A durable asphalt driveway is a key to a homeowner’s peace of mind. Doing it right the first time can help you save money and effort while enjoying high-quality pavement for years.
With the right approach to paving and sealcoating, the asphalt driveway can last as long as 15 to 20 years. That’s why the majority of homeowners chooses to get it done professionally.
However, DIY asphalt paving is also possible. If you have some experience with asphalt, you can pave the driveway on your own. In this article, you’ll learn where to start. The information can help you understand whether you are ready to get the job done right.
1. Find the Right Equipment
Even for a simple DIY asphalt pavement project, you will need the right equipment. Of course, buying it is out of the question due to the cost. However, you can borrow or rent the right tools in order to get the job done well.
Here is the basic list of equipment:
- Dump truck
- Paver screed
- Steel wheeled roller
- Pneumatic tire roller
- Plate compactor
You will also need asphalt hand tools. According to asphalt paving experts from ABC paving & sealcoating, most likely you’ll be able to find an asphalt paving equipment rental in your area. However, if you live in a small town, you may need to do some serious searching.
2. Prepare the Site
The site for paving needs to be prepared properly in order to provide the perfect foundation for the asphalt. The quality of your new driveway directly depends on how well you prepare the surface.
Take the time to remove the old paving entirely. By the way, you need to find out where to relocate the old asphalt in advance. Since asphalt is a recyclable material, throwing it out is out of the question. Sometimes asphalt suppliers are ready to accept old asphalt for free.
Once the area is clear, you need to put dense grade or high-quality gravel under your asphalt in order to ensure good adhesion and integrity. Use the compactor to compact the base properly.
When laying down the base, make sure to consider the drainage slope. Proper drainage is the key to asphalt’s longevity.
3. Proof Roll the base
Proof rolling makes sure that the base is sufficiently strong to support the asphalt as well as the load it has to bear. Even a slight flexing of the base could mean a lack of support for the pavement.
You can use undercutting to replace soft soil with stronger materials. This way the base will get all the support it needs.
4. Add the Binder
Once you are done with the base, you can add the binder. This layer consists of large aggregate and oil. The mix is extremely strong and durable. It adds strength to your new driveway.
5. Pave the Driveway
The best way to ensure asphalt quality is to employ a two-stage paving process. The first one is the binder. The second is a topcoat.
The best way to pave the driveway is to start from the back and continue to the street. You will need assistants to help you carry the asphalt. One person will be spreading the mix. The other will be leveling it.
You can apply the topcoat immediately or after a few days.
6. Sealcoat the Driveway
Sealcoating is an important part of paving asphalt. Without regular sealcoating, your asphalt driveway is unlikely to last more than five years. The key to quality sealcoating is the right materials.
However, the process is important as well. Take the time to watch videos that explain sealcoating step by step. Otherwise, you may waste materials instead of fortifying your driveway. The manufacturer of the sealcoat should also provide explicit instructions.
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While it’s possible to pave and sealcoat your asphalt driveway without professional assistance, not all homeowners are able to do it. Paving is a complicated process that requires concentration, accuracy, and experience.
If you’ve never had to deal with asphalt before, consider asking for professional assistance. Once you see how it’s done, you may be ready to DIY next time.