A well-paved driveway contributes to your home’s overall curb appeal. A cracked, uneven, or gravel driveway can give the impression that the house is not well-maintained and can negatively impact resale value. Depending on your climate, specific temperature and weather conditions may damage certain paving materials. Therefore, it is important to consider these factors before deciding on a material for your new driveway.
Choosing a Paving Material
Choosing the right paving material is a major decision for the homeowner. You want something that fits the look of your house and landscaping while standing up to weather conditions, car traffic, snowplows, and road salt. There are many options at Paving Companies Summerville SC ranging from inexpensive gravel to expensive paver bricks made of natural or fired clay or shaped concrete.
Gravel is a popular driveway option, providing a durable and inexpensive surface. However, it requires a lot of maintenance, including frequent resealing. Loose gravel is also poorly handling water flow and drainage, resulting in ruts and mud holes. A better alternative is permeable paving, which allows rainwater to pass through instead of pooling on the surface. This is one of the most environmentally friendly paving options, but it requires professional installation and can be more expensive than other paved materials.
Asphalt paved driveways are another popular choice. They have the lowest initial cost but require frequent resealing, making them more costly over time than other paving materials. Properly installed asphalt can last 30 years or more. However, it is not suitable for areas with heavy rainfall or freezing conditions. Concrete is a solid and very durable paving option that can last decades, but it is more costly than asphalt. It is also prone to cracking, especially if it is not properly prepared and installed. Concrete is also a good choice for areas with heavy snowfall, as it will hold up to the weight of vehicles and resist ice.
A third popular paving option is interlocking stone, which can add both durability and style to your driveway. Paving stones are available in a wide variety of colors and can be arranged to create unique designs on your driveway. They are also very durable and can withstand the weight of most cars, but they are more expensive than other paving materials and require periodic repair work. These stones can also be used to create permeable paving, which is useful in regions with stringent water-management regulations. Permeable paving allows rainwater to flow through the surface, rather than being channeled into storm drains and rivers.
Choosing a Paving Contractor
In the process of identifying potential contractors, it is important to take your time and do your homework. You don’t want to end up with a company that will do shoddy work or not have the necessary permits or insurance coverage. A good way to avoid these mistakes is by asking for references from past clients and doing a quick online search of the company’s business information, reviews, and rates.
After vetting prospective specialists, make sure you schedule an in-person consultation. This will allow you to see the contractor’s professionalism, communication skills, and responsiveness first-hand. In addition, they will be able to answer any questions you may have about the project and provide expert advice. They will also be able to explain their pricing structure and estimate a timeline for completion.
During the consultation, be sure to ask about the type and quality of materials they use. It is important to understand that not all asphalt paving companies are created equal, and you should not settle for anything less than high-quality materials. Additionally, you should inquire about their experience working with the type of hardscape you are interested in adding to your property.
Another important factor to consider is the drainage of your driveway. Poor drainage can compromise the lifespan of your driveway and lead to expensive repairs sooner rather than later. In order to prevent this, your paving contractor should install adequate drainage by creating a two percent slope and installing pipe cross drains.
It is important to remember that your paving contractor should be able to provide you with a warranty for their services. A good warranty will protect you from installation errors, quality issues, and other problems that may arise during the guarantee period.
A reputable paving company will have full liability insurance coverage as well as worker’s compensation. This will ensure that if an accident occurs while they are working on your property, you are not held liable. In addition, it is a good idea to hire a local contractor as they tend to participate in community programs and have a vested interest in the satisfaction of their customers.
Getting a Permit
Depending on the size and type of driveway, some locations may require homeowners to obtain a permit before starting construction. This process will help ensure that the project is built according to local regulations and standards for safety. In addition, it can also protect homeowners from liability in the event that an accident occurs during construction. Homeowners should contact their local government offices for more information and guidance on the permit application process.
The first step in paving a new driveway is to remove any existing pavement and prep the surface for the new material. This can be done by hand or with the help of heavy machinery. Once the existing pavement is removed, the ground can be leveled and graded to make sure that the new asphalt will lay flat and stay in place. The ground should also be compacted to ensure that the new asphalt will hold up against the weight of vehicles driving on it.
Once the ground is ready for paving, the contractor will prepare the driveway by laying down a base layer. This will usually consist of crushed rock or gravel, and it should be compacted with a roller to ensure that the new paving will be firm and even. The contractor will then pour the new paving on top of it. In some cases, the contractor will use an asphalt emulsion to create a smooth surface for the paved area.
If the driveway is located on a state highway, the homeowner will need to get a permit from the NYS Department of Transportation. If this is the case, it is important to discuss the project with the local transportation office at an early stage in the planning process in order to minimize the amount of time that will be required for the permit approval process.
In some situations, a permit will not be required for driveways that are less than 20 feet long. However, if the driveway is located within a public right of way or it will be constructed in front of a curb, a permit will probably be required.
Asphalt paving is a complex job that requires heavy equipment. This is one reason why it’s important to make sure that you find a contractor who is well-versed in the process and can do a good job. A good start is to ask friends and family for recommendations. Once you have a list, check each contractor’s reputation in the community. Also, be sure to read through the contract before you sign. You want to make sure that everything you have outlined in your plans is included in the work.
Once the previous steps of “setting the table” are complete (the old driveway is removed, the sub-grade is covered with geo-textile fabric and both lifts of runner-crush stone have been graded and compacted), it’s time to add the main course. This is the top layer of surface asphalt, which consists of sand, oil and small aggregate. When done properly, this is what gives new pavement that jet-black look and smooth, durable finish.
When installing a surface asphalt, it is important to consider the climate where you live and your property’s topography. For example, cold and rainy weather will reduce the effectiveness of the compaction process. This is because the temperature of the material is affected by moisture, and it will take longer to get the pavement as smooth as you need it.
Another factor that can affect the quality of a finished pavement is its thickness. The amount of asphalt needed to create a thick, strong pavement depends on the load-bearing capacity of the soil beneath it. It is also important to maintain a proper depth to avoid damage from heavy vehicles and the rutting that can result from repeated passage of the wheels over the same area.
A well-maintained, properly constructed, and sealed asphalt surface can last for as long as 15 years or more. Proper maintenance includes regular cleaning and resealing, as well as periodic repair of cracks, potholes and other imperfections. Keeping up with these maintenance tasks will help to extend the life of your driveway and make it easier to clean. In addition, keeping your asphalt pavement in good condition will improve its appearance and value.