One way to increase curb appeal to your property is to install new asphalt paving. You may also be experiencing less functionality from your driveway because of the accumulated wear and tear it has gone through over the years. Whichever the case may be, installing a new asphalt driveway is no easy task. The quality and life of your driveway depend heavily on how well the underlying base is prepared. If all of the processes are not strictly followed, the surface may fracture, crumble, and create potholes. Here are tips to prepare your driveway for asphalt paving that will look and function as intended.

1. Remove old paving 

Over time your driveway will begin to show signs of damage and distress. With the changing seasons and heavy use, given time, cracks, potholes, and fading are inevitable even with proper maintenance for any driveway. Hence why a driveway replacement is necessary. In some cases, you could potentially pave over the old driveway but more often than not it is more advisable to remove the old driveway and install new asphalt paving. To prepare for new paving you would first need to remove the old surface for a number of reasons. Removing old paving allows for a fresh foundation to be installed, as redoing the base will increase the durability of the newly installed asphalt driveway. Removing the old paving also saves on maintenance costs down the line because a completely new driveway will not need constant maintenance compared to an old driveway that was paved over.

Asphalt driveway removal can be done using a jackhammer to break up the asphalt or even a circular saw to cut the driveway into small pieces. However, the most efficient way to remove old asphalt is with an excavator. Regardless of what machine you decide to use, you will need to account for the waste and disposal of the old asphalt. Depending on the size of the driveway the amount of old asphalt will need to be hauled away in a truck and taken to a recycling center. Removing old paving is an essential step in preparing for new asphalt paving and may require tools and experience only professionals can provide.

2. Remove tree roots 

Some homes may have well-established trees near or around their driveway that add a natural look to the front of their property. However, it may not be visible above ground but large trees could potentially have roots spanning underneath the driveway. Clear evidence that a tree has been planted too close to a driveway is the appearance of root cracks. They can appear as winding, raised linear bumps and can eventually open up to become larger cracks. If you have trees near your driveway, it is best to remove any roots that have grown underneath the driveway. To remove tree roots from your driveway removal of old paving will need to be completed first to fully see the extent of how far and deep the roots have penetrated the old driveway. In preparing your driveway for asphalt paving, you will need to remove all the roots in its direct vicinity to avoid future damage. Placing asphalt paving on top of tree roots will only result in a compromised driveway that will not last.

3. Inspect the soil

This stage is heavily influenced by the soil type where your driveway is located as well as the sub-base solutions you have chosen. This task is straightforward if you reside in an area with well-drained sandy or rocky soil or if your current driveway has a suitable sub-base. The current base may be simply inspected and compacted, with specific consideration paid to drainage. In locations with loamy soil or moist clay soils, outdated sub-base materials may need to be removed and replaced with new sub-base material. Geotechnical fabric may be put beneath the sub-base material in some circumstances to prevent damp soil from penetrating the sub-base. In difficult soils, this will extend the life of your driveway. The soil that the asphalt driveway rests on is essential to have a surface that is both appealing and functions properly.

4. Ensure proper drainage

Proper drainage is equally as important as the asphalt layer on top of your driveway. It avoids excess wear and tear on the surface. Water might not seem like an issue but standing water on an asphalt surface can cause it to discolor and crack quickly. Along with keeping water away from the surface of the asphalt driveway, grading the sub-base also prevents water from coming towards the property and its foundation. Grading the sub-base is an important step in preparing for asphalt paving because it keeps water moving toward the roadway and prevents it from pooling. Grading also levels and smooths the sub-base to help produce an even and appealing driveway. It is essential in preparing your driveway for asphalt paving.

5. Adequate sub-base compacting

A properly compacted sub-base is crucial for a long-lasting, smooth driveway. The pavement may droop and produce low patches that do not drain correctly if the sub-base is not sufficiently compacted and evenly dense. Cracks and other issues are also caused by a poorly compacted sub-base. The use of special equipment such as roller compactors and vibrating plate compactors to achieve the desired amount of compaction is necessary for achieving a properly compacted sub-base. This procedure takes time and is dependent on the installer’s abilities and expertise. The equipment will make many passes over the sub-base until the prepped surface is ideal. It is not an option to cut corners on compaction.

Preparing your driveway for new asphalt paving is vital in installing an appealing and functional surface. These tips can greatly improve, if not mandatory, in the outcome of the final product. You can ensure proper prep and installation of asphalt paving by choosing the right asphalt contractor with appropriate experience and equipment. With their numerous project experience, they understand that the design and preparations of every driveway are crucial elements in creating the smooth black carpet of pavement you expect and deserve for your property.