Ask the Experts

The following questions are some of the most frequently asked by our clients. We hope you find these useful, and encourage you to click here and forward us any others that we may have missed. In order to view the answers, just click on the question.

What should I expect after completion?
What is asphalt & Petroleum based product?
When Should my new asphalt be sealed?
Why does my asphalt heave in the winter?
How long should I wait to have my binder top-coated?
What causes potholes?
Why does asphalt need to be sealed?
Precautions for Blacktop...

Q: What should I expect after completion?

A: You can expect:

Small amount of aggregate (stones) will be exposed on either side of the driveway. After one year , add topsoil to cover aggregate and to support the driveway edge.

Oil residue on the surface - these spots will disappear after time.

Roller creases will disappear after time

Twist marks are very common during the first two years.To help avoid twist marks keep the vehicle moving when turning the wheels.

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Q: What is asphalt & Petroleum based product?>

A: Crude oil mixed with sand and gravel, and heated to 350 deg.

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Q: When Should my new asphalt be sealed?

A: After the second year.

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Q: Why does my asphalt heave in the winter?

A: Heaving is caused by water below the driveway base. Since most driveways are only 10-12 inches below the surface, a deep freeze (10-15 inches) will cause the water to freeze and swell. This could cause heaving. However, this heaving will subside in warmer weather.

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Q: How long should I wait to have my binder top-coated?

A: 3-5 years. Usually binder settles after a few winters.

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Q: What causes potholes?

A: Potholes form because asphalt eventually cracks under heat and stress from traffic. Cracks will let water seep into the base. During the cold weather, the water freezes and expands. Subsequently, gravel and dirt is pushed out, which leaves a hole.

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Q: Why does asphalt need to be sealed?

Protection Against Spills.
Oil, gas and other spills cause not only unsightly stains, but also begin working at destroying your asphalt.

Protection Against Weather.
Winters can cause a lot of damage to asphalt surfaces. If not properly sealed, moisture can find its way into the asphalt and as it freezes and thaws, it weakens the asphalt.

Maintain Appearance.
A properly sealed driveway looks good...and stays looking good! When your asphalt is cared for, the rest of your property will also become more beautiful in appearance. Not only will you be happy, so will your neighbors.

Easier Cleaning.
It is much easier to sweep clean sealed asphalt and clear it of ice and snow. Ice does not stick as readily to a well sealed asphalt surface. You will spend less time clearing your driveway, with better results.

Sealing Is Economically Sound.
When you consider the cost of repaving your driveway versus the cost of sealing, you will discover that this maintenance will save you a lot of money over the long term.

Maintain Property Values.
Asphalt that is cared for can help increase the over all value of your property as well as those in your neighborhood. Prospective buyers want to see that the property has been maintained.

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Q: Precautions to prevent unsightliness or deterioration of your blacktop.
  1. Don't place sharp or pointed objects on a black top driveway. They will cause holes and indentations.
  2. Don't turn the wheels of your car sharply while the car is standing still. It will scuff the surface. Start the car moving and gradually turn wheels while car is in motion. These power steering scuffs do not indicate a material defect and in many cases nearly "heal themselves" in time.
  3. Don't park the car in the same spot each time. Change its position each time you park to prevent displacement.
  4. Don't allow large heavy vehicles in your driveway. Chances are the base has not been designed for it and you will get failure from shearing due to lack of support.
  5. Don't allow weeds to crowd edges. In summer at the peak of their growth they have been known to lift the edges or grow right through the black top.
  6. Don't allow snowplows in driveway without a warning to keep the blade high enough from the surface to prevent gouging and scratching.
  7. Don't allow gas or oil to spill on driveway since it will dissolve the asphalt from the stone and create an unsightly hole.
  8. Don't seal your driveway immediately. Follow your contractor's recommendations as to how long you should wait before sealing it. All black top driveways should be sealed at least after one year, using only a coal tar base, water emulsion type sealer which will protect against gas and oil drippings.
  9. Don't drive or park near edges of your driveway unless it is contained inside a concrete or stone curb from which it can be supported. Follow your contractor's recommendations on what to do with the pavement edge.
  10. Don't expect a puddle free surface unless you particularly request a greater than normal slope to your driveway or it is on a hill. Most driveways are too small for the use of a sophisticated paving machine used on road projects. A great deal of the paving is done by hand spreading and a perfectly smooth surface cannot be achieved. There also might be some minor settling depending on type of sub-grade.
  11. Don't be alarmed by the roller creases left by compacting equipment. Most contractors can iron most of them out but they are a sign that the pavement was rolled when it was still hot enough for better density and compaction. They nearly disappear in time.

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