Q: What is Bituminous Concrete or Hot Mix Asphalt?
A: Hot Mix Asphalt is a combination of Asphalt Cement and Aggregate. Depending on the specified use the percentages and sizes of aggregate vary. Typically a “Binder” Course contains mostly 3/4” aggregate, whereas a “Finish” or “Top” coat contains mainly 3/8” Aggregate for a smoother finish.
Q: How long does a new driveway take to cure?
A: In order for driveway to fully harden the Asphalt Cement needs to cure. This typically takes about a year. During the first year your new driveway may be come soft or tender on very warm days. This is normal. Care should be used on these days. For example don’t turn the steering wheel of a car without the car moving, also be aware that a jack stand, or even a bicycle kickstand could make an impression.
Q: How soon can I drive on my new driveway?
A: We generally recommend that you wait 48 hours before driving on a new driveway; however the duration does vary depending on the time of year, how much sunlight your driveway is exposed to, as well as other factors.
Q: Why do some parts of my driveway have a slightly different texture?
A: Most driveways are paved by a paving machine. However due to the size of the paver certain areas such as in front of garages, walkways or along walls are spread and raked by hand. These areas may have a slightly different texture as a result of hand tools. This is normal and as the driveway ages, these areas will become less noticeable.
Q: Should I seal coat my driveway?
A: We do recommend that you seal your driveway. Sealing helps prolong the lifespan of a driveway by preventing water penetration as well as helping prevent against damage from oil or gasoline spills.
Q: When should I seal coat my driveway?
A: We recommend allowing the driveway to cure for one year prior to sealing.
Q: How often should I seal coat my driveway?
A: We recommend sealing about every 2 to 3 years. Driveways that are snowplowed, are on hills, or that have curves may experience more wear and therefore require more frequent sealing. Please remember that sealing is preventative maintenance and will only benefit your driveway if done prior to cracking.
Q: Why do some driveways last longer than others?
A: There are many factors that contribute to the life span of a driveway. In New England there are many different types of soils, such as gravel, sand, stone and clay. Homes with driveways in areas of primarily gravel and sand tend to have better drainage characteristics. The dryer the base of a driveway remains the less frost movement occurs, which leads to limited flexing and cracking of pavement. Homes built in areas of clay or other poor draining soils, are more susceptible to frost heaving, which can lead to premature cracking and distortion of a driveway.
Another factor that can affect the lifespan of a driveway is groundwater. Areas of excessive groundwater are very detrimental to pavement. A wet base may freeze and heave during winter and become soft in the springtime. In some situations groundwater can be controlled by some sort of drainage; however in other situations, such as areas with a high water table, there is little that can be done to prevent saturation of the base. These areas are more prone to accelerated deterioration.
Tree roots may also pose a threat to your driveway. There is no specific rule of how close to a tree pavement may be – some trees have wide and shallow roots, others are narrow and deep. If growing roots lift or crack a driveway the tree may need to be removed and the crack filled.