Frequently Asked Questions - Paving, Driveways & Parking Lots
Driveway Installation & Care Information
will my driveway be removed for?
In removing your old asphalt driveway, it will be necessary to run heavy equipment
over the driveway. In doing this, the area under the base (called the sub-base)
often times is clay and can get soft. During dry times of the year, some driveways
will stay very hard after removal. Each driveway is different, however. Typically,
during the spring, it is necessary to let them sit longer to fm back up. As
we try to offer the best guarantee possible, it will be our decision on when
your driveway is reinstalled. During the summer months we will usually let the
driveway sit 7-10 days. In the spring or during wet months they can sit as long
as 2-3 weeks. You can drive and park on the driveways while you are waiting
for them to be paved.
What different types of asphalt are there?
There are two different types of asphalt that we use in the driveway business.
41A, or driveway mix, as it is often called, is the most common type of asphalt
that we use in driveways. Asphalt is made up of rock and asphalt oil. In the
41a mix, the rock ranges from sand to a ?4 inch max rock diameter. The oil content
in the mix is 5.8 % - 6.0 % oil. The more oil in the mix, the longer it will
hold the sand and rock together. On the other hand, for the first year or two,
this additional oil can make the driveway more susceptible to tire marks and
heavy wheel load problems. If you're just driving cars and light trucks on your
driveway, 41a is fine. The other mix we use is 41b. This mix has a range from
sand to 5/8 inch max rock diameter, and the oil content is dropped down to about
5.5 % oil. The advantage to this combination is heavier wheel load applications,
such as a motor home or 1 ton tuck. The disadvantage with the larger rock is
the finish is not always quite as smooth.
How long do I need to stay off my new driveway?
We recommend that you don’t park on your new driveway for one week. Asphalt
becomes soft with heat and when its hot outside and the sun is on your driveway,
it becomes very hot. On these days, if you can just as easily park in the garage
as on the driveway, you could save your self some potential problems.
Other Common Concerns & Questions Regarding Paving and Asphalt:
- Tire marks
- These are usually caused by turning your tires in one place without the car moving.
Try to have the wheels rolling a little when turning around on hot days. Most
of these small imperfections will disappear after the first year.
- Sharp objects
- Sharp objects such as chair legs, kick stands, tables, ladders, etc., will sink
into a asphalt driveway. If you put a piece if wood under them it will keep
them from sinking in.
- It is important to remember that asphalt is made up of 94% rock. In areas where
hand raking is necessary, you may be able to see some of these rocks. After
a driveway has been seal coated it will look very smooth and you won’t
be able see as many of these rocks.
- Seal coating
- I could probably type three pages on this subject alone, so I will try to keep this
a brief as possible. In my opinion, a driveway that has been over sealed or
not been properly cleaned before it was sealed, will be in worse condition
than one that has never been sealed at all. As the driveway cures out, the
sun and rain oxidizes and washes the oils out of the driveway, the surface
will start to harden and turn gray. This is what you want. Another thing that
happens as the driveway ages, is the sand around the larger aggregate will
start to wash out and the driveway will become more textured. This allows
the driveway to take more sealer, so the sealer lasts longer. When the driveway
is new, it has a lot of oil on the surface. The surface is also very smooth.
Both of these thing will take away from a seal coat job. Once you seal the
drive, you are keeping those oils in and slowing down the curing process.
So in my opinion, you want to wait at least 2 years before sealing your driveway,
and when you do, make sure it is very clean. The first time you should put
on two coats; then one coat after that; and not more than once every three
to five years. If you over seal, it will start to peel and flake off and look
worse than if you had never sealed at all. When done properly it can make
your driveway look better than the day it was new, and extend the life.
- Gas and oil
- Do not fill the lawn mower, or anything else for that matter, with gas on the driveway.
If you spill gas on the driveway, it will wash the asphalt oils out in the
area where it was spilled or leaked. What you will be left with is an area
of sand and rock that won’t get hard again. Oil will stain and soften
areas, but not as bad a gas.
- Heavy trucks and equipment
- When we design your driveway, it is built to stand cars and light trucks. A heavy
truck, especially in the spring when the frost is coming out, during wet times
of the season, or on hot days, will absolutely destroy your driveway. Keep
- All driveways, will at some point, get some cracks in them. Give us a call, and for the fist
two years, we will come out and fill them. After that, you can purchase a
gallon of crack filler. And just touch them up as needed.