Although installing a new asphalt driveway requires specialized training and equipment that puts the job out of reach for virtually all DIY enthusiasts, it is still useful to know what the process is. A detailed understanding of what is involved will help you read your estimate and keep an eye on the progress of the job. Here are the 6 steps to build a new asphalt driveway.

Build a New Asphalt Driveway

1. Demolition

If you have an existing driveway, regardless of its material, it must be demolished before new installation can begin. Look for forklifts, dump trucks, and other heavy machinery. The pieces are then hauled away for recycling.

2. Grading

The biggest source of damage to asphalt driveways is water, which can cause cracking, heaving, and even potholes. To guard against water intrusion, we will carefully grade the soil as needed to ensure proper runoff.

3. Subbase

Next, we will install and compact a durable, long-lasting, aggregate subbase. Ranging from 4 to 8 inches in thickness, depending on the type of soil you have, this subbase acts as a frost barrier and provides a solid, stable support for the new asphalt. Aggregate comes in a variety of thicknesses, and multiple types may be used depending on your needs.

4. Binder

With the subbase down and settled, a binder of large aggregate and oil is laid on top. This adds strength and durability to the finished driveway.

5. New Asphalt

The process of pouring and compacting the new asphalt goes surprisingly quickly. Hot mix asphalt remains at a high temperature in the truck, but must be smoothed and compacted before it loses its warmth and pliability. A mix of small aggregate, oil, and sand, the asphalt will settle into a hard, shiny, smooth, durable, and attractive surface.

6. Curing

Although your new driveway will be poured and compacted in a matter of hours, it is not yet ready to use. Wait at least 24 hours before walking on the driveway, 72 hours before driving or parking on it, and 30 days before parking any large, heavy equipment on it. Your driveway will take a full year to completely cure, so try to avoid gas or oil spills and place a piece of wood or cardboard underneath any bicycle or motorcycle kickstands. Seal coating your driveway every one to two years can help protect it from damage or water intrusion, extending its life and keeping the asphalt looking its best.

Very few DIYers have access to the heavy equipment that is required to properly install a driveway. However, it is important to know the process in order to keep an eye on the job’s progression. If you have any questions at any time, don’t hesitate to ask!

Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!