asphalt driveway

Adrian Cruce

Short Asphalt Driveway Buyer’s Guide

asphalt driveways, driveways

The basic elements of an asphalt driveway are sand, rock, and asphalt aggregate, a liquid tar-like substance. A brand new driveway begins with a 4-inch thick layer of asphalt aggregate for a solid, tough base. After the base material has been laid, the layer of sand is added. This allows for an even application of pressure against the concrete as it sets. Sand serves to level the surface, and gives a smooth feel to the driveway.

Asphalt driveways


There are some cons associated with asphalt driveways, although they pale in comparison to the many advantages. One of the biggest pros is the durability of the material. Since asphalt is a natural product, the material will be able to withstand some natural events like heavy rainfall. If the driveway is situated in a region that gets abnormally high or low precipitation, the asphalt will not crack, break, or become damaged by frost heaving. In the case of a slight change in temperature, it can simply be poured back over the same spot without causing any damage.


Another one of the disadvantages of asphalt driveways is the potential for freezing. Asphalt, like most other materials, will expand and contract depending on the weather. When the weather gets cold, it expands while it contracts when the temperature becomes hot. Asphalt is also prone to thawing when the temperature is near freezing. When this happens, the cracks can become very large, and the tarmac can become quite slippery.

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These factors, coupled with the fact that asphalt driveways are much less maintenance free than concrete driveways, make them much more affordable in the long run. They do require periodic sealcoating, re-coating, sealing and repairing every few years. However, if you compare the price of concrete repairs versus the price of asphalt repairs, you will find that asphalt repairs are much less expensive in the long run, even though you might have to go through some maintenance on occasion.

Another disadvantage of an asphalt driveway is that they are more susceptible to being stained by acid soils and oil stains. These stains can create an unpleasant coloration that can make the area look unsightly. Over time, this can result in the need for additional sealing and repair. In addition, the cracks caused by the elements can continue to widen the space between the driveway and the house. The result is that the house will have to spend more money on repairs over time.

Considering all of these potential problems, it’s clear to see that an asphalt driveway does require more maintenance in order to last for five years or more. The good news is that this maintenance usually consists of only minor maintenance tasks such as applying a thin layer of sealant, sweeping out cracks, etc. Most home-owners will typically do these jobs themselves rather than hiring professionals. But, if you have trouble performing the required tasks on your own, then you can always call upon a professional to assist you in the repairs.

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Contractor Reputation Counts

One of the most important things to consider whenever you are choosing an asphalt driveway Sydney company is the contractor’s reputation. How reliable is the contractor? Does he or she provide a guarantee for their work? If you have questions about how well the contractor performs, ask to see some of his or her prior work. A good contractor will be more than willing to show you examples of past work so that you can get a better idea of how the job will turn out.

Another important factor in choosing an asphalt driveway is the type of maintenance that will be required. For concrete driveways, asphalt maintenance consists of regular weather protection, repaving, sealing, and cracking filler. Asphalt maintenance usually lasts for several years depending on the climate where you live, the amount of traffic, and the amount of wear and tear that your driveway has encountered. To get the most out of your asphalt driveway, you should hire a company that offers maintenance for this particular material. A reputable contractor will work with you to ensure that your asphalt driveway will be able to withstand the heaviest traffic, the least amount of wear and tear, and the least amount of wear and tear over time.