1. Find a trustworthy contractor
The first step to any construction project is to find a contractor you trust. If you have a friend who can refer you to someone it is always a great option. If not you can search online for a company with good reviews. You should meet them in person and have them explain what they will be doing. Make sure you read and understand the contract.
Always be careful if a company tells you they have extra asphalt and want to give you a discount price. The reason this is a bad idea is because asphalt has a short lifespan and you don’t want old (cold) asphalt. Also you don’t want a rushed job.
2. Remove the old asphalt driveway
Your next step is to remove the existing asphalt from the driveway and have it hauled away to be disposed of properly. Now if you have a dirt driveway to start with it should be excavated a minimum of 12 inches and filled with an appropriate aggregate such as gravel.
3. Grade the driveway for proper slope
The next step is to make sure the slope of your driveway is angled so that the water will drain away from your house and off the asphalt surface. Usually companies will use heavy equipment to do this. You can run a hose at the top of your driveway to see where the water goes. If there is puddling in some areas you should bring in more gravel to level off those spots.
4. Compact the base
Now we bring the twin drum vibratory roller to compact the base. you should be using at least a 3 ton roller for this. These can be rented from equipment rental places sometimes if needed. This step is arguably the most important part of the process. the asphalt driveway will be sitting on your properly prepared base.
5. Add a gravel base and compact
Now we add a gravel base and compact with the same 3 ton vibratory roller. at this point we will be checking the grade again of the gravel base once compacted and adjusting where necessary. You should aim for 6-8 inches of gravel for an adequate base.
6. Chose your asphalt type to be applied
This is where you decide the type of asphalt you would like to use. If you are parking heavy vehicles on the driveway you should go with a commercial HL3 type asphalt. If you are only cars or light trucks on the driveway you can use residential grade HL3 fine asphalt. The difference between the two is that the residential asphalt is smoother than the commercial asphalt.
7. Pave the driveway and compact
The final stage is to pave the driveway with your asphalt of choosing using an asphalt paving machine. The machine will give a constant 2 inches of thickness so there are no high or low spots to worry about. The final stage is to use your compact roller one more time to smooth out and compact the asphalt.
So there we have a beautiful new driveway!