We all love DIY projects. Such projects allow us to learn something new and express our creativity. Besides, such projects help us to save money, that we’d have otherwise spent hiring professionals to do the job. However, certain DIY projects like asphalt paving require one to know certain things to get the job right.
So, here’s how you can get your DIY paving project right.
When you opt to do DIY asphalt paving, there’s a possibility that you will need to get some equipment that you don’t own. Therefore, you will need to make some arrangements to borrow or rent equipment like a dump truck, skid steer loader, roller, plate compactor, and wheelbarrows, among other asphalt hand tools. Please note that you cannot start a DIY asphalt paving project without such tools.
Preparing the site
You will need to prepare the site where you want to pave. Note that the quality of your work depends on the preparations that you make. When preparing the site, you need to take your time, and avoid economizing the materials. If the site has existing asphalt, make sure that you remove it completely. Besides, you will need to make considerations on how or where you should dispose of the asphalt that you remove from the site. You can consult with your asphalt supplier to see if they can take the old asphalt.
Next, you need to dig out and get rid of the base if it’s muddy, loamy, or clay. A good and strong base is essential if you want your asphalt to last. Now, you should replace the material that you removed with fresh material, mostly referred to as dense grade. Typically, this is a mixture of small stones and stone dust. You can also use high-quality gravel if you can access it.
Then, you will need to make numerous passes with a plate compactor—and this should be from different directions. This helps in compacting the base and making it firm. Also, don’t forget to lay out the base to cater for a drainage slope, which should be 1 inch in every 10 feet of length or width.
Laying the asphalt
If you want your asphalt to last long, you will need to do the job properly—that follows the two-stage installation process. First, you will need to lay down a layer of binder, followed by the topcoat. Any reputable asphalt supplier must have the asphalt binder, which you should start with.
Typically, asphalt binder is sold per ton, and it’s very hot, with an approximate temperature of 450 degrees F. therefore, you must exercise extra caution when handling this material, otherwise, you risk serious burn injuries.
To get the exact amount of material required, you will need to use the following formula: width x length x your desired thickness (which should be converted into feet) x 0.72. Then, you will need to round up the final figure, and add a safety margin—the last thing you want is running out of materials when you haven’t completed the paving project.
Next, you should start at one end or back of the driveway and then start paving towards the street. During this stage, you will need at least two people helping you with carrying wheelbarrow piles of asphalt
Also, you will need extra two people—one person to spread the asphalt, and the other one to level it. When spreading the asphalt, ensure that you make it a bit thicker than the thickness needed, as this will give you some allowance for compacting it. Don’t forget to use a light varnish of diesel one each tool that comes into contact with the hot asphalt, as this prevents it from sticking. Then, you can start rolling or compacting once the asphalt starts to cool. You need to exercise extra caution during the stage to ensure that you compact your newly laid asphalt evenly.
Making your asphalt driveway last long
According to the asphalt paving experts from ABC paving & sealcoating, an asphalt paved surface can last up to 20 years. However, how long your driveway or parking lot will last will depend on your maintenance practices. The following tips will help you keep your asphalt driveway in a good condition for a longer period.
Clean oil and fuel spills quickly
Oil and fuel spills can damage your asphalt driveway or parking lot since they make the affected part soft, and prone to damage. So, you need to clean these spills with a kitty litter or sand, which soaks up most of the mess and then spray the area with water.
Schedule regular maintenance
Yes, you might have done DIY paving, but you’ll need an expert to repair your asphalt driveway. Some of the common damages that should warrant a professional repair include cracking, crumbling, or dips because of water damage, temperature changes, or aging.
Parking your car on the same spot every day can compromise the integrity of your asphalt driveway. This. You need to park in different spots, even if it’s just by a few inches, and this will go a long way in making your asphalt last longer.
Allow the asphalt to cure before using the driveway
Yes, you might have that excitement to park on your newly paved pavement. However, parking on the pavement before the asphalt has cured can cause some serious damages. Thus, you need to give your pavement at least 24 hours to fully settle before putting it into use.