Asphalt Driveway FAQ
The condition of asphalt naturally declines throughout its lifetime until hairline cracks begin to form, spread and deepen within the material. If proper upkeep and maintenance are not performed, water may enter through the cracks and eventually harm the subgrade beneath. In this situation, the most effective repair option is to remove and replace the asphalt.
Asphalt is a substance composed of rock, sand and liquid asphalt. The rock and sand mixture provides the strength to your pavement and the liquid asphalt is the “glue” that holds it all together. There will be areas of the asphalt pavement that have a different finished look. While the paver can lay most of the asphalt, there are areas that must be done by hand raking. Areas that are hand raked can oftentimes have a ‘rockier’ appearance than the rest of the asphalt. Near the garage floor, near sidewalks and near curbs, are all common areas where hand raked work is performed. These visible differences are normal, do not affect durability and are characteristics of the new asphalt material. As your new asphalt driveway ages and oxidizes, many of these differences will fade.
New asphalt is most susceptible to surface markings for the first few years after installation. Avoid using sharp or pointed tools, or objects that put a lot of pressure on a small area such as motorcycle or bike kickstands, trailer jacks, lawn chairs, or even high heeled shoes. These may cause punctures or marks in the surface of the asphalt. As the asphalt ages and oxidizes, the driving surface will begin to harden and become more resistant to markings.
Asphalt is designed to be a flexible material and can withstand some ground movement. However, if the force of the ground movement is too great, it can cause cracking in the asphalt. This is most common during winter months and spring during the freeze and thaw cycles but can happen at any time. As your asphalt driveway ages, it oxidizes and becomes more brittle, which can lead to cracking. This is why proper maintenance is important for asphalt driveways.
Asphalt Driveway Q&A
How long can an asphalt driveway last?
– With proper maintenance, they can last over 20 years.
What do you recommend for maintenance?
– Sealcoating every other year. As a maintenance “top coat” it will help to protect your asphalt driveway through Minnesota’s harsh winters.
How soon after my new Asphalt Driveway is installed can I sealcoat it?
– Wait a MINIMUM of 90 days before sealcoating a new Asphalt Driveway.
How long is the installation process for an Asphalt Driveway?
– The demolition of the existing driveway will happen on the first day and then 5-10 business days later we will return to install the asphalt. Please keep in mind that we cannot pave your driveway if the ground is too soft or saturated with water following a rainfall. This may result in a delay in the paving portion of the project.
Do I need to be home during the demolition and installation processes?
– You DO NOT need to be home for the duration of the project. However, we will need to have the garage door open to allow enough room for the crew’s equipment. If you do not plan on being home, we ask that you provide an access code, leave a side door unlocked, or set out a garage door opener.
How long do I have to wait after installation to use my new Asphalt Driveway?
– After 24 hours, you can start walking on your new asphalt driveway. We recommend waiting at least 7 days to start driving on the new asphalt. We also recommend that you 14 days before parking any vehicles on the driveway for a prolonged period of time, such as overnight.
– We do not recommend any heavy equipment to be driven or parked on a new install, nor do we warrant any asphalt that has campers, trailers, dumpsters or anything else parked on the new asphalt during the first year.
– Asphalt can take up to 90 days to fully cure and will remain soft on any days that reach 70 degrees.
Are there any “hidden fees” for my Asphalt Driveway Project?
– There are no hidden fees. If there are any changes in the final invoice, they will be discussed with the homeowner. These changes will often be from adding on to a project during the construction process. Please note that this does not include the price of any permits that are required by your city.