FAQs about Asphalt Paving

Q.  What exactly is asphalt made of?

A.  Asphalt is a mixture of  heated sand, stone, and asphalt cement (AC).  There are various asphalt mix designs for various paving applications.

Q.  What is chip and seal?

A  Chip and seal is a low cost alternative to asphalt paving.  A thick layer of liquid asphalt emulsion is sprayed on the existing drive then a layer of limestone or gravel is placed over the liquid.  Chip and seal gives the appearance of a loose stone or gravel driveway except the stone is bound in place by the emulsion

Q.  How long before I can drive and park on my newly paved driveway?

A.  We advise our customers to keep vehicles off the fresh asphalt for 2-3 days.  We also suggest that you do not park heavy objects such as campers and trailers in the exact same spot for extended periods.  This is critical in the hotter summer months.  It takes several months for asphalt to completely cure, parking heavy objects for long periods of time on a new driveway may cause low spots or "sinking".  If you must park something heavy on a newly paved surface, move it around frequently for the first few months.   Excessive back and forth movement of your steering tires while the vehicle is stoped causes a grinding effect on the fresh asphalt.  Refrain from turning your steering wheel unless the vehicle is in motion.  Excessive back and forth movement of the tires while the vehicle is stoped causes a grinding effect on the fresh asphalt.

Q.  What is infrared asphalt repair?

A.  Infrared repair uses a machine to heat old existing asphalt to workable temperature so new asphalt and or rejuvenating agents can be blended in for spot repairs.  Common uses include: pot hole repars, low spot or water hole repair, and repair of heavily cracked or damaged areas.  The end result is a completely seamless repair.  Sealcoating over top of seamless repairs can make an old and heavily damaged area look like a new paving job.  Infrared repair can be performed year round.

Q.  How often should I sealcoat my new driveway?

A.    We reccomend sealing roughly one year after a fresh paving job, and every two to three years afterwards or until the existing sealer starts to look worn and thin.

Q.  How much does asphalt paving cost per square foot?

A.  We get asked this one a lot.  The truth is, there is no real answer to this question.  There are several factors that come into play when estimating a paving job.  Evaluation of existing sub base is very important.  Laying new asphalt over a badly cracked, soft, or otherwise poor sub base will almost always result in premature failure of the new asphalt.  Vehicle traffic is another important factor.  Paved areas that see a lot of meduim to heavy truck traffic will require a much heavier and stronger paving profile than that of a typical residential driveway that only ever sees the family car or pickup truck.  Oil prices are also a major factor in the cost of a new paving job.  Plants use fuel to produce asphalt as well as the liquid oil (AC) in the asphalt itself, delivery trucks as well as the paving equipment all burn fuel in order to get the job done.  In general higher oil prices mean higher paving costs and vise versa.  Most experienced and reputable paving contractors will supply you with an estimate free of charge after evaluating your project in person.  In fact, be cautious of anyone who is willing to give you a sight unseen paving quote over the phone, chances are they are not the contractor that you want doing your job.