Asphalt Driveways – Cost-Effective and Quality Paving in Newport and Cardiff
August 8, 2019
If you have a crumbling or cracked driveway, you know how inconveniencing or even dangerous it can get. Let alone the expensive repairs involved, damaged driveways can affect the integrity of nearby structures and thereby causing a much bigger damage.
While your Newport and Cardiff driveways are bound by the laws of natural attrition to deteriorate with time, the choice of material is extremely important. There are many driveway surfacing materials in the market that you could go for, but asphalt is one of the most cost-effective, durable, and flexible.
The Nature of Asphalt
Asphalt is derived from petroleum and has a tar-like quality. It is normally heated to temperatures of about 300F before being mixed with stone and sand and used while hot.
If it is the first time you are thinking of having your Newport or Cardiff driveway asphalted, you may confuse hot mix with driveway sealants. Even those asphalt patching materials that resemble hot mix, they differ in that they are cured differently. Installation of asphalt on driveways is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires professionals who are skilled and experienced in putting every parameter to test.
Comparing Asphalt to Concrete Driveways
It is not for nothing that asphalt is the go-to driveway paving material for many homeowners. It has lots of qualities that make it a desirable option to other materials including concrete. Here is what asphalt will do to your driveway that concrete cannot match.
Flexibility to loads and the environment: As opposed to the rigidity of concrete, asphalt is flexible and is built over a base and subbase of stone and gravel. This flexibility makes it less prone to cracking.
Cost-effective: Maintenance cost aside, asphalt is much cheaper to install compared to concrete. The only major factor that affects the pricing of asphalt is crude oil prices. That being said, the cost per square foot of asphalt ranges from £2.10 to £3.30. Compare this with concrete that costs anything between £3.50 and £6.00 per square foot. Stained concrete would even cost much more.
Climate tolerance: If you live in areas with extreme temperature ranges, the material you choose for driveway surfacing matters a lot. When it becomes cold and freezing, frost heaving tends to put pressure on concrete causing it to crack. While it is a normal practice to de-ice roads with salt, it has been shown to have side effects in concrete driveways. It creates pits and makes driveways blotchy. Asphalt on the other hand is hardier and can withstand the abuse of ice melt and rock salt pretty well.
During installation, asphalt tends to set faster because it hardens by way of cooling instead of curing. This combined with the fact that you can repair asphalt driveways yourself using sealants, makes it an attractive paving material.
Getting the Best Outcome from Asphalt Paving
The choice of a Newport or Cardiff in South Wales asphalt contractor is arguably the most crucial factor in getting a properly paved driveway. The professional you settle for must be experienced in laying and testing the stability of the base courses. There are different approaches used including paving on soil and on aggregate bases.
The choice of paving season is also a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. The most suitable times to asphalt driveways is in spring and summer. This is because of the warmer temperatures that create a conducive environment for working with hot mix. Improper timing can result in a bumpy, irregular, and uneven driveway.
Remember to always ask your contractor to give you examples of projects they’ve worked on for reference and verification.