-coloured gravel asphalt (which is a dark brown colour); and standard granite asphalt which comes in black or grey.

Durable and easy to repair

A good asphalt driveway that has been properly installed should last for about forty years.  The other benefit of asphalt driveways is that if they ever do need to be prepared you do not need to remove the existing asphalt driveway – the repairs and new surface can be simply laid over the top of the existing driveway.

In Australia there have been some instances of asphalt driveway scams, where unprofessional tradesmen have quoted low prices and persuaded people to have an asphalt driveway installed.  The resulting work is poorly executed (or sometimes non-existent) and the home owner is left out of pocket or worse.  Make sure you are engaging quality local tradesmen that have been recommended to you.

Conclusion

The investment that you have made in your new driveway is a major one and you want your driveway to give a great first impression for visitors to your home.  Make sure that the work that you have had installed is of the highest quality so that you have years of enjoyment of your quality asphalt driveway.

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