If you are getting ready to install asphalt over your home's bare dirt driveway, then it is important that you properly prepare the installation surface. With proper preparation, the asphalt will be even, flat, and last for decades with very little maintenance and repair. To this end, follow these tips to ensure that your new asphalt driveway's surface is ready for laying down the asphalt:
Tip: Remove Tree Roots from the Subgrade
The subgrade surface below your asphalt driveway is very important for its future health. For example, if there are old tree roots under your driveway, then they will rot over time and the soil will compact. When the compaction happens, the asphalt will develop cracks and lose its structural integrity. For this reason, you need to remove any old tree roots from the area that you plan to asphalt. After you refill the holes with soil, use a vibrating compactor to ensure that the disturbed soil will not compact down over time and damage your new driveway.
Tip: Install Drain Tiles if Your Driveway Drains Water Slowly
If your existing bare dirt driveway tends to have water sitting on it after storms, then you need to install drain tiles in the subgrade before installing the asphalt. The drain tiles allow the excess water to be diverted away from under your driveway and keep the moisture from collecting under the asphalt pavement. Excessive moisture under your asphalt driveway will undermine its structural integrity and lead to cracking and crumbling.
Tip: Install a Thick Layer of Crushed Gravel Base
Once the soil has been cleaned of any old tree roots and drain tiles have been installed if necessary, then you need to install a thick layer of crushed gravel for the asphalt driveway's base. It is vital that you install a thick layer of the crushed gravel so that it can support the weight of your vehicles driving across it and sitting on it for long periods of time. If the gravel is not thick enough, then your cars and delivery vehicles can sink into the asphalt and cause it to degrade and form potholes.
Tip: Ensure Your New Driveway has a Slope for Drainage
Finally, when you asphalt driveway is installed, you need to ensure that it has a slight slope to allow water to drain from it during storms. Without proper drainage, the water will puddle on the surface and lead to potholes and other damage.
Discuss other tips with your paving contractors.