Contact Us For Paving In Weatherford, TX
Paving a parking lot or driveway with asphalt uses about 95% sand, gravel, or stone held together by asphalt cement. Hot Mix Asphalt (or HMA) is a recyclable, durable, energy-friendly, and inexpensive way to provide a smooth and long-lasting surface for your vehicle’s parking space.
Is There a Difference Between Asphalt and Blacktop?
Yes, there are differences despite using asphalt to describe streets and blacktop to describe driveways and residential paving. It turns out that blacktop is a type of asphalt material.
To describe a material as asphalt only requires that it uses crushed stone and a mineral called ‘bitumen.’ Bitumen is what gives streets and parking lots their distinctive black color.
Blacktop contains these two ingredients too, however it contains a higher mixture of stone than bitumen. Blacktops also require higher temperatures than other mixtures.
Blacktops are also frequently used on residential areas and playgrounds because, while still durable, it is less durable than asphalt used for streets and highways.
Asphalt is also much smoother, creating a smooth surface for drivers, reducing the wearing down of the surface and vehicles while also decreasing the noise produced by moving vehicles.
Overall, asphalt is a great option for anyone looking to pave their driveway or any surface meant for vehicles. Not only does it stand to the test of time, but it also sets very quickly and reduces the life of ice in winter months.
How Many Years Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?
Asphalt pavement can last up to 30 years! This, of course, depends on the soil types below the driveway or parking lot, as well as how well the soil drains and how much traffic is involved. 30 years is on the high end of the spectrum, so most asphalt driveways will last 12 to 20 years, and this largely depends on proper maintenance.
Laying out a new asphalt driveway or replacing an old parking lot is only the beginning of creating a long smooth and long-lasting surface for your vehicles. Protecting your parking spaces only requires sealing your asphalt every few years as well as being sure that there is a good several inches underneath the pavement to ensure proper water drainage. The longevity of your asphalt pavement also depends on how long you allow it to settle and cure.
How Long Does it Take for Asphalt to Fully Cure?
When you first place a new layer of blacktop or asphalt, you must wait at least 3 full days before parking or driving on it. This does not mean that the HMA has fully solidified or cured. You are still allowed to walk on your parking surface, but vehicles will still be too heavy until those few days have passed.
The time to harden and cure your asphalt parking lot or driveway requires 6 to 12 months. Until then, it will still feel soft and pliable. To be sure that your parking lot makes it through this time without cracking or breaking, you will want to take a few precautions.
First of all, you shouldn’t park in the same spot. If you continue to park in the same area, it will smash the asphalt and create cracks or even potholes by depressing on the same section of your parking lot.
Secondly, you can water down your asphalt on hot days to temporarily harden the material when you are expecting more weight on the surface.
On that note, you do not want very heavy vehicles to drive or park on newly your newly paved parking lot or driveway. This especially applies to the edges of the pavement if there is nothing to support the sides.
Also, try to keep your asphalt free of gas spills, antifreeze, oil, or other fluids. These could dilute the HMA mixture and cause holes or cracks that will turn into bigger problems when the seasons change.
The best way to keep your asphalt parking area free of any problems is by seal coating the new surface of your driveway or lot 6 to 12 months after paving. Sealing is a simple way to fill the porous surface to protect it from freezing temperatures, dripping cars, and an overly dry environment.
Asphalt Paving Weatherford