If you have an old asphalt driveway, your asphalt paving contractor might be able to repair it so you don't have to replace the entire driveway. However, there may be times, such as when you're changing the location of the driveway, when you need to tear out the old asphalt and install a completely new driveway. Here's how that process might work.
The Old Asphalt Is Broken Up
Since space on your property may be limited, the contractor may use smaller heavy equipment such as a skid steer to bust up the old asphalt, scoop it up, and transport it to a dump truck to be hauled away. The old asphalt is stripped off so the new driveway will have a clean base to start with.
Some asphalt paving contractors recycle old asphalt so it can be used again. If your contractor does this, they'll collect the asphalt chunks in a dump truck and then take them to an asphalt recycling center.
The Driveway Location Is Marked
If you're adding a circular driveway, widening the driveway, or changing its position altogether, the paving contractor has to mark off the location of the new section of driveway so the soil can be prepared. Grass and other growth are removed down to the bare soil, and then the base is compacted in preparation for the hot asphalt layer.
The Base Is Created
Installing a new base for a driveway usually involves adding gravel to the soil and then compacting the soil and grading it to ensure proper drainage. The contractor might be able to use the base under the old driveway if it's still in good condition. However, any sunken or soft spots need to be repaired first.
The Asphalt Is Spread
The final step in getting your new driveway is to add the hot asphalt to the base. The crew spreads the asphalt around to ensure even and level coverage. They also work along the sides of the driveway to make sure there is a straight edge. Applying the new asphalt is a fairly quick part of the job. However, it may take a few days for the asphalt to cure to the point where you can use the driveway.
A Sealcoat Is Applied Later
Your asphalt paving contractor will probably talk to you about having a sealcoat put on as the final step in getting your new driveway. The sealcoat blankets the asphalt and protects it from sun deterioration. The asphalt has to cure sufficiently before the sealcoat is applied, so the contractor may come back in several weeks or several months, depending on the time of year, and apply the sealcoat.
For more information, contact a local paving contractor, or visit a website like http://www.phend-brown.com.