What You Should Know About Asphalt Driveways

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An asphalt driveway makes the front of your home look very appealing with the black, shining surface greeting your guests. If you are having your home built, or perhaps you have a gravel driveway and want to pave the surface, there are a few things to know about asphalt driveways that can help you choose the type you want.

Asphalt Materials

Asphalt driveways are made up of several different materials combined to make a pliable and hard, yet flexible, surface safe for your car to drive and park on. It is a mixture of aggregate, which is small stones and sands mixed together and combined with a liquid cement that are then heated to create a thick, but pliable, mixture. It is made up just before being sent to your home and kept in a hot container while it's being applied to your driveway. It will be put onto a subgrade, or a base, that was made ahead of time. It will cool and harden fairly quickly and will be able to be driven upon within a day or so.

Different Looks To Choose From

While the majority of asphalt driveways are usually pure black, solid surfaces, the material makes it easy to have a design if you want one. For example, you can have a smooth surface that looks almost like glass, you can have a colored driveway (such as a nice beige or copper color), or you can have your driveway appear like paver blocks after the asphalt is imprinted. You can work with your contractor to ensure you get what you want for your driveway.

Covering Existing Driveways

What you might not know about asphalt is you can actually use it to change the look of an existing driveway, such as a cement or concrete one. It can also be used to correct any minor flaws in the driveway. This is done by your contractor performing an overlay of asphalt on top of the concrete, cement, or even on interlocking stones. This is a great idea, especially if your concrete driveway has cracks, stains, dents, or you just have gotten tired of its look and want something fresh and inviting. The surface is cleaned before applying the mixture, and the cracks are then filled in with the asphalt. Once the paving job is done, it will look like you have a brand new driveway, without having had to start from scrach.