In my early days as a Real Estate Developer, when I first started searching for the different options of building driveways, I came across the paving option. Like everyone does, I too had some questions regarding the paving process. What is the paving process? Is it any simpler than a concrete driveway? Can I even afford it? What are the pros and cons? What are the options available in the market? What time of the year is best for paving? What happens to a newly paved driveway if the rain occurs? Can a driveway be paved in the rain? And many more.
I am sure, regardless of being a real estate investor or developer, you have had those questions in your mind at a stage too. If it’s now, this article is for you, where, I set out on a quest to find the answers to these questions and confirm them below.
In this article, I am discussing all these concerns along with some findings on this topic too.
Before anything, let’s be clear what I meant by a driveway.
What is a Driveway?
Simply put, a driveway is a road which connects a property to the main road. It is a short path. A driveway may be owned by an individual or a group of people who owns the property depending on to how many houses (buildings) the driveway provide access.
If a property has a driveway, the people can usually park their cars on it. Thus, clearing the public road for the traffic.
Building a driveway is considered very important as it completes the whole look of the property.
Things to Consider Before You Pave a Driveway
First thing first, there are some things you should clear when you are planning about paving or concreting your driveway. Generally, when people choose paving option for their driveways, they have two things in their minds.
Number 1: they want their property to look visually appealing.
Number 2: they are looking to make an investment for a long time as paving is known for its durability.
Keeping these things in my mind, you need to have a set of requirements. There are many choices for paving the driveway. The amount of traffic you intend to have on your driveway or the number of cars you want to park determines what type of paving material you are going to use.
2. Cost and Area
When you have a clear understanding of the type of paving material you want to use, the next step is the budget. Dare I say, its the most important step.
In this step, not only you will determine your budget but also decide the area you want to allocate for the driveway. That is because the area of the driveway directly affects the budget of the driveway.
When you are done deciding the area, then you can start asking for the quotes.
When asking for the quotes, don’t rely on one installer or contractors. Just like different material options are available, there are also a variety of options in the market for the installers.
You can start asking them questions after telling them your requirements and your budget. It’s very important to choose the right person for the job. So, choose carefully the person or the company you think you can trust.
Tip: check the reviews posted on the website of the installers. This guide explains how to raise capital for your property developments.
3. Local Law
Local Council plays a very important role in the construction of the driveway. In some cases, they can even tell you the type of material you can use. So, check with your local council before going ahead with the installation.
Let’s now focus on maintenance. Getting a driveway is a sort of commitment. It needs maintenance. Whenever you are getting a driveway, make sure you can actually commit to its maintenance.
With the paving option, you won’t have to worry about maintenance that much. It’s very convenient in this regard.
The Difference Between Paving and Concreting
Paving and concreting the driveways are both very popular choices. Both are different in some aspects.
Sometimes, with so many choices, you can be overwhelmed. To solve this confusion, I have rounded up some differences between concreting and paving.
Following are some of the differences between the Concrete and paving style:
In asphalt paving, tar works as a paving an adhesive binder. It’s inexpensive and easy to find.
It’s also very easy to repair.
You can walk on your driveway a few hours after the installation of the asphalt paving.
In most cases, the cost of asphalt paving is less than that of concrete, but that again depends on the country you live in.
The asphalt paving works really well in the snowy areas because the black color of the paving absorbs heat in it. Asphalt paving doesn’t work well in the areas with hot weather.
Now, let’s talk about how concreting is different from paving.
In most cases the cost concrete a driveway is so much more expensive than the paving option. The concreting is not an easy process.
You cannot walk or drive for several days to weeks on a newly concreted driveway. It’s more aesthetically pleasing as compared to the asphalt paving. That is because, a variety of designs can be stamped on it.
However, the installation cost and the repairing cost is more than that of asphalt paving. You may have to pay an additional amount, if you are looking for a customized design for the driveway.
In terms of weather, concreting is not a good option for snowy areas. It’s quite difficult to clean the snow off the concrete driveway. Sometimes, the snow can cause the driveway to crack. When this happens you have to take out the entire slab, so for this reason, its best suited for the hot areas.
Best Season for Paving the Driveway
Depending on the type of material you are using, your driveway will be paved in a certain season.
In the case of paving, the best time for paving the driveway is the time of Spring season. The warm time of Spring season will help make the mixture better to work with. As a result, it will form a smoother surface.
Of course, you can also have your driveway paved in winter or summer. But it will be very difficult to do so due to the involvement of snow in the winter and extreme weather in the summer. So, you can say that weather really have an impact on the Paving process.
The Ideal Temperature for Paving the Driveway
The ideal temperature for paving the driveway is 70 Fahrenheit (21-22 C). It’s around the beginning and the end of summer which is ideal for paving.
Can You Pave a Driveway in Rain?
As mentioned above, the ideal paving time is spring and (early and late) summer when the temperature is above at least 60 Fahrenheit (over 15C) and under 85 Fahrenheit (under 30C). So, it’s never good to start a paving project in rain.
There are 2 basic problems with installing pavers in rain.
- Number 1: The asphalt paving (a type of paving material) will cool faster in the rain. The cooling rate will also explode if the foundation is wet. It can create numerous problems in the installing process.
- Number 2: The asphalt must be properly compacted in order to form a proper bond. It’s very difficult to reach a certain compaction in rain. More effort will be needed to ensure the proper temperature in order to achieve adequate density.
So, its best not take any chance when you are installing your new driveway. Do it right and do it once, but avoid the rain at all costs. Feel free to postpone the installation, if the rain comes in your way.
Would Rain Hurt a Newly Paved Driveway?
It depends on the amount of rain. It won’t matter if there is little rain, but in case of heavy rainfall, the water will seep through the newly paved driveway. That can cause cracks on the surface. These cracks can cause a stripping phenomenon.
Paving Driveway Options
There are a variety of options for pavers available in the market. Some of them are given below:
1. Brick pavers
A mixture of baked and molded clay forms a Brick. This type of paver can last up to several decades with proper maintenance. But it is considered one of the most fragile type of paving option. That’s because the strong weather can cause the clay chips to disintegrate.
2. Concrete pavers
A concrete paver is made by concrete molded into a shape of a brick. It’s stronger than concrete slabs. It’s a favorite among the people.
In terms of longevity, it works better than bricks. Concrete pavers can last up to 25 to 30 years with proper maintenance.
It’s a type of paving material that is formed by blocks of quarried natural stone. Out of all the options available of paving, this one is most durable.
It can last up to a century with minimum maintenance. It also looks aesthetically pleasing.
4. Asphalt paving
Asphalt is a popular choice for North America. It’s a very economical option.
It works really well in snowy areas. It has a black color that absorbs heat that helps to melt the snow.
It is only available in black color though.
It requires sealing every 3 to 5 years.
Paving Process of Asphalt
Just like every other process, asphalt paving consists of a number of these steps.
Step 1: Demolish and Remove
The first step of the paving process for asphalt is to demolish the existing surface. The entire surface is demolished and removed with a help of heavy equipment (e.g. bod cat). After this step, the debris is removed from the surface.
Step 2: Grading and Sloping
The first step clears out the surface. In this step, the installer will prepare the surface for the draining of water.
It’s a very crucial step as water can really damage the whole process.
Step 3: The preparation of Sub-Base
This step is the most important step of the entire paving process. The stable surface of the sub-base acts as a support for the new pavement. The sub-base also acts as a barrier and lessens the damage caused in the winter season by thawing and snowfall. So, this step is needed to be done properly.
If the sub-base top is not appropriately put, it won’t be able to provide durability.
Step 4: The repairing of Base, undercutting and proof roll
After the grading and compacting the sub-base is done, there comes another step. It’s a called proof rolling.
This step is done in order to ensure, the surface is strong enough to support the new pavement. This process involves a quad-axel dump truck that is loaded with 72,000 pounds. This truck is then driven over the surface. If the surface, flexes more than inch under the truck, it means the surface is not supported properly.
The soft areas found by the proof rolling are repaired by undercutting. In this process, the installer digs the surface to 2 to 3 ft. The underlying soft clay is replaced by a strong aggregate material.
Step 5: Binding and Surface coursing
It is now time to add the binder to the already smoothed surface. The binder layer is made up of large aggregate and oil. It’s very strong and durable.
The binder layer can be described as the strength of the new asphalt surface.
Step 6: Install new asphalt surface
When the supportive structure of the new asphalt is installed, a top layer of fresh asphalt will be added. It will be done to provide a clean and smooth ride. The surface of the asphalt is made up of a mixture of sand, small aggregate and oil.
This mixture creates a jet-black asphalt that will provide a smooth and shiny ride.
Step 7: Transition and Butt joints
It’s a very rare case in which the new asphalt is not being installed on the old one. The points where the old asphalt meets the new one is called Butt joints. The transition of these points is a very crucial step. It needs to be done with the utmost attention.
Step 8: Final roll
After the new asphalt and the butt rolls are joined, the whole surface is then smoothed out. With the help of the roller track, the pavement surface is compacted. It is to ensure that no small bumps remain.
Note: your contractor will follow these steps. Make sure to tell them what you want.
All things considered, its best to putt off having any work done on your driveway till the spring seasons arrive. Getting a driveway is an investment. You don’t want to take any chance with it. It’s also a first someone will see when they enter the property. It also increases the resale value of the property. So, discuss before with great detail about your plan of action. Waiting for the right time is the best possible action.
Planning well with your contractor will also help a lot. They can guide you about the best option.