Factors That Would Influence the Quality of Your Asphalt Driveway

Posted on: 29 November 2017

If you are constructing a new driveway, you could be considering asphalt as your choice material. Some individuals who may be looking to keep their construction costs low could find it tempting to install this driveway on their own as they assume all they need to do is apply an even layer of asphalt and they are done. In truth, the longevity of your driveway, as well as the quality, would depend on some factors, which is why it is always best to leave this project to professional contractors. Below are the factors that would influence the quality of your asphalt driveway.

The foundation of the driveway

A significant factor that would determine how viable the asphalt driveway would be for the long term is its foundation. The first step to a sturdy foundation would be making sure that the subgrade is stable. Laying a foundation on clay soil would make it vulnerable to movement, particularly during the wet season. Thus, your construction contractors would begin the project by stabilising the subgrade by excavating the soil and preparing a solid aggregate base. Do not make the mistake of merely compacting the dirt, as earth movements will eventually shift the soil and cause irreparable damage to the foundation of your driveway.

The drainage of the driveway

Another vital element to proper asphalt driveway construction is making sure that it will have adequate drainage. For starters, the asphalt driveway needs to be constructed at a sloping angle, which would make it easier for water to direct itself away from the surface of the asphalt. Secondly, the construction contractors could choose to install a French drain. This drain is made up of a trench that has been filled with some loose rocks or has been fitted with a pipe exclusively designed to direct water away from the foundation level of the driveway. Without proper leaching of water, you will find your asphalt driveway succumbing to undue faults leading to premature resurfacing or even entire replacement depending on the degree of damage.

The materials of the driveway

Although asphalt is considered the most durable driveway material, it should be noted that not all mixes are built the same. Therefore, whereas one driveway mix may last a lifetime, another could begin to deteriorate in just a matter of months. As a rule of thumb, good asphalt mix for driveway use should comprise a high percentage of asphalt binder. Moreover, there should be minimal air gaps in driveway mixes as compared to those used for highway applications. A seasoned contractor would be best placed to determine the best asphalt mix for your driveway construction.