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Asphalt Installation -What is the Process of Laying down Asphalt?

With any project, there is always a process. There are steps that must be followed in order to do a correct project. Asphalt is the same.

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It has to be laid down in a process and with important steps. The process of laying down asphalt starts with the ground or the sub-base foundation. The end step is the finished asphalt driveway.

The sub-base foundation of the area where the asphalt will be laid has to be cleared and cleaned. This area must be free of all dirt, grime, oil, debris, roots and any other substances. The foundation must be strong. If the foundation lacks strength, then gravel can be added to the foundation to stable it.

The sub-base will have stones added, then compacted to two to three inches. The stones will allow for proper drainage for the asphalt along with providing a stable base. Once the compacting has been done, then the hot asphalt will be poured, then leveled. The hot asphalt can be done in several layers, depending on the thickness that the homeowner wants and needs for the pavement. The asphalt is rolled over, then paved to create a smooth and stable surface.

The edges of the asphalt will need to be tamped. This is done by hand. The employees of the asphalt company tamp the edges to a forty-five degree angle. The angle is important as it will provide the needed drainage along with the strength for the asphalt.

This is the process and steps to laying asphalt. The process can be done fairly quickly. The cost is affordable for asphalt. Asphalt can last a homeowner twenty five years and more if the asphalt has been properly laid. The asphalt has to be maintained for the homeowner to get the maximum years of life from the asphalt.

The benefits of choosing asphalt for your driveway include a long lasting life, durable, strong, dependable, attractive and very affordable. Asphalt has been used across the country for roads, highways and parking lots. This is how durable asphalt is. It can hold up to hundreds of cars each day.

If you are a homeowner and wanting to add asphalt to your home, then contacting an asphalt contractor is the first step. The asphalt contractor will go over the options of the asphalt and determine the best asphalt to meet and exceed your needs. Asphalt is an excellent choice for driveways and walkways for a homeowner.

Are There Different Types of Asphalt Available and if so What Should I Use?

Asphalt is great for driveways because it provides strength and durability. There are different types, which include perpetual asphalt and porous asphalt.

The perpetual asphalt is a process of laying the asphalt. The bottom layer is paved with a flexible material that will absorb heavy weight without causing cracks to the surface. The middle layer material is added with a special casing that provides strength and firmness. The top layer provides a rut-resistance. These three layers together create long-lasting, durable surface. This is more commonly used by homeowners and is a bit cheaper than the porous option.

The porous asphalt is designed to take on heavy rains and water. The top layer of the asphalt has tiny gaps that allows the water to seep through, instead of allowing the water to build up on the surface. The second and third layer of the porous asphalt is lined with beds of stone. This allows the water to be filtered through, then deposited on the soil. The porous asphalt costs a bit more than perpetual asphalt because it has the several layers of stones that effectively deal with rainwater build-up.

Both of these asphalt types are excellent and offer a long life and luster to a home.

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What Kind of Maintenance Does Asphalt Require?

Preventive maintenance that is done to asphalt will keep it in great condition. It is an investment that is added to a home or business and should be maintained, so the investment keeps giving back.

Maintenance should be done immediately after the asphalt has been installed. The surroundings will be roped off, so nobody walks or drives on the surface until the contractor says it is okay.

The first year of the new asphalt is an important year. The surface is curing during this time and throughout the year it is gaining strength and durability. The homeowner should refrain from using any sharp objects like tire jacks, ladders, motorcycle stands and anything that can dig into the asphalt. Keeping oil, gas, grime and chemicals off the surface for the first year is also important. This will keep the asphalt from absorbing these items and keep the asphalt safe.

As the time goes by, the elements of Mother Nature can affect the asphalt and this is where the regular maintenance is important. The heat, rain, snow, cold and sun comes down and can cause the asphalt to dry out, crack and absorb water. Repairing any cracks will keep the surface of the asphalt safe. Repairing cracks and filling holes is inexpensive maintenance that a homeowner can do. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to do this.

Asphalt is the same as any big purchase or renovation you do to your home, it will require maintenance. If the homeowner takes special precaution the first year, it will maximize the life of the asphalt. If you are unsure about the maintenance that needs to be done, then the asphalt contractor can schedule the services for your concrete, or inform you of additional work you can do.

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When Can I Drive or Park on New Asphalt?

When new asphalt is installed, it can generally take two days for the installation process to be completed. It can take one day for the area to be prepped and one day for the asphalt to be laid. Throughout this process up until the surface is completely dried, the asphalt contractor will ask the homeowner to refrain from parking or driving on the surface for at least three to four days. This will ensure that the asphalt can hold the weight of the vehicle and gain durability and strength in this time frame.

The asphalt should be protected the first few weeks. It shouldn’t have high heels on the surface, chairs, ladders, bikes or any object that has a sharp edge to it, as this will damage the top surface of the asphalt. The homeowner should not park in the same spot of the driveway for the first month either. Parking in the same spot on the asphalt can place tire depressions on the asphalt.

There aren’t many rules to new asphalt, but there are recommendations. The cost of having asphalt installed isn’t cheap and for this reason alone would be enough to follow the recommendations of the asphalt contractor. They want the asphalt to last for many years and for this to happen the first few weeks are essential for the proper care.

If the temperature turns very warm the first few weeks, the homeowner really wants to follow the recommendations for the asphalt. The heat can make the surface soft and dents, imprints, marks and holes can happen easier in hot weather.

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Asphalt Quality tips – How can I tell if a quality job was performed on my asphalt project?

An asphalt project done by a professional asphalt contractor should be done with the highest quality available. There are some tips that will show you if your asphalt project was done with quality craftsmanship:

  • The contractor was licensed and certified.
  • The asphalt project was done on time.
  • The contractor supplied proof of insurance.
  • The equipment was in good running condition.
  • The employees worked hard and were very professional.
  • The employees kept the area free of debris, trash and materials.
  • The asphalt project was completed on budget.
  • The surface was smooth when finished.
  • The employees cleaned up the work area when the project was done.
  • The contactor supplied a warranty and guarantee of the asphalt project.
  • The contractor has called since the project was completed to make sure the asphalt was still doing great.
  • You are happy with the finished project.

When the asphalt project is complete, the homeowner should take a final inspection of the project and the area surrounding.. When the contractor and their crew is finished, the homeowner shouldn’t notice the contractor and crew were even working on your property. The area will look better than it did before the project was even started.

An honest and professional contractor will go out of their way to make their customers happy. They will want to provide quality work and finished product for their customers, so they will return to the same contractor some day. Repeat asphalt business is one of the main resources for a contractor.

There are some asphalt workers that like to cut corners when doing an asphalt project. They will use more petroleum or oil on the asphalt so the asphalt mixture will go further. They will hire untrained employees at a cheap rate and not have the proper insurance for these employees. These type of asphalt contractors will make the homeowner pay up front, then do a terrible job and never to be heard from again.

If the contractor you hired has done everything right from the beginning of the project until the end and still continues to contact you about the asphalt, then you likely received quality work for your asphalt.

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Hiring an Asphalt Company – What Questions Should I ask an Asphalt Contractor?

Before hiring an asphalt contractor, there are questions that should be asked. This will give you the right information you need to decide if the asphalt contractor is indeed qualified to do your asphalt project.

Questions to ask:

1. Do you have proper liability insurance?  

The asphalt contractor should have liability insurance in case of any type of accidents that can occur on the worksite. All reputable asphalt contractors should supply this paperwork.

2. Do you have references?

Getting references will allow the homeowner to see if the asphalt contractor has plenty of experience in doing the asphalt project.

3. What equipment is required to do the asphalt project?

There will be different equipment that an asphalt contractor can used. The equipment that can be used is an asphalt spreader, asphalt roller, skid steer, tandem truck and possible other equipment. The homeowner should know what type of equipment is going to be on their property.

4.  Are the employees trained and have back ground checks done on them?

The employees should have back ground checks ran on them so criminals aren’t working on people’s property. Nobody wants a person who has been charged with theft or even a more severe crime on their property or near their family. The employees should all be trained to do the job that is required.

 5. How much will the asphalt project cost?

The asphalt contractor will have to give the homeowner a bid on the cost of the project. The contractor will go over why the price is what it is and the homeowner can ask additional questions at this time about the price.

6. Does the project come with a warranty?

The asphalt project when completed should come with some type of warranty. This warranty will protect the homeowner if the asphalt develops a problem.

These are helpful questions that a homeowner should ask an asphalt contractor. They will allow you to decide if this is the right asphalt contractor for the project. An honest and qualified asphalt contractor will welcome any questions that the homeowner may have. The homeowner should feel at ease to ask a contractor questions.

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Asphalt Overlay – What is an overlay and when is it the best option?

Installing a new surface over existing asphalt is considered an overlay. It isn’t just an option that homeowners or businesses use, but cities and towns across America use it for current streets and highways. It is very popular because it provides a new and refreshed look to a current asphalt without the hefty cost of installing a whole new surface.

You have probably seen an overlay process being done, but didn’t know the actual term. Drivers always complain when they see this being done because they fear the substance will get on their car and ruin their paint. The good news is that the contractor will make sure the overlay installation is ready for driving before allowing any drivers on the roads.

When is it a good option for a homeowner or business to have an overlay done to their current asphalt? It can be performed when the current asphalt has no deterioration of the sub-base, which must be in great condition. The sub-base must not have any drainage conditions. If the current asphalt has already had an overlay on it before, then another one is neither recommended or a good option.

An asphalt contractor is the only one that can look at the current asphalt and determine if it is a good candidate for an overlay. The contractor will examine the existing asphalt. The current asphalt may need minor repairs, before this service, for the best results. The overlay will be applied without tearing out the asphalt. It is just adding a few inches of new asphalt on the current surface.

An overlay provide a safe and secure asphalt for the homeowner and business. It is done in a few steps and will involve an experienced and professional asphalt contractor. You never want to have this process done by an inexperienced contractor because if important steps are missing, then the overlay will not be successful and can end up costing the homeowner much more money.

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Asphalt Maintenance tips – How Long Should My Asphalt Last?

Once the asphalt has been installed, then the homeowner always wants to know how long the asphalt will last. This is an important questions for the homeowner. It is a financial investment to add an asphalt driveway to the property. When a homeowner invests money into their property, they would like to know that the investment will give a good return.

The typical asphalt can last a homeowner ten to twenty years and it can last longer if the asphalt has been installed properly and maintained like it should be. When the asphalt is maintained, then it can last a homeowner up to thirty years.

What maintenance is needed to be done to add longer life to an asphalt driveway? Some of the maintenance would be filling cracks that develop in the asphalt. The cracks can allow added water into the base of the asphalt. The water will eventually ruin the base of the asphalt, which can cost a homeowner money to repair, but filling the cracks can prevent this.

Another maintenance that should be done for the asphalt is patching holes. Holes develop in the asphalt and the holes can be patched to prevent further damage to the asphalt. The asphalt also requires a seal coat. The seal coat should be applied to the asphalt every three years. The seal coat will add a moisture block to the asphalt and provide strength to the asphalt too.

When the asphalt is newly installed, then the homeowner should keep anything sharp off the asphalt. Sharp objects like tire jacks, ladders, motorcycle stands and even lawn chairs. These objects can dig ruts and holes into the asphalt and cause major damage to the surface.

A homeowner who wants to get the maximum life out of their asphalt can prevent any damage to the asphalt and maintain it. These are the two main factors that will allow the asphalt to last for many years. It isn’t hard to do, but it requires a little time and very little money to do. Asphalt is nearly maintenance free. Asphalt doesn’t require expensive maintenance to keep it looking good and lasting long. The homeowner just needs to dedicate the time to keep the asphalt in good shape. The investment that has been put forth for the asphalt will be returned in a strong surface and an attractive driveway.

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Is your Asphalt Contractor licensed, bonded and Insured?

It is important that the asphalt contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. Not only is it important, but essential. It is so important because the asphalt contractor and his workers are working with materials that are being heated up to a temperature of over three hundred degrees. Anything can happen when you are working with dangerous asphalt and equipment. The contractor will use the training that he received when he got his license and train his employees the proper way. The license that the contractor has requires classes on handling asphalt materials and products. They go through difficult testing to obtain the license. Once the contractor has this, they are qualified to work with all materials and equipment.

The insurance is also important because it will protect the homeowner of any responsibility of injuries or accidents that occur on their property. It covers equipment that is being used, the materials, the asphalt, and the workers. A special insurance called ‘workers compensation’ is required for the company to have. It protects the company if an employee is injured on the job.

Having a bond is another added benefit for the homeowner, as it will protect for any unsatisfied work that the asphalt contractor does. If the asphalt develops a problem, the bonding will rectify any damages. It will show the homeowner that the contractor wants to provide the highest standards and service with their asphalt. The contractor is doing all they can by possessing these items.

The homeowner can request a copy of these items from the asphalt contractor. They will  usually bring a copy of these items when they are inspecting the homeowner’s property for an asphalt project.

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