From Our

FAQ & Care Blog

Congratulations on Your New Driveway.
We are pleased that you chose O'Brien Paving. We are confident that these tips will answer all of your questions.

Since the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to harden and cure, usually 6-12 months, your driveway will remain soft. You may walk on your driveway that night, but keep your cars off it for at least 3 days and longer in hotter days. Your new driveway will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall.  Watering down your driveway or parking area on hot days will cool and temporarily harden the blacktop. During the first few months while your driveway is curing don't park in the same spot every time.  Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving. Avoid using jacks and ramps unless you put a piece of wood under them. Lawn chairs,  bicycle and motorcycle kickstands can create depressions in your driveway. Avoid spilling gasoline, oil, anti-freeze and power steering fluids. These can dilute the liquid asphalt in your blacktop. Any hole left by spills should be filled with cold patch . Any hair line cracks that may have developed over the winter due to contraction and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler.

 

**IMPORTANT:  Your new asphalt will take time to fully cure/harden.
This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months depending on conditions.**

 

What is Hot Mix Asphalt: It is an engineered mixture of aggregate, or stones and sand, with liquid asphalt cement, a petroleum product. Varying sizes of aggregates are heated, then mixed, in exact proportions, with asphalt cement that has been liquified at about 300 degree's. While the Mixture is still hot, it is delivered to your driveway and paved on top of a base or subgrade that has already been prepared. Soon after paving, the mixture cools and hardens, you will then be able to drive on it in 3-4 days.  However, especially on hot days or before it has cured, you should avoid turning your car wheel without being in motion... don't use car jacks or other heavy metal items such as patio furniture, grills, kick stands and ladders.

What you Receive with Hot Mix Asphalt: You will recognize several benefits with Hot Mix Asphalt, Compared to other, more costly options.

 

  •     It is strong and durable
  •     It is engineered to withstand freezing and thawing
  •     No need to worry about salting your driveway in the winter. Hot Mix Asphalt is unaffected by salt

Most Importantly Hot Mix Asphalt is the most cost-effective option you can choose. Just as it has for millions of homeowners around the world, Hot Mix Asphalt can last many years for you with only minimal maintenance.

About Quality Controls:  there are hot asphalt mixtures of various types. Some mixtures are smoother on top then others, some have a higher content of asphalt cement than others. A word of warning: If someone knocks on your front door and says, "We have a load of asphalt that was left over from paving nearby and we can pave your driveway at a bargain rate if you pay cash", don't take him up on it. Asphalt that is "left over" from another job will be too cool to make a good pavement at your house. Anyway, as with any other business transactions, you want to know whom you are dealing with before proceeding, so making a deal on the spot doesn't make any sense for you.

Full-depth Asphalt: The Best Option
Full-depth hot Mix Asphalt driveways are built entirely of Hot Mix from the soil subgrade up. Full-depth driveways keep water out of the pavement. So water never enters the pavement to swell when it freezes. Full-depth asphalt provides a better balance of strength and flexibility, plus durability, than any other material. For the improved soil stability, it is recommended that topsoil containing clay be removed or modified. A solid subgrade requires thorough compaction. Paving with Hot Mix follows. A 4-inch thickness my be adequate for a stable driveway under a wider range of climate and loads. As an option, some contractors use 6-8 inches of compacted aggregate, or gravel, as a base under 3 inches of Hot Mix.

Here is a cost saving tip: If you can arrange with some neighbors to have all or some of your driveways paved at the same time by the same contractor, savings will result for all owners because that gives a paving contractor economies of scale.

Placing an Overlay: Driveways of either asphalt or concrete can be overlaid with Hot Mix Asphalt, with excellent results. Usually for driveways, a surface courses of 1-1/2 to 2inches thick will suffice. Before paving, be sure the contractor patches any serious holes or cracks with Hot Mix and compacts it. Otherwise trouble spots may carry upward through your new pavement.

Maintaining your Driveways: If designed and built correctly, a Hot Mix Asphalt drive way will give you years of effective service. A high-grade asphalt emulsion sealer (sometimes called bituminous emulsified sealer) should be applied every 1 to 2 years, depending on your climate, wear pattern, and the like. driveways that are sealed regularly look better and last longer. Emulsion sealers consist of asphalt cement treated to mix with water. once applied, the water evaporates, the material hardens and the surface is waterproof. For Driveways on slopes, some sealer contains sharp sand that will provide added traction.

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Whether you have an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway, cracks are likely to be a problem at some point. Water that seeps under the driveway freezes and thaws, creating cracks. These cracks usually worsen over time as grass and weeds grow in between them. Some of the materials used to repair asphalt and concrete differ, but the process is generally the same.

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