An old cracked and hole-filled asphalt driveway can bring down the value of your home and make your home look unattractive. It is important to make repairs to your asphalt driveway and replace it when necessary. Here is information to help you remove and replace your asphalt driveway, what steps you or a professional asphalt company need to take to replace the driveway, and how to care for and repair your new asphalt.
Removing Your Old Asphalt Driveway
It is recommended to replace your asphalt driveway when between 55 and 60 percent of your driveway has signs of failure. Asphalt failure occurs when there are wide or a spiderweb pattern of cracks, potholes, and sinkholes in your asphalt. Because this type of damaged asphalt does not provide a solid foundation for a new layer of asphalt, you will need to have it demolished, removed, and replaced.
The average cost of demolition, removal, and replacement averages between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot. Then, depending on the size of your asphalt driveway, if your driveway is a large-sized area, the asphalt contractor may give you a discount on the work.
You can do the demolition and removal of your driveway if you want to save on some of the costs. You may need to rent a jackhammer to break up large pieces of asphalt and a Bobcat to remove the old asphalt. Then, you will need to have the asphalt hauled away for disposal. Fortunately, asphalt is recyclable, so disposing of the asphalt may be free or cost up to $30 a truck load. Check your local area for any recycling companies that may dispose of your old asphalt for you.
Laying the New Asphalt
Once you have removed the old asphalt and smoothed the soil on the driveway location, you or your asphalt contract will need to prepare a strong base for the asphalt. First, look at the type of soil that is covering the driveway's site. If the soil has a clay content, you need an eight-inch base layer of crushed gravel. If the soil in the site is well-drained and sandy, you will only need four inches of gravel as a base layer. Once compacted, the jagged edges of the crushed gravel will "lock" together, creating a solid layer.
It can be helpful to install a layer of geotextile fabric below the gravel layer with sandy soils to help with drainage. Silt from the sandy soil can work its way up into the gravel and loosen the compaction of the gravel's jagged edges, allowing the gravel to be less stable. This layer of geotextile fabric keeps the silt out of the gravel layer.
The asphalt layer over the gravel should be two to three inches thick. If your driveway will be used mostly for lighter-weighted vehicles, it should be installed in two layers. The bottom two inches of asphalt should be mixed with a coarser and larger-sized aggregate of up to 3/4-inches. Then, the top one-inch layer should be mixed from a finer aggregate of 1/2-inch and smaller gravel. Compact each layer down with a one to three-ton compacting roller to make a strong and durable surface on your driveway.
Make sure the edges of your asphalt driveway are sloped, then tamped down at a 45-degree angle with a hand tamp. This will prevent the edges of the asphalt from crumbling away.
Maintaining Your Asphalt Driveway
After your asphalt driveway has been replaced by a professional asphalt contractor or by yourself, you need to maintain it each year to keep it lasting as long as possible. It is recommended to reseal the asphalt every two years. Then, if any cracks form in the asphalt's surface, patch them with a mixture of sand and asphalt sealer. Make sure the temperature outside is at least 60 degrees F while you do these repairs so the patches will set properly.
If any weeds begin to grow along the edge of your asphalt, or through surface cracks, spray them with weed killer. Then, remove any dead weeds before applying asphalt patching materials.
This information can help you with replacing and repairing your asphalt driveway. For more information, visit resources like http://bitroads.com.