The driveway to your home is not always the first thing you consider when you build or buy a home. Often a home with a dirt or even a gravel driveway stays that way for a while because the focus is put on the house itself. But when the time comes to consider updating it, asphalt can be a good option.
Why Consider Asphalt?
When you start to consider getting the driveway high and dry, asphalt offers some benefits to consider. Having the driveway paved is going to take some work, but the contractor will most likely only need a couple days unless you have a very long driveway. Asphalt is durable and flexible so it can withstand the heat of summer and the cold of winter. And it is reasonably priced. There is some yearly maintenance that needs to be considered, but that is not really different from any other kind of driveway you choose.
Preparing For Installation
Once you have decided to pave your driveway, you will need to find a paving contractor to work with. There are many paving companies that specialize in working on small projects like driveways and will have the knowledge and equipment to do the job right for you. Once you have selected a contractor to work with, they will start by leveling the driveway, installing any drainage that needs to be put in and getting everything graded so water will run off once the asphalt is laid. The preparation is as important as the paving, and if it is not right, the driveway may not last as long as it should or there may be other issues like standing water or runoff into your foundation or garage.
Paving The Driveway
Once the ground is been prepped, the asphalt can be applied. The process is not all that different from paving the roads, but the equipment used is often a little smaller. The paver and trucks filled with hot asphalt will be brought in and slowly laid out on the ground. The hot asphalt is then smoothed, shaped, and rolled, forming your new driveway. It will take some time to cool and cure before you can use the driveway, so plan on alternative parking for 24 to 48 hours. Driving on it early will damage the surface and would require the contractor coming back and repairing it. It would likely not be covered in the original price either.
Keep It Clean
Once the driveway is complete, hose it off from time to time, and depending on the climate you are in, you may want to seal it before winter. Keep oil and gas off it if possible and take care of it, and it will last for many years. All that is left now is to enjoy the new driveway.
For more information about asphalt paving, check out resources such as http://www.phend-brown.com.