Your Driveway Paving Options
Your driveway is an important part of the aesthetics of your home. If its cracked and dirty, then it gives a bad impression of your home even with a beautiful house and a well done landscaping. Thus after installation, practice proper care and maintenance to ensure that it remains in a good condition even in the long-term. Also the quality of materials used and the installation process matters a lot as it determines the beauty of the driveway and its durability.
In the early times, up until 1950s, gravel was the most common option to use for paving. It was the most cost effective method by then. Other materials like bricks, concrete and cobblestone were not available to the average home owner. However gravel had a few issues especially when it rained. The water rose above it making the pavement muddy. If more gravel was put to raise the surface, then the tires would sink.
Asphalt was introduced as an alternative to paving stones and concrete. It is easier to install and functions well even in areas with extreme weather conditions. However it is advisable to invest in driveway heating systems so that snow does not accumulate on the driveways during winter.
Asphalt driveways can be done in different forms. The hot asphalt mix is used in areas with cold weather as it is more flexible. It is a mixture of sand and stone mixed with liquid asphalt cement. The sand and stones are heated before they are mixed with the liquid. Application is done when the mixture is still hot as it makes the process easier and facilitates curing. Chip seals is the other method used. It is the same hot mix but thirty percent of the liquid asphalt is substituted with hot water. When the mixture is applied, the water evaporates causing the driveway to become harder. The surface is then coated with fine gravel to make a hard surface that reflects heat.
Concrete is another great paving material. However, it has high chances of developing cracks during the curing process. Cracking is prevented by use of expansion joints that are placed at three foot intervals on the concrete driveway. The problem is much worse in colder regions. Thus just like asphalt, you need to invest in floor heating to ensure that extreme weather does not damage your pavers. Talk to a contractor and see your options for heated floors and snow melting systems.
To keep the driveway glowing, use some sealants to coat it once in a while. If the pavement has big cracks, then use asphalt cement to fill cracks and let it cure first before recoating. You can also make use of the milling and reclamation machine. This is a machine that scraps off a certain depth of the pavement, leaving the rest intact. After scrapping off, apply new asphalt aggregate. The milling and reclamation machine is normally used for resurfacing roads.