How Much Does Driveway Asphalt Installation Cost?

March 19, 2020

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Asphalt installation is an excellent choice for driveways and other paved areas around a home, as asphalt offers lots of traction along its durable surface. Asphalt’s dark color also provides a great contrast for lawns and landscaping, without the need for constant paint and other upkeep.

Asphalt installation is typically priced by the square foot, with most homeowners paying between $3.50 and $4.50 per square foot. Some asphalt installation contractors charge by ton, with average prices falling between $100 and $150 per ton. Typical driveway asphalt installation costs average just over $2,300, with charges ranging up to $10,000 for long driveways and thicker asphalt layers.

No matter your home’s driveway asphalt installation costs, it’s vital to ensure a safe surface for vehicles and pedestrians outside your home. Damaged asphalt is not only unsafe, it also makes your entire property look rundown and dingy!

If you’re in the market for asphalt driveway installation, note some vital information about this material and why it’s becoming more and more popular for residential properties. It’s also good to review your asphalt requirements, such as the depth or thickness needed and choices for surface aggregate.

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Repair of road covering

Is Asphalt Installation a Good Choice for Driveways?

While concrete has long been a popular choice for residential driveways, walkways, and even patios, there are many good reasons to consider an asphalt installation for your home. Check out some advantages of asphalt versus concrete and be sure you discuss your options with a paving contractor as needed, so you know you’re happy with your new driveway and other such areas for many years to come.

  • The dark color of asphalt cuts down on glare even during the brightest summer days! If you live in an area with lots of bright sunlight, asphalt installation provides added visibility and safety when behind the wheel.
  • Asphalt’s dark color holds heat, reducing the risk of snow freezing into ice during wintertime.
  • Darker colors tend to hide stains and other unsightly imperfections, so your asphalt driveway might look cleaner and like new for far longer than if you choose concrete for your property!
  • The bumpy surface of asphalt also provides more traction than slick concrete, an especially vital consideration during wintertime. Added traction also reduces the risk of slipping and skidding during heavy rains or if the pavement is wet for any reason.
  • The aggregate along asphalt’s surface reduces the risk of standing water and resultant blacktop damage. If your property tends to have drainage issues, if you often wash your car in the driveway, or need added protection against water puddles for any reason, asphalt is an excellent choice for your property.
  • If concrete seems a bit dull and gray, consider dark asphalt for your property! Various aggregate mixtures also offer different color tones and shades so you can enjoy a reddish, slate gray, blue tone, or other such shades for your driveway without the hassle and cost of concrete paint and stain.
  • Minor asphalt repair is typically easier to manage on your own than concrete repair! Filling asphalt cracks and potholes might require only some patching compound and a tamping tool, whereas concrete repair often involves mixing heavy, cumbersome batches of new material.
  • Asphalt installation is often far less expensive than concrete paving, making asphalt a perfect choice for homeowners who plan on staying in their home for years to come! Rather than facing costly concrete installation every time your driveway or patio suffers severe cracks and spalling, you might opt for affordable chip and seal installation or a new, inexpensive layer of asphalt over the current layers instead.
  • Porous asphalt absorbs noise. If you live near a noisy roadway or school, asphalt installation might reduce that outside noise. Asphalt is also an excellent choice for areas where you might entertain or where children play, as the material also absorbs impact! Your kids might find playing basketball on an asphalt driveway more comfortable than on concrete.
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Why the Thickness of Asphalt Installation Matters

When scheduling asphalt installation for your home, your paving contractor might recommend a certain paving material thickness or depth. Don’t assume that he or she is just trying to make more money by selling you more product!

To help you choose the right asphalt thickness for your property, note that asphalt installation starts with an aggregate base, usually 6 to 8 inches thick. This granular base provides asphalt a solid foundation, keeping it in place as it sets and cures and provides protection against absorbing water from the underlying soil.

Asphalt is then poured on top of this base then rolled and compacted into place. A two-inch thickness is often sufficient for a residential driveway, as a thinner layer might not be strong enough to withstand the weight of most everyday vehicles. Trying to save money by “skimping” on asphalt thickness might mean added repair costs over time, so that you wind up paying more for your asphalt driveway in the long run.

On the other hand, don’t assume that an overly thick asphalt driveway is a good choice. Unless you own a very heavy motor home, boat on a trailer, or another such vehicle, you might waste money on a three-inch or four-inch asphalt thickness.

If you’re like most homeowners, your vehicles might also drive over that asphalt just a few times every day. Commercial parking lots need thick asphalt to support heavy delivery vehicles and excessive traffic, but just a few inches of asphalt is often sufficient for residential properties and personal vehicles.

Also, note that you can only add so much asphalt before it becomes too heavy. If you choose an overly thick asphalt layer now, this might reduce the number of times you can apply a new layer to cover over damage. In turn, you might need to tear up and replace asphalt more often than otherwise necessary, costing you more money over time.

How Long Asphalt Installation Lasts, and How to Maintain It

Asphalt installation typically lasts from 7 to 25 years, depending on the quality of material and installation process. Investing in a skilled asphalt installation contractors means a quality job, with less risk of damage over time. It’s also vital that you choose an asphalt thickness appropriate for the weight of vehicles on your property.

Your property’s soil condition also affects asphalt. Improper or poor drainage allows water to collect under asphalt, leading to eventual cracks and potholes. Soft, sandy soil also provides a poor base for asphalt so the material then shifts and settles, leading to cracks and potholes.

To keep asphalt in good condition, ensure proper drainage of your property. If you notice areas of muddy soil, standing water, or wilted vegetation, schedule an inspection and consider adding drainage trenches, retaining walls, and other such measures.

Regular power washing also removes damaging motor oil and other automotive fluids, corrosive snow salt, storm residues, built-up dust and mud, and lawn care chemicals. It’s also vital to avoid using snowplows and other sharp tools and machinery along asphalt, as these risk scratching and otherwise damaging the pavement.

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Should You Resurface Asphalt or Replace a Driveway?

Asphalt resurfacing or a chip and seal installation fills in minor cracks and unsightly imperfections, offering a stable and attractive surface. A new chip sealant also replaces lost or damaged aggregate, providing additional traction. An asphalt resurfacing is also typically cheaper than new asphalt installation!

While you might want to avoid asphalt installation costs as long as possible, driveway resurfacing is not always recommended! First note the extent of damage; if more than one-third of the surface is covered in cracks, spalling, and potholes, you might pay almost as much for repairs as you would for a new driveway. Some cracks and potholes are also too extensive for quick repairs or a chip and seal, and your only option for creating a safe surface is new asphalt installation.

A very old driveway might not offer a strong base for resurfacing, so that your new asphalt layers soon chip and crack. You then need to pay for otherwise avoidable repairs! It’s also vital to consider your property’s soil condition. If poor drainage has created muddy and soft soil under your home’s driveway, you might consider a full tear-out so your pavement contractor can create a more durable base for your pavement.

Related Questions

How much does one ton of asphalt cover?

The thickness of asphalt layers affects how much coverage you’ll get from one ton of material. For a half-inch thickness, one ton of asphalt might cover about 315 square feet. For layers several inches deep, one ton of asphalt might cover less than 80 square feet.

How do you fix a sinkhole in an asphalt driveway?

The best way to fix a sinkhole in an asphalt driveway is to cut out the sinkhole and asphalt around it, then schedule new driveway asphalt installation for that damaged area. New asphalt ensures the pavement’s strength and durability and is your bets protection against future damage.

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