Paving FAQ

If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about paving too often. It only becomes something that occupies your mind when it’s a problem. How can you ensure that paving doesn’t become a problem? The key is knowing – and paving – right the first time. Is concrete or asphalt the right choice? How long will it last? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more. 

How long will a new asphalt driveway or parking lot last?

An asphalt parking lot for a business will usually last 10-20 years. A driveway can last 30-40. This assumes that it is kept clean and seal coated after treatment. This also assumes that the weather isn’t typically extreme. Obviously, any natural catastrophes such as a flood or earthquake could level a new parking lot over night. Additionally, exceptionally cold weather for prolonged periods can be bad for asphalt as well. Finally, it assumes that cars are the main thing using the asphalt, not construction or other heavy equipment. With exceptional maintenance, a driveway could even last 50 years.

How long after asphalt paving is completed before I can drive on it?

This amount of time varies based on the asphalt itself and how it was laid and the weather conditions. The hotter it is, the longer you need to wait, typically maxing out at 72 hours. A good average time in cool weather is 48 hours. Additionally, a small repair will be able to be driven on much sooner (only a few hours after being put in) than a whole new asphalt installation. Remember, asphalt takes 6-12 months to fully cure, and will be more susceptible to damage during this time. 

Why should I consider using asphalt paving rather than concrete for my driveway?

Frankly, asphalt is more adaptable. Concrete is much more prone to cracking, pitting, and breakage in general than asphalt. Concrete is even more likely to get damaged if it is laid on a surface that isn’t perfectly flat. Asphalt is more resistant to the weather, and it’s much easier to repair. Here is a whole explanation of why use asphalt rather than concrete. Longevity, ease of repair, and resistance to damage make asphalt a great replacement for concrete in many situations.

What needs to be done to a driveway before paving?

Before paving, the part of the driveway called the subgrade needs to be worked on. The subgrade is basically the stuff under the pavement. It is made of crushed rocks and stones, with soil beneath it. 

Before the subgrade is ready for paving, the following needs to be done:

  • The earth beneath the future paving should be assessed for stability and structural support.
  • It should be leveled to be as flat as possible.
  • The soil should be treated with a plant inhibitor to prevent plant life growing under the asphalt.
  • A large truck should drive across the prepared subgrade to compact it.
  • The top portion of the subgrade may need to be removed and replaced with another material (a specific material may be necessary depending on the paving type)

Can I pave over concrete

The short answer is yes. However, it comes with a few important caveats. Concrete has something called “expansion joints.” Concrete can’t expand and contract the same way asphalt paving does, so it uses these joints in order to allow movement and prevent cracking. As you might imagine, asphalt paving over concrete will reflect these joints, and they are often major problem areas that develop cracking and damage. Additionally, the sub base beneath the concrete, and the concrete itself needs to be stable.

How long does a driveway take to dry after sealing?

Around 6 to 12 months after laying new pavement, it should be sealed. This prevents weather damage and water seepage. After the sealing process, you will need to wait at least 24 hours for the driveway to dry. This 24 hour period is only possible if it is summer time (sunlight and heat exposure dries it faster) and in dry weather conditions. In more humid conditions or less sunlight, you will want to wait 72 hours. Remember, it won’t be fully dry for 30 days though, and will be more susceptible to oil and other liquid spillage.

How often should you reseal your driveway?

Generally, you can do this every 2-3 years. However, if good weather conditions exist, you can even go 5 years between resealing. Any time you notice visible damage, such as a crack, it’s a good idea to consider resealing.

Why should I choose asphalt pavement for my paving needs?

As we mentioned before, asphalt paving is generally a better choice than concrete. It is more resistant to weather changes, liquid intrusion, and stress from vehicles. Additionally, asphalt is much easier to repair with hot or cold mix kits than concrete is. 

What type of maintenance does asphalt require?

  • Applying a sealcoat every 2-3 years.
  • Filling in cracks as they appear. 
  • Patching deteriorating areas of asphalt.
  • Overlaying the asphalt. This will make it more structurally sound.
  • Cleaning the asphalt. Remove debris, especially solvents like water and oil.

Does your asphalt need some TLC?

If your asphalt is in need of repair, then you have come to the right place. Reliable Paving is an experienced and highly professional paving contractor operating out of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex. Our team of over 200 means that no job is too big, and our experience means we are ready for any paving challenge. For whatever paving services you may need, don’t hesitate to contact us today.