Tag: asphalt paving

Driveway Paving Basics

Driveway Paving Charleston SC is one of the most important decisions you can make for your home. The right driveway balances design and utility.

Driveway Paving

Gravel is an inexpensive, easy-to-install paving option. But, it migrates and spreads under the weight of vehicles and needs borders or stabilizing pavers.

Concrete is more expensive, but is considered a cost-effective choice over time. It’s also one of the most durable options.

As the name suggests, the subgrade is the foundation of your driveway. It must be free of vegetation and well compacted. Since a new pavement is such a heavy load, it’s important that the subgrade has enough support to prevent sinking and settling over time. It’s also a good idea to lay down a base course over the subgrade, especially if your soil is soft or has limited load-supporting capacity.

The sub-base is typically made of unbound granular material and goes underneath the layer of asphalt you’ve chosen for your driveway. It acts as the primary load-bearer, spreading the weight of the paving surface evenly across the ground beneath it. The material is usually crushed stone or gravel, but may be cement-bound in some cases.

In addition to being a strong load-bearer, the sub-base also helps improve drainage and stability. A properly prepared subgrade will drain water away from the area, preventing standing water and erosion. It’s important to make sure the sub-base is a proper thickness, too. To do this, it’s often compacted using heavy machinery. This ensures the material is dense and ready to support the weight of the paved surface.

If you’re building a new driveway over existing pavement, it’s important to remove all old materials from the site before starting construction. This includes the concrete, which can be very hard and heavy. It’s also necessary to grade the surface, leveling it and providing the proper slope for drainage. Ideally, the slope should be toward the street and away from structures like your house or garage.

It’s a good idea to start your driveway project in the spring or fall, when the weather is dry. Avoid summer if possible, as the humidity and heat can cause the ground to become too saturated to be worked.

If you’re building a new asphalt driveway over an existing concrete one, it’s important to dig out any soft spots in the existing subgrade and replace them with a proper mixture of rock and aggregate. This will help the new pavement last longer and provide a smoother, more even ride for you and your guests.


Asphalt is one of the most commonly used pavement materials for driveways, roads and parking lots. Yet many people have no idea what it’s made of, or how manufacturers make the mixture that they drive on every day. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that asphalt is actually a much more complicated substance than concrete, with a variety of different mixes and production processes.

An asphalt paving contractor will decide what type of mix is needed for your project, based on the expected amount of load from vehicles on the pavement surface. For example, a large distribution center that expects heavy trucks to be loading and unloading daily will require an asphalt mix with higher shear strengths than that needed for a suburban driveway.

The asphalt mix is composed of aggregates (crushed rock, sand, gravel and/or slags) and a binder. The most common binder is bitumen, but there are also bio-binders that are now available to increase the sustainability of asphalt. The aggregates are mixed with the bitumen or bio-binder in an asphalt mixing plant to form a cohesive mixture. The temperature of the mixture is controlled during the mixing process to ensure that it reaches its desired viscoelastic range.

Once the asphalt mixture is formed, it is stored in heated storage silos until it is ready to be transported to the construction site. Depending on the needs of the job, additional ingredients or additives may be added to the asphalt mixture to achieve specific properties or performance characteristics.

For instance, adding 1.7 percent phosphoric acid will stiffen the asphalt, while 19 percent recycled oil base (REOB) will soften it. The additives are added to the asphalt while it is still in a hot state, so they can effectively spread and compact into place by the roller machine that will be using it on the driveway.

Cold-mix asphalt is a variation of asphalt that is used when the weather is too cold to use hot-mix. It isn’t as strong as hot-mix, but it can be used to patch areas that don’t get much traffic and are only temporary until the weather warms up.


Drainage is the key to a long-lasting and functional driveway. When a paved surface doesn’t drain correctly, it can cause serious problems. The standing water slowly eats away at the base that supports the driveway, and this can lead to structural damage. Not only is this problematic for the driveway itself, but it can also affect the foundation of structures like garages, which are often built right next to the driveway. Foundation issues can be very costly to repair and are typically not something that you want to leave up to chance.

There are several different ways to ensure proper drainage in a driveway. One option is to use French drains, which are long drain pipes that run the length of the driveway and have a grate on top to prevent debris from clogging the system. Another option is to use channel or trench drains, which are much like French drains but can be installed across a larger area of the driveway. These are also covered by a grate to prevent debris from clogging the system.

Swales and dry wells are also effective solutions for drainage. These are usually shallow ditches that can be filled with rocks or vegetation, and they work to slow down the water flow and redirect it to a lower area of the property. This helps to prevent erosion, and it can also help to eliminate auto pollutants that would otherwise wash into our aquifers and rivers.

Depending on your home and landscaping, you may even consider using permeable pavements to manage drainage in your driveway. These are paving materials that allow water to pass through the openings or voids in the paving material and return to the soil below. This considerably reduces the amount of runoff that can potentially cause flooding and other problems.

Whatever drainage solution you choose, it is best to have it installed by an experienced professional to avoid any potential complications down the road. You don’t want to have to replace your driveway, and you certainly don’t want to be stuck with foundation repairs for a damaged or discolored section caused by standing water.

Seal Coating

Seal coating is the final step in the driveway paving process. It creates a protective layer that shields the asphalt from the sun’s oxidation, and chemicals that eat away at the surface of the pavement. It also helps fill in minor cracks and adds a nice deep black finish to the pavement. When applied per the manufacturer’s instructions, a regularly scheduled sealcoating program can more than double your asphalt’s lifespan.

Prior to seal coating, the pavement should be blown or swept clean of any debris and dirt that’s accumulated on the surface. This is especially important if your driveway or parking lot is used by commercial vehicles that tend to leak oil, gas, and other contaminants that can wreak havoc on the surface of the asphalt.

Before applying the sealant, make sure that any minor repairs are filled and that any existing potholes are patched. Also, be sure to tape off any areas that shouldn’t be sealed (like the edges of paver steps or a garage door). Then mix the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the size of your driveway, you may be better off using a roller or squeegee to apply the sealant rather than brushing it. It’s best to apply the sealant in a uniform direction and to move slowly so that you can get an even coat.

Once the sealant dries, it provides a smooth surface that makes your driveway or parking lot easy to sweep clean. It also prevents the leaking of oils, gasoline, and other chemicals into small cracks that can eat away at the surface of your asphalt pavement. A smooth surface is also easier to drive on, and it reduces the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle’s tires and axles.

How to Find the Best Paving Companies

Paving companies offer various services, including new asphalt, paving repair, maintenance, seal coating, striping, and marking and drainage solutions. Paving Companies should be able to meet your needs and provide references from past clients.


Ensure they are licensed and insured to protect yourself if anything goes wrong during the paving process. Also, be clear about the payment terms and conditions.

When it comes to paving, not all contractors are created equal. The best way to find a reliable and efficient paving company is by reading reviews and asking for references. In addition to comparing prices, it is also important to look for reviews about the quality of workmanship and customer service.

A good paving company will provide you with an estimate of the cost of the work and a timeline for when it will be completed. They should also have the proper equipment to complete the job on time and within budget. During the consultation, you should also be sure to ask any questions you may have. This will help you make a decision that will be in your best interest.

You should also ask for referrals from friends and family members who have used a paving contractor in the past. They will likely be happy to share their experiences and recommend a company that they have had positive experience with. You can also search online for paving companies in your area to compare their prices and services. This can be a great way to save money on your paving project.

Paving is a tough job that requires specialized skills and knowledge. A professional contractor will be able to handle the job in a timely manner and will ensure that the pavement is aesthetically pleasing and durable. They will also be able to work in difficult weather conditions and work safely around traffic.

If you’re considering hiring a paving company, it’s crucial to check their licensing and insurance. You should also avoid contractors who do not have a written contract up front. This is a red flag that they’re trying to scam you.

In order to get the most out of your paving project, you should hire a company that has extensive experience in commercial and residential projects. In addition to paving driveways and parking lots, they will have the experience to work on other construction projects, such as sidewalks, curbs, and patios. They will also be familiar with the zoning requirements for your community.

A paving company needs to have a number of licenses and permits to operate legally. This includes a business license, contractor’s license, and insurance. It also requires specialized equipment and supplies like asphalt sealers, shovels, wheelbarrows, tamping machines, and brooms. In addition, the business must be registered with the government to avoid tax evasion and ensure compliance with regulations. It is also important to build relationships with suppliers and contractors that minimize business risks.

A well-written business plan can help a paving company to establish itself in the market and set long-term goals for growth. It should also include a detailed marketing strategy and an outline of all the services that the company offers. It should also explain the company’s competition and the ways in which it can distinguish itself from other paving companies.

The first step in starting a paving company is to research the best locations for the business. The location should be easily accessible to customers and ideally near other businesses that offer similar services. It should also be large enough to accommodate employees and inventory. Finally, the paving company should have a website to attract potential clients. The website should be mobile-friendly and load quickly. It should also provide information about the paving company’s experience and customer service.

It is essential to choose a licensed and insured paving company. Unlicensed paving contractors are not familiar with local permit requirements and can cause expensive mistakes. Furthermore, if you hire an unlicensed paving contractor and something goes wrong during the project, your homeowner’s insurance may refuse to cover the damages.

You should also avoid paving companies that do not have a website or require large deposits. This is a sign of poor work quality and unreliable customer service. Also, beware of paving contractors that are evasive or vague when answering questions. These red flags should serve as a warning sign for you to keep searching for another paving company. The time spent finding the right paving company is worth it, as shoddy work and accidents can cost you more in the long run.

Like any business, a paving company must have insurance and liability policies in place. These policies protect the company in case of an accident, lawsuit or other issue that could devastate a small business. They also ensure that the company can pay for any damages or injuries caused by its employees while on the job. The cost of these policies can vary widely, depending on the type of policy and coverage limits. However, it is essential that a paving contractor has these policies in place to protect itself and its clients from financial disasters.

Liability insurance for paving contractors is one of the most important policies that the company must have in place. It covers any damage that the paving company may cause to people or property while working on a project. For example, imagine that a customer’s car is damaged when your workers are unloading their equipment. If your paving company has liability insurance, the customer will be reimbursed for their damages.

Another important policy for a paving contractor is commercial auto insurance. This type of insurance is required by most states and protects the company in the event of an accident. It can also cover the costs of any medical expenses or repairs to any vehicles that are damaged while transporting equipment to a client’s site. It is important that the paving company has this insurance in place because it can save them a lot of money in the event of an accident.

A paving company should also have workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. This insurance will cover the medical bills and lost wages of an employee who is injured on the job. It will also provide compensation for any family members who are affected by the injury.

In addition to these policies, a paving company should have a general commercial insurance policy. This type of policy, which is also known as public liability insurance, is required by many contracts and can help a paving company defend itself against claims of negligence or poor workmanship. Its cost is typically less than $400 for a $5 million cover and higher limit options are also available.

The paving industry is a diverse and competitive field. In order to succeed, it’s important to build relationships with contractors in your area and provide referrals. This will help you gain a reputation for quality service and increase your customer base. Besides relying on word of mouth, you should also focus on marketing your business by using the internet to promote your services and find new customers. A website is a valuable tool for this purpose, as it allows you to control and update the information about your company. You should also consider setting up a booth at local events and trade shows. In addition, you should purchase specialized equipment such as asphalt sealers and tamping machines, as well as safety gear including gloves, hard hats, and reflective jackets. You can buy these items from a local store specializing in paving supplies.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) is an invaluable repository of knowledge in the paving domain. Their steadfast dedication to advancing interlocking pavement systems positions them as a crucial resource for those contemplating alternative paving solutions that are environmentally friendly and visually appealing.

When choosing a paving contractor, it’s important to select one with years of experience and a track record of quality work. They should be able to explain their process in an understandable manner and be transparent about any potential obstacles that may arise. Ideally, you should meet the contractor in person to establish a rapport and a foundation of trust.

A reputable paving company will be able to provide you with references of previous jobs that they have completed. You can use these references to determine whether they are a good fit for your project. Typically, these companies will also be able to answer any questions you have about the job and the pricing. They will also be able to explain any specialized terms and concepts that you might not understand. This is a great way to avoid being scammed by a fraudulent contractor. Ultimately, it is important to hire a reputable paving company that has all of the necessary skills and equipment needed for your project. If you hire a paving company that is not licensed or insured, you could end up paying for the costs of injuries or damages on your property. This is why it is so important to ask your paving contractor about their insurance coverage and licenses.