All You Need to Know About Asphalt Paving Upper Saddle River, NJ by NVN Paving
Introduction to Asphalt Paving
Asphalt paving is an essential part of maintaining a functional and visually appealing driveway. NVN Paving in Upper Saddle River, NJ, provides high-quality asphalt paving services to meet your needs.
Resurfacing vs. Sealcoating
Structural Repair vs. Protection The main difference between resurfacing and sealcoating lies in their purpose. Resurfacing is a structural repair that extends the life of your asphalt surface by patching and resurfacing the entire area with a new layer of hot bituminous asphalt. Sealcoating, on the other hand, protects and extends the life of your asphalt but does not correct structural flaws. Think of sealcoating as painting your house – it’s not a structural repair but rather a protective measure.
Cost Differences As a result of their different functions, sealcoating is significantly less expensive than resurfacing your driveway.
The Black Appearance All asphalt is essentially black due to the mixing of aggregates (stone) with hot asphalt cement. The combination of these materials gives the asphalt its dark color.
Asphalt Oxidation and Color Change Over time, the asphalt oxidizes, causing the coating on the aggregates to break down. As a result, the color of the aggregates starts to show through, potentially leading to a ‘grayish’ appearance if the asphalt plant uses a light-colored aggregate.
Driving on New Asphalt
Curing Period New asphalt surfaces can take over 30 days to cure, depending on temperature variations between day and night. In general, however, you should be able to drive on the surface carefully after two to three days.
Scuff Mark Prevention Tire scuff marks occur when you turn your car’s steering wheel while the car is stationary. If it’s a hot day and the asphalt hasn’t fully cured, scuff marks may appear on the surface. Over time, most of these marks will become less noticeable.
Asphalt Texture Variations
Asphalt Composition Asphalt is made up of approximately 95% varying-sized aggregates and 5% black asphalt cement. The different mixes used for asphalt paving, all of which are state-approved, have unique appearances and characteristics.
Mix Variation Due to the differences in the mixes from the various asphalt plants, it’s natural to expect variations in the surface texture of the asphalt between loads and in different areas of a paved surface.
Roller Marks on Asphalt Surface
Proper Compaction Achieving proper compaction is crucial for a long-lasting asphalt surface. Ideally, 90% compaction is desired. Sometimes rollers leave ‘streaks’ or marks on the drive, but these are temporary and will become less noticeable over several months.
Asphalt Driveway Drainage
Optimal Drainage Good drainage requires a minimum of 2% ‘fall’ for water to run off properly. In simpler terms, the driveway’s grade (angle) should have a ¼” decline for each foot of pavement, ensuring that water runs off effectively.
Solutions for Poor Drainage Many driveways do not have this amount of grade, resulting in water ponding. Various solutions exist for this issue, including drains, swales, and curbs. In areas with less than 2% fall, ponding water is expected.
Paving During Colder Months
Asphalt Temperature When asphalt is mixed at the plant, it’s superheated to over 325°F. By the time it’s transported to the job site and installed, it should still be a minimum of 250°F to allow for proper compaction.
Ambient air temperature and ground temperature play significant roles in how long the asphalt is ‘workable’ and can be properly compacted. This time can range from several hours on a hot summer day to just 10 minutes on a chilly fall morning.
Preventing Edge Cracking
Supporting the Edges The edges or ‘shoulders’ of your driveway are vulnerable to cracking or breaking if not properly supported. Adding weight to the edge (such as driving a car or lawn mower right to the edge) can cause damage.
Beveled Edge Installation
To help with this issue, a ‘beveled edge’ with a 45° angle can be created on the side of the driveway to diffuse the pressure. Additionally, installing seeded topsoil against the finished height of the asphalt once the job is completed can provide further support.
Asphalt and Oil Leaks
Asphalt Deterioration Asphalt is a petroleum-based product, and oils, gasoline, and brake fluids act like solvents. These substances can cause the asphalt surface to soften and become more susceptible to damage. Be mindful of any leaks from your vehicle to help preserve your driveway’s integrity.
Grass Growth in Asphalt Driveways
How Grass Grows in Asphalt Properly compacted asphalt has about 10% air voids. If a grass seed finds its way into the mix and germinates, grass can grow. To address this issue, you can use a product like ‘Round Up’ to kill the grass without harming the asphalt.
Addressing Deteriorating Asphalt Areas
Timely Repairs It’s generally more cost-effective to repair deteriorated areas before they spread than to wait and rehabilitate the entire driveway. Spending a dollar on repairs early on can save you $4 to $5 on repairs at a later date.
Aesthetics of Patching
Patching your driveway may result in a black area amid your existing gray surface. While some people don’t mind the look, others might find it unsightly. To improve the appearance, consider resurfacing or sealcoating the entire driveway after patching.
Environmentally Friendly Asphalt Resurfacing
Foamed Asphalt Stabilized Base (FASB) ‘Environmentally friendly’ is a subjective term, but some asphalt options are more eco-friendly than others. Foamed asphalt stabilized base (FASB) is a cold mix process that incorporates recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) aggregates and can contribute to LEED certification.
Sealcoating Your Driveway
When to Sealcoat The frequency of sealcoating depends on the amount of direct sunlight and traffic an area receives. As a rule of thumb, a surface should not need sealcoating more than every three or four years.
Sealcoat Color Options Sealcoating is primarily available in black. However, a more environmentally friendly light gray sealer (which retains less heat) is being developed for commercial use, though it is currently expensive and not widely used.
Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways
Asphalt: Flexible Surface Asphalt is a flexible surface that can flex with use and slight movements of the base, whereas concrete relies on its internal strength to absorb loads and bridge weaknesses in the sub-base.
Cost Comparison Concrete driveways generally cost significantly more than asphalt surfaces of comparable strength, making asphalt a more cost-effective choice for many homeowners.
Asphalt Over Concrete It is possible to install an asphalt surface over an old concrete driveway if the concrete has not deteriorated too much. However, expansion joints in the concrete may eventually cause cracks in the asphalt. The alternative is to excavate the entire concrete drive and rebuild an asphalt or concrete drive from the base up, but this can be an expensive proposition.
Asphalt paving offers various benefits, including flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and an attractive appearance. By understanding the nuances of asphalt paving, you can make informed decisions about the installation and maintenance of your driveway.
What is the difference between resurfacing and sealcoating? Resurfacing is a structural repair that extends the useful life of the asphalt surface, while sealcoating is a protective measure that does not address structural flaws.
How long does it take for new asphalt to cure? New asphalt can take over 30 days to cure, depending on temperature variations. However, you can typically drive on the surface carefully after two to three days.
What causes roller marks on an asphalt surface, and are they permanent? Roller marks are caused by the compaction process and are temporary, becoming less noticeable over several months.