If you’re tired of looking at and walking on a cracked driveway, then perhaps it’s time to pave a brand new one. In that case, consider constructing the new one out of asphalt. It’s flexible and relatively affordable while also being quite durable. That’s why it’s now one of the most popular choices for driveways.
What Is Hot Mix Asphalt?
Hot mix asphalt or simply ‘hot mix’ is a driveway paving material that’s made out of stone, sand, asphalt and a petroleum substance that has tar-like qualities. The material has to be heated to about 150 degrees Celsius in order to melt it and make it malleable. Hence, you have to work it with it quickly before it cools and solidifies. In that regard, it is similar to concrete.
Hot mix is quite similar to what you see road crews working. When it comes to paving a new driveway with asphalt, it’s definitely not something that you should attempt on your own. We recommend that you hire a local contractor to get the job done.
Why Asphalt Is Better Than Concrete
Concrete is another popular choice for paving driveways. If you’re wondering which of the two is more suited for you, consider the following pros that asphalt has over concrete:
- Asphalt has greater flexibility which means that it is less likely to form cracks.
- It’s a cheaper purchase than concrete, which is great if you’re on a tight budget.
- Asphalt is generally more weather-proof than concrete.
- Asphalt sets faster than concrete, which is beneficial if you want the job done quickly.
- Resurfacing asphalt is so easy that you can do it yourself. However we recommend that you hire the best asphalt and high quality road repairs in Melbourne for more extensive work.
How Is Asphalt Installed?
First of all, asphalt driveway needs a proper base to lie on. There are three main options for installing a base:
- Using your existing driveway as a base – provided that it isn’t cracked to a great extent, the hot mix can be installed right on top of your existing driveway. However, you must make sure that the final driveway reaches a height that is consistent with the garage floor.
- Installing on soil – this requires you to get rid of your existing driveway completely (if you have one) and lay the asphalt directly on top of soil.
- Installing on an aggregate stone base – the preferred ration is 6 to 8 inches of aggregate under 3 inches of hot mix.
After the hot mix is poured onto the base, the asphalt needs time to harden and settle. You’ll be able to drive your vehicle on it after two to three days but it’ll take around a month or so to fully cure. Before the month elapses you should take care not to scuff the driveway with your tyres.
It’s best to install asphalt during warmer seasons. When it’s cold, the asphalt will harden quicker and so there’ll be less of a time window to work with the hot mix.
And that’s all you need to know about using asphalt as a driveway material!