Successfully paving your driveway depends on a number of factors, but one of the most crucial steps you should take is to choose an experienced residential paving contractor. Asphalt can be a finicky material to work with, so it's vital to hire a great company to ensure that the result is the best possible quality. To better inform your decision as you are speaking with paving contractors, you should ask a few questions to find out the following essential things about how the project will be completed.
1) How will the base of the driveway be constructed?
The foundation of your driveway is incredibly important. Without a solid and well-built base, your driveway could become susceptible to cracking. There are two main foundation options: asphalt and crushed gravel. An asphalt base consists of a large rocky mixture that increases the strength and durability of the surface. This base does not need to be placed at a minimum thickness. This is a good choice if your soil is dense clay or very muddy. A gravel base, however, is made of robustly compacted soil. The thickness is usually at least 6 inches, although that thickness should increase depending on the weight of the vehicles that will be parked on the driveway. Your residential paving contractor will likely select one of these foundation types to complete your project. Ask which kind of base will be installed for your specific driveway. This will give you peace of mind that your driveway is adequately prepared to handle any weight that is placed upon it.
2) How will you account for the sub-grade?
The soil or natural material under your driveway (also known as the sub-grade) is another essential factor to discuss with your paving contractor. A weak soil can cause your driveway to deteriorate quickly. The topsoil will need to be taken out completely if your driveway is entirely new, and the sub-grade must also be compacted. Find out how your paving contractor will tackle any utility lines beneath your driveway too, including sewer, water, and electric lines. Ideally, your contractor will tightly pack gravel around the lines to avoid problems with the integrity of your driveway later. Additionally, you may wish to ask your paving contractor what measures will be taken to prevent the overgrowth of vegetation around your driveway.
3) What will you do to eliminate drainage problems with the driveway?
A poorly drained driveway will lead to issues during periods of heavy rain. Standing water and puddles can be a safety hazard for you as well as a means of damaging the asphalt over time. For this reason, it's best for your driveway to have a slight slope. A trench drain can be placed between the end of the driveway and the garage, or grading may need to be performed. Ask your paving contractor what will be done to guarantee that your own driveway won't encounter any drainage problems. Regardless of the solution, make certain that you are aware of the contractor's plan to prevent drainage troubles.
Take time to find out all you can about the process before your driveway is paved. Consider reaching out to a professional company like Northern Asphalt LLC for questions. This will help ensure that you choose the right residential paving contractor for your needs.