- How to Cure Asphalt
- Asphalt Driveways and Truck Weight
- How to Cover Up an Asphalt Driveway
- Ideas for Asphalt Patios
- How to Remove an Asphalt Driveway
- How to Take Care of a New Asphalt Driveway
- How to Grind Asphalt
- How to Fix Dips in Asphalt Driveways
- What Is Blacktop Made of?
- How to Fill a Crack in an Asphalt Driveway
- How to Dig Up an Asphalt Driveway
- How to Lay an Asphalt Path
- How to Pave a Driveway
- How Thick Should the Gravel Base Be Under an Asphalt Driveway?
- How to Remove Asphalt Sealer From Bricks
The best conditions for curing asphalt include high daytime temperatures and nighttime temperatures that are temperate; however, even if these conditions are present, asphalt needs to cure, which means it needs time to dry out completely, cool and harden. According to Petrapaving.com, it can take an entire year for asphalt to completely cure/harden.
Resist sealing your new asphalt surface. The asphalt needs at least a full three months to cure. Sealing your asphalt driveway prematurely locks in oils, which makes it eternally vulnerable to tire tracks and other marks.
Stick a toothpick into the crack of the asphalt. If it comes out wet and black, the asphalt is not fully cured.
Look for stone aggregate pieces. This is the best time to seal the asphalt.
Apply a high-quality, coal-tar sealer to the asphalt.
Let the sealer cure for four to 12 hours. Touch the sealer with a gloved hand. If there is black on the glove, check again later. When the sealer is dry, apply a second coat of sealer. Repeat every three to five years.
The load-bearing capacity of a particular driveway can be affected by a variety of factors including the soil underneath it, the driveway's foundation, how old it is, the moisture content, thickness, mix of the asphalt and even the temperature. Load-bearing capacity increases slightly in cold weather.
The subgrade performance is a key factor in load-bearing capacity. The subgrade includes the soil type, compaction and moisture content of the soil underneath the driveway. It can also include the gravel layer that is usually laid beneath the surface. This layer can help absorb weight placed upon the asphalt. The less weight it absorbs, the less the weight capacity of the asphalt.
Moisture content of the asphalt is another important factor. Over time asphalt driveways can absorb moisture. Eventually, they soften slightly and cracks start to appear. In some cases, applying a seal coat can lock out moisture and improve the load-carrying capacity.
Power wash the asphalt driveway to remove dirt, leaves and other debris. Use grease or oil stain remover and a scrub brush to clean any stains that will otherwise eat away at the asphalt. Rinse off all solutions and let the asphalt dry completely.
Lay landscape filter fabric over the surface, overlapping ends by 3 inches. Pin down the corners with lawn spikes. The fabric will help prevent bedding sand from falling into any cracks that develop in the asphalt over time.
Install edging restraints around the perimeter of the driveway to keep the paving materials from moving. Use fieldstones, timbers, metal or another material strong enough to resist the daily stress driveways are exposed to. Hammer 12-inch spikes through the strips of edging to keep them down.
Pour coarse sand over the filter fabric to make a 1-inch-thick bed. Pull a straightedge over the top to even out the sand.
Set pavers, stones or another material on top of the sand with the sides flush together. Continue setting the pavement according to your pattern. Lay a board over each section and walk on it to compact the surface into the sand.
Pack stone dust or fine sand between the pieces with a broom. Dampen the surface with a hose so the joint material will cling to the pavers, holding them in place like cement.
A Rainbow of Colors
You can brighten up your patio by pouring a colored asphalt. Although the term asphalt is often synonymous with blacktop, it's also available in a variety of colors such as chocolate brown, smokey gray, brown brick, pale terracotta, slate green, pure white and red rose. Those colors may fade in spots after a few years due to foot traffic, but the color can be inexpensively restored by replacing the worn section of the patio.
Like concrete, asphalt can be stamped to resemble anything from natural stone to different sizes and shapes of brick. To do this, contractors buy or create a template of the desired pattern. The pattern is then pressed into fresh or reheated asphalt while it's still warm. In most cases, a polymer coating is then applied to maintain the three-dimensional look.
If you like the appearance of black asphalt but want to add some decorative detail to your patio, consider adding a border of pavers or bricks. The border can be set in place, and asphalt of any color can be poured in between to achieve the look you desire.
Adding a practical feature -- such as an outdoor fireplace or pit -- to your asphalt patio can convert your patio into an outdoor room. Before the asphalt is poured, a fireplace or pit designed of brick or stone can be set in place. Asphalt is then poured around it, creating a design element that will make your patio pop.
Most equipment rental companies can provide a small excavator to perform the task of tearing up an asphalt driveway. It's easiest to begin in areas that are already damaged. Use a firm sweeping motion toward you to loosen and tear away large chunks.
Use the bucket of the excavator to smash the larger pieces of asphalt into smaller, more manageable pieces. You want to make the job of removal as easy on yourself as possible.
Erect a movable awning or tarp to protect yourself against the hot rays of the sun. If you are not using a front loader to remove the broken pieces of asphalt, then it will be an extremely labor intensive process by hand. Try and pick cooler days, drink plenty of fluids and create shade to work under.
Using an excavator in areas next to fencing or buildings can be tricky. Even the most experienced of operators can have accidents. It's best to simply use a pick ax and shovel in areas like that.
Load up the old driveway asphalt into a dump truck or heavy-duty trailer. Make sure there are no protruding pieces that could dislodge during transport and damage other vehicles. Cover the load with a tarp to avoid losing any material ong the road. Remove asphalt waste to a proper disposal or recycling center.
Park your cars in the street or at another location for at least three days after your new asphalt driveway has been poured. The paving material needs time to set without any additional weight on it. Driveways that are completed in the summer may require extra time to harden.
Avoid using sharp, pointy objects on your asphalt driveway. This includes kickstands from bikes and high heeled shoes. Objects of this shape can poke holes in the asphalt, especially if it is very newly poured.
Distribute the weight of your cars and other vehicles evenly during the first year. Rotate parking spaces to prevent the asphalt from becoming uneven. If you plan to park heavy-duty trucks or RVs in your driveway, place a barrier such as plywood down first before parking.
Hose down your asphalt driveway as needed to remove mud and other dirt.
Repair small cracks in your driveway with a filler kit, such as the products sold by Latexite (see Resources). Small filler strips can smooth out imperfections that often occur after a cold winter.
Wait at least three months before you seal your new asphalt driveway. Asphalt needs to cure over time and can go without sealants for several years.
Examine your driveway and determine which raised areas need to be removed. The asphalt can buckle with moisture and temperature changes. Determine where drainage needs to be improved and mark these areas clearly with the sidewalk chalk.
Don your protective gear and put the asphalt grinding accessory onto your angle grinder. The angle grinder is suitable for small jobs like a driveway, but you will need to hire an asphalt grinder for larger jobs like parking lots.
Grind the asphalt around the raised area. Once you have cut around the asphalt, use the shovel to remove it. Place it in the wheel barrow and dispose of it responsibly.
Pour the asphalt cold-patching material into the wheelbarrow basin.
Position the wheelbarrow next to the dips on your asphalt driveway.
Scoop the cold-patching material out of the wheelbarrow with a shovel and deposit the material into the dips.
Firmly compact the cold patch with a tamping tool. Add additional cold patch, then compact it until it is level with the surrounding asphalt surface. After 24 hours, you can seal the entire driveway with a waterproof sealant.
Over 90 percent of the blacktop mixture is stone aggregate. Aggregate collectively refers to materials such as gravel, sand or stone powder that are quarried and crushed. Aggregate can also be manufactured as a byproduct of steel, copper or tin processing.
The rest of the blacktop mixture is liquid asphalt. The liquid asphalt in blacktop glues the stone aggregate together, forming a smooth surface when it hardens. When heated, it has the consistency of tar, and liquid asphalt hardens like cement.
Approximately 70 percent of the highways in the United States and over half of the country’s interstates are paved with blacktop. It is also used as a driveway cover, but due to its pliability (which helps seal it to the ground), it is susceptible to damage from tire wheels, ladders and even high-heeled shoes. Blacktop is also vulnerable to stripping, cracking and aging.
Clean the asphalt crack of foreign debris by inserting the pointed edge of a hand trowel into the fissure and working out the materials. Sweep the crack and the asphalt to remove all debris.
Wash out the crack thoroughly with a garden hose. Allow the asphalt to fully dry.
Fill the crack with clean sand to within 1/4 inch of the top surface. Remove the excess sand with the broom.
Fill the crack with the asphalt material. Use a hand trowel to smooth the filler into the crack, removing all irregular surfaces as you work.
Keep all traffic from the area for the curing period. Consult the product label directions for cure times.
Check the edge of the asphalt driveway for crumbling, cracked portions. Lift these portions with a shovel, or by placing one end of the 2x4 board under the rubble and using the board as a fulcrum, lifting or bending down the opposite end to loosen and lift the asphalt. Continue to the next area of the driveway.
Create fissures in the asphalt by hitting it repeatedly with the pickax. Tackle one 3-by-3-foot area at a time.
Once cracks appear, switch to a shovel to lift pieces of asphalt from the driveway. Whenever possible, use the 2x4 board to save on your back and to loosen larger chunks.
Load the wheelbarrow with asphalt pieces and remove them from the area.
If permanently removing the driveway, shovel up the gravel layer that was underneath the asphalt. Load it into the wheelbarrow and it remove from the area.
If preparing the driveway for a new surface, smooth out the gravel and tamp it down.
Choose where you want to lay your asphalt path.
Measure the dimensions of your path and stake it out with string.
Take the measurements to your local home improvement store and ask the clerk to calculate how much asphalt and gravel you will need. Asphalt comes in black, brown, gray, brick and other colors, so decide what you want before visiting the store.
Pour 2 or 3 inches of gravel on top of the foundation for the path. The foundation should be free of debris or plant material and should be tamped down before installation of the path.
Rake the gravel until it is evenly spread.
Open your bags of asphalt and pour it on top of the gravel bed.
Heat the head of the rake over a low flame. This will make the raking process easier.
Rake out the asphalt across the entire path.
Sprinkle colored chips onto the asphalt if you would like to break up the solid color.
Roll the path for compaction. Allow it 48 to 72 hours to settle before using it.
Start the driveway paving project by spreading a layer of gravel on the driveway. Use markers to mark where the boundaries of the driveway will be. Contact a gravel service to dump the gravel on the area. Spread the gravel until it is at least 2 inches thick but no deeper than 8 inches.
Find a source for an asphalt mixture. Use an asphalt service if necessary, or mix the asphalt yourself if you have the equipment necessary. Take the asphalt mixture and the melted liquid cement and mix them together, being extremely careful of the heat from the liquid cement.
Spread the asphalt evenly across the driveway area. Use an asphalt spreader or whatever tool you have handy to make the asphalt lie smoothly.
Have a supply of crushed gravel available as soon as the asphalt is spread. Use a gravel spreader to scatter the gravel on top of the asphalt while it is still warm. Use a drum roller to roll over this gravel layer to push it down into the asphalt for a chip seal that will make the driveway more impervious to the elements and to constant use.
Let the asphalt dry, and avoid driving on the paved area for at least a day as the asphalt cools and cures.
Standard Asphalt Driveway
According to nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Tim Carter in his article "A Strong Asphalt Driveway," a standard asphalt driveway needs a sub-layer of crushed gravel between 8 and 12 inches deep.
Full Depth Asphalt Driveway
A full-depth asphalt driveway needs a sub-layer of gravel between 6 and 8 inches deep, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association. A full depth asphalt driveway requires that at least 3 inches of asphalt be laid over the gravel.
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, a full depth asphalt driveway is the best option. "We recommend full-depth asphalt for driveways," says Dave Newcomb, NAPA Vice President of Research and Technology. The NAPA also states that "Full-depth asphalt provides a better balance of strength and flexibility---plus durability."
Asphalt sealers work wonders for extending the life of any asphalt surface. Unfortunately, application can be messy and often leads to sealer ending up on neighboring brick surfaces. Although it is true that the sealer will wear away over time, there is a straightforward removal process for both oil- and non-oil-based asphalt sealers.