Properly installed asphalt paving enhances curb appeal and reduces driveway maintenance since asphalt is one of the most durable paving materials available. Improper installation and maintenance can create problems down the line, though. Read on to find out about eight common asphalt paving mistakes and how to avoid them to ensure proper installation and maintenance.
1. Poor Planning
Adequate planning is one of the most important aspects of driveway installation and maintenance. Make sure the weather conditions are right, collect all of the materials and equipment in advance, and plan to spend enough time on the project to give it the attention it needs. Homeowners who don’t have experience with laying asphalt should always hire reputable contractors to complete their driveway paving projects and can visit frasercon.com to find the help they need.
2. Using Poor Quality Asphalt
There are many types of asphalt available, but they’re not all created equal. Homeowners who use poor-quality asphalt will, unsurprisingly, wind up with poor results. The solution is to spend the extra money on high-quality asphalt that will create a smooth, blemish-free surface and will hold up to wear and tear and inclement weather for years to come.
3. Ignoring Slope Control and Auto-Grade Systems
Slope control and auto-grade systems are designed to reduce operator mistakes. They’re configured to ensure that the equipment works as intended given the environmental conditions. Make sure the operator is provided with high-quality equipment that features these systems and that he or she knows how to use it.
4. Changing Speeds
Changing speeds while laying asphalt paving disrupts its uniformity. This can create a washboard effect and density issues in the final product. To avoid these problems, make sure the operator knows how to use speed limiters to ensure a clean, consistent application.
5. Failing to Control the Material Head
Precise control of the material head is essential for proper asphalt installation. Allowing fluctuation will create waves and bumps, ruining the smooth surface. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to implement technological solutions like sensors and ensure the operators know how to use them.
6. Over-Turning the Depth Cranks
Inexperienced operators have a habit of moving or adjusting the depth cranks too often. This can lead to bumps and waves in the finished driveway. Avoid the problem by ensuring that operators are provided with the right training.
7. Stopping the Compactor Incorrectly
Stopping the compactor straight on leaves behind an indentation that’s hard to level out. Instead, operators need to stop at a 20% angle to make it easier to smooth out edges. Train the operators to do this every time to avoid unnecessary complications.
8. Improper Application of Sealer
Asphalt driveways must be sealed to prevent degradation. Timing is critical when it comes to sealing a driveway since applying it too long after the asphalt has been laid or right before it rains can lead to early driveway replacement. Whether they’re sealing a newly laid driveway for the first time or reapplying sealant, homeowners should plan ahead and check the weather for the three days following the application to make sure it will be sunny.
The Bottom Line
Installing and maintaining asphalt pavement requires a good deal of training, experience, and finesse. The only way to get professional results is to hire a professional. Homeowners who insist on performing their own installations and maintenance can follow the advice above to avoid some of the most egregious mistakes, but no amount of tips and tricks will make up for a lack of experience.