New Asphalt Driveway Installation: A Guide for Homeowners

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance

Some property owners tend to neglect their driveways and focus more on other home improvement projects, such as landscaping their front garden and upgrading their windows and doors to more energy-efficient ones. Surely, these projects will improve your home’s appeal and value, but you should not underestimate the power of improving your driveway as well.

New Asphalt Driveway Installation
Image Source: Google Image

The driveway is literally the entry point to your property, providing ease of access to the household and to guests. Thus, it can often be the part of the property that people outside will encounter first.

So if you have an unappealing entrance, now is the time to have a new asphalt driveway professionally installed.

Why Choose Asphalt?: There are several materials to choose from when installing a new driveway for your home. But above all else, an asphalt driveway is an excellent choice due to the following reasons:

Why Choose Asphalt
Image Source: Google Image

  • Cost-effective: When improving your home, you would want to spend less but gain greater value. This is exactly what asphalt offers. As opposed to other driveway construction materials, asphalt is way cheaper, but offers more value because it is highly durable.

  • Faster to install: Most homeowners neglect improving their driveways because this project may interrupt their busy lives. They don’t want their daily schedules to be disrupted as the contractors do their job. But with asphalt driveways, you don’t have to redo your schedule because installing them is quick and easy. You won’t even notice that the asphalt driveway installation is finished already.

  • Eco-friendly: Asphalt paving has a positive effect on Mother Earth. It has low emissions and helps lower the surface temperatures at night.

  • Requires less maintenance: Asphalt is prone to cracks, which then require repairs. But these cracks are a lot easier to fix than the cracks in other driveway materials, especially concrete driveways. With asphalt, you can resurface it to give it a new top layer. With concrete, however, resurfacing is not possible. Also, concrete repairs are far more costly and difficult to blend in because of weathering.

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance: To keep your asphalt driveway looking beautiful and damage-free, you must take care and maintain it appropriately. This will also extend its lifespan to up to 35 years. So it’s best to have a maintenance routine to follow.

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance
Image Source: Google Image

Here are some tips for caring for your asphalt driveway:

  1. Make repairs ASAP: As soon as you see any damage to your asphalt driveway, such as cracks, call a reputable asphalt repair expert immediately. Don’t wait for the small cracks to become worse. Otherwise, these can lead to costly repairs or even to a driveway removal and replacement.

  2. Have it regularly professionally sealed: Over time, imperfections will start to appear because of the driveway’s continuous exposure to elements. Small cracks will allow water and moisture to get into the asphalt, which then shortens its lifespan. Thus, regular sealing should be a part of your asphalt driveway maintenance routine.

    Unless you have the proper know-how, skill, and equipment, it is highly recommended that you let the pros do this on your behalf.

  3. Keep debris, leaves and oil at bay: Asphalt has a dark color, so debris will not be immediately visible. But this does not mean that you don’t have to clean it regularly. You have to keep debris and leaves at bay to keep the driveway looking immaculate. Also, you must address oil and other stains immediately. Accumulated stains can cause your asphalt to deteriorate quickly.

    All you have to do is to combine one-part dish soap with three parts of water in a bucket. Pour this solution over your driveway and use a scrub brush to get rid of dirt and other debris. Then, rinse it off with water. Voila! Your asphalt will look new again.

    If this is inefficient, you must call a professional to do a pressure wash on your driveway. Take note that only a pro should do power washing because when this is done wrong, you can end up damaging your asphalt.

  4. Remove standing water: Asphalt’s primary enemy is water. So make sure to remove any standing water that can be caused by snow, rain, or your landscaping activity. By doing so, cracks and potholes can be prevented.

    Remove standing water
    Image Source: Google Image

In addition, you must be careful about parking your car (especially after installation and during extreme heat) and prohibit heavy equipment and vehicles from parking on it. During winter, don’t use metal shovels or even chemical-based de-icing agents and salt when removing snow as these can damage the asphalt. Instead, use a plastic shovel or potassium chloride.

Finding the Right Asphalt Paving Contractor: Now that you know the ways to maintain an asphalt driveway and their benefits, it is time to choose which asphalt contractor to hire. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Ask for recommendations: Ask for referrals from your family, friends, and relatives, or any person you trust. If they have recently installed an asphalt driveway, they can provide you with recommendations. Otherwise, you can search online for the best asphalt contractors in your area.

  2. Get references: When you have at least three potential candidates, ask each contractor to provide you with examples of their work. Whenever possible, visit the property and inspect what they have done. This will give you an idea of how appealing your driveway will look.

  3. Ask for their certifications and other important documentation: Licenses, insurance, and certifications are crucial factors in ensuring that the company is reputable. They should be willing to provide you with valid contractor and business licenses, workers compensation insurance, liability insurance, industry certifications, and memberships to trustworthy industry organizations. These documents indicate that the asphalt contractor is adhering to industry standards.

  4. Look into their materials and equipment: Stay away from contractors who don’t own the materials and equipment they are using. This means that they have suppliers whose prices fluctuate, so expect that your end price for the paving project will also fluctuate.

    Look into their materials and equipment
    Image Source: Google Image

    Instead, work with an asphalt contractor that has control over and ownership of the materials and equipment they’re using. This means that they can manage the costs predictably, making the total cost of the paving project stable. The contractor can also assure that their supplies are of high quality and their equipment is well-maintained.

  5. Request bids and make a comparison: Not all asphalt paving companies are created equal. Some offer their products and services cheaper than the others. But this does not mean that you must opt for the cheapest bidder, or the most expensive one. Instead, look into the quality of their services and determine how reasonable their prices are. It is only by comparing each bid that you will know which company is the right one for your needs and budget.

  6. Review the contract before signing it: Before signing over the dotted line, you have to review the contents of the contract. Make sure that it includes everything that both parties have agreed upon. Most importantly, read the terms and conditions, no matter how small their fonts may be. If you don’t understand a term or phrase, ask for clarifications – never assume. This will prevent any disputes later on.

An asphalt driveway is a great addition to any home, but this requires proper care and maintenance so it can last long and stay beautiful and damage-free. Most importantly, you must let the best asphalt paving company install it.

About Ron Shattuck

Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father's shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers' needs with integrity. No compromises!

View all posts by Ron Shattuck →

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