Wouldn’t it be nice to have a driveway that lasts for decades without the need for major repairs? Can you imagine not having any potholes or cracks in your driveway even after years of use? What if the only major maintenance that is needed for your driveway is removing snow during winter?
Well, nothing lasts forever; not even a well-paved driveway. Your driveway will eventually deteriorate, but there are things you can do to reduce the extent of the damage. If you properly maintain your driveway, the repair cost will be less. You can use the savings on driveway landscaping services instead. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
The durability of your pavement will depend on several factors. These include weather extremes in your area, the type of pavement installed, the slope, the weight of your vehicles and the vehicle traffic on the driveway.
The most crucial preventive measures should be done before paving and right after paving your driveway.
Before the installation of the driveway
The preparation of the path on which to install your driveway is crucial. You should prepare it properly to avoid wasting time, money and effort. You should at least consider three factors, namely, the presence of plants, the angle of the slope and the density of the soil.
1. Remove the vegetation and roots
You should remove all the vegetation and roots from the area where you are going to install the driveway. Vegetation such as grass can make the soil weak after getting it paved. If the vegetation is not completely removed, they will rot and cause the soil to collapse.
Meanwhile, roots from trees and other vegetation that are extended under the area of the driveway can expand and lift the pavement, causing it to crack as the trees grow. So, make sure that no roots are growing under the pavement. You may need to uproot nearby trees and transfer them elsewhere.
2. Adjust the angle of the slope
If the land contour in the area where you are planning to install your driveway is on an incline, you should adjust the slope a bit. The angle should not exceed 20 degrees.
As the slope becomes steeper, the risk for soil erosion or soil sliding increases. Your pavement may collapse over time as the soil beneath it gets eroded. You can adjust the angle by placing tiered barriers and compacting the ground.
3. Compact the soil to lay the foundation
You must first excavate the foundation bed at least two feet and replace the soil with gravel.
The ground should be as dense as possible. Use a compactor machine to accomplish this. Allow several days before repeating the procedure to ensure a denser, stronger foundation.
After driveway installation
The few weeks after paving are crucial for the long-term existence of your driveway. You should allow the pavement to harden before using the driveway. Cement, plaster, and asphalt have different curing periods.
1. Protect the driveway
You should protect the driveway from heavy rain, solvents, and granular materials, especially if you use asphalt. A heavy downpour can erode new layers of asphalt, and any granular materials like stones can be embedded on the surface. You should wait at least one week before exposing it; cover the driveway with tarpaulin to protect it from rain or other forms of precipitation.
2. Keep the interlocking bricks clean
If you used interlocking bricks instead of asphalt as paving, you only need to keep it clean and rebuff the polymeric sand content as needed. The main advantage of this type of paving is that you don’t need to wait for curing time.
3. Don’t park or drive on the new pavement for a week
If you used asphalt or concrete as pavement, do not park your car on the driveway or drive on it for at least one week. Allow the fresh pavement to cure. On the other hand, if you used interlocking bricks, you can immediately use it after installation.
Keep it all together
The basic preparations are the same regardless of the type of pavement you use. However, the methods for maintaining your driveway right after installation may differ depending on the type of pavement applied.
The most important thing is to keep your driveway clean so that it can last longer. Even just a few weeks after installation, it is possible that weeds might grow on the surface, causing premature cracks on the pavement.
Also, make sure that the landscape design of your front yard doesn’t compromise the driveway. The driveway should be wide enough and you should avoid having exaggerated curves.
Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father’s shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers’ needs with integrity. No compromises!