Residential driveways commonly utilize 2 to 3 inches of asphalt, with 3 inches being sufficient for large vehicles or heavy equipment on occasion. 6 to 8 inches of granular foundation aggregate should be placed beneath the asphalt. You can see earth beneath this.
Roads need to be able to withstand snow and ice loads as well as traffic loads. A driveway that's only 1 inch thick won't be able to handle these forces, so you'll need a road base material that's at least 2 inches thick.
Asphalt is a term used to describe any of several dark colored crumbly substances produced by the hot-melt mixing or blending of bituminous coal tar with various additives. The most common asphalts are soft asphalts which contain little if any limestone and hard asphalts which are mostly limestone. Asphalts can also be made from petroleum products. The word "asphalt" comes from a Greek phrase meaning "glue."
Asphalt is a flexible material that can be rolled out into sheets for use in roofing and other applications where waterproofing is required. It is also used in floorings, because it is easy to cut and fit properly. Asphalt pavement is much more resistant to damage from heat and moisture than concrete, but it does not last forever. Over time, sunlight and vehicle traffic can cause the surface of the pavement to break down.
For passenger car driveways, non-reinforced pavement four inches thick is usual. A thickness of five inches is suggested for bigger vehicles. For adequate drainage, the driveway should be slanted towards the street by at least one percent, or 1/8 inch per foot, to avoid stagnant water. The surface should be smooth and without holes so that it can drain properly.
The depth of a driveway depends on how much use you expect it to get. If you plan to only drive down it occasionally, a shallow driveway will do. But if you plan to be using it often, or as part of your parking lot, a deeper groove will help cars pull in and out more easily.
The best thing to do is take some time to think about what kind of usage you expect from your driveway, and then choose a thickness that fits those plans. You can always add another layer later if needed.
As far as tools go, a shovel will get the job done for most people. If you want a finer grade of gravel, or need more width, you can use equipment designed for the task.
Concrete drives are not the easiest thing in the world to maintain, but they are very affordable. If you plan to drive over dirt instead, now is a good time to start planning your new driveway. It's worth the effort!
Concrete may be laid over asphalt and is an excellent alternative for a driveway basis for residential properties. Asphalt may only be used as a driveway basis if it is at least 2" or 4" thick. Before pouring concrete on asphalt, the asphalt must first be soaked in water. This will make the asphalt more flexible and able to handle the weight of the concrete.
The concrete should be poured slowly in small batches so that it does not become hard before it has a chance to dry. The wet concrete should be poured only onto one half of the asphalt surface at a time to prevent cracking.
As with any other form of concrete, such as for walkways or driveways, it is important to let the concrete cure for at least 24 hours before using it. This will help ensure its durability.
Asphalt may be melted by heating it with a torch or hot air blower and then pouring the molten material from a kettle. This method is useful for resurfacing existing roads and parking lots. The asphalt must be heated until it becomes liquid, which can take up to an hour. Once the asphalt has been heated, it can be poured just like any other form of concrete.
The advantage of this method is that it creates a completely flat road surface that is perfect for low-traffic areas or where a smooth finish is required.
The normal thickness of non-reinforced pavement for conventional passenger vehicle driveways is four inches. This allows you to park your regular family car on it without worrying about it cracking due to weight. Thicker pavements are recommended for heavy trucks or if you plan to use your driveway as a race track.
The minimum thickness required to support a vehicle load is eight inches. Pavement that thin is called "thin-section" concrete, and it's usually found only in commercial parking lots and airports. Thin-section concrete is used because it's more durable than ordinary concrete; drivers can wind up their cars without damaging the surface underneath.
Thick-section concrete is what you find on most residential streets and highways. It can be made from coarse or fine aggregate, but it should be consistent in texture to avoid driving down hills or across bridges with dips and bumps beneath the surface.
Aggregate is the material (rock) that makes up the bulk of concrete: sand, gravel, crushed rock, etc. The type of aggregate used affects how much strength the concrete will have after it sets up. For example, using fine aggregate such as powderized cement slurry instead of coarse aggregate like sand reduces voids within the hardened concrete and increases its density.
This is also the standard size for commercial truck parking lots.
The Department of Transportation recommends that drivers should not stand or park vehicles on ice unless it is an emergency. The warning period when driving conditions are hazardous even without standing on the ice, such as snow or slush, has been shortened to make more room on the road for other drivers who may be avoiding trouble with their own cars.
Ice is a thin layer of frozen water that can form on any surface that is at or below 32 degrees Farenheit. On paved surfaces, this includes most sidewalks and parking lots. Icing over occurs when enough water vapor in the air reaches freezing temperature to create a frosty condition. The speed at which this happens depends on the amount of moisture in the air and the temperature. Fog is slightly thicker than mist and does not disperse so clouds appear white instead of gray.
Ice poses a danger to everyone who drives on it. It can cause vehicles to lose control and crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 100 people die each year in America due to car accidents involving ice.
Asphalt pavement is typically made up of 5% asphalt cement and 95% aggregate. Lower layers of a pavement layer often include bigger aggregate particles that are somewhat less angular than surface levels, when the particles are smaller and more angular. Asphalt pavement is made in three main grades according to density: low-grade, medium-grade, and high-grade.
Low-grade asphalts are the most common type of asphalt pavement. They are lightweight and can be used for parking lots, driveways, or other low-demand applications where cost is not a concern. These types of pavements are usually made with an asphalt binder and a fraction of a percent of softening agents such as petroleum jelly. The aggregate in low-grade asphalts is larger than that used in medium- or high-grade asphalts and generally consists of granite dust, sand, or crushed stone. The larger size of the aggregate reduces weight per square foot and increases durability of the pavement.
Medium-grade asphalts are heavier than low-grade asphalts and are commonly used for roads and highways. They are usually made with asphalt binders ranging from 5% to 7% by weight and may contain up to 1% softeners. The average particle size of the aggregate in medium-grade asphalts is about 2 inches (50 mm).