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How to Prepare for Your Asphalt Paving Service

If you're planning to hire an asphalt paving service, there are several very important steps you need to take before your asphalt pavement installation begins. Following these steps will help ensure the success of the installation, so your paving lasts longer and looks better. This can be an expensive undertaking, so ensuring that things go smoothly is important. According to The Spruce, you can expect to pay between $5 and $7 per square foot for a new asphalt driveway installation. To avoid wasting time and money, we highly recommend that you follow the advice shared in this article.


Before you can start an asphalt installation, you need to prepare properly. You'll need to prepare all the relevant paving material unless the asphalt paving service you're hiring will provide everything you need. You'll need high-quality road base and paving materials as well as grading equipment.

Design and Demolition

To begin your new paving project, it's essential to develop a comprehensive and well-thought-out design plan. Once the design phase is complete, the next step is demolition. Whether the area currently has asphalt pavement, concrete, or pavers, it's necessary to remove them to make way for the installation of the sub-base and pavement in the future. Once the existing surface has been demolished, it's crucial to effectively dispose of the debris. If the debris consists of old asphalt, proper recycling methods should be employed to handle it responsibly.


The subgrade, or soil beneath a driveway or road, plays a critical role in the final outcome of the project. Different types of soil possess varying expansion/contraction properties and react differently to water. Soils with high clay or shale content are considered unstable, which can lead to buckling and shifting under loads or varying weather conditions over time. To address this issue, unsuitable soil must be excavated from the subgrade and replaced with a more suitable material. In cases of new construction, topsoil, vegetation, and roots should be removed prior to adding any new materials. Furthermore, it's important to compact the subgrade soil to ensure stability. In situations where trenching for utilities or other services has occurred, it's crucial to fill the trenches with sand and gravel instead of soil to prevent settling. This should be followed by compaction before adding road base material.

After the sub-base has been thoroughly graded and compacted, it's advisable to perform an additional step known as a proof roll. This process is essential in verifying the strength and readiness of the underlying surface to support the new asphalt. It involves systematically driving a loaded dump truck, weighing 60,000 pounds or more, row by row across the entire surface. During the proof roll, if the gravel flexes more than an inch under the weight of the truck, it indicates inadequate support in the base. Identifying soft areas in the sub-base through this process necessitates making necessary repairs in the compromised sections to ensure overall support. These repairs involve excavating the affected areas to a depth of 2 or 3 feet below the surface and replacing the weak clay or soil with a stronger aggregate material.

Road Base and Drainage

When dealing with areas that have poor drainage, you need to consider the soil conditions. To enhance stability, it's advisable to incorporate a geo-tech fabric between the sub-base and the road base. The sub-base and road base alike should be compacted to ensure stability. According to our asphalt contractors, the typical thickness of a road base ranges from 6 to 10 inches, with greater thickness required for larger and heavier vehicles or loads.

To facilitate surface drainage, it's important to ensure proper grading of the roadbed. The roadbed should have a slightly elevated center that slopes towards the edges at a ratio of at least a quarter inch per foot. This crowning effect should continue onto the finished asphalt paving surface upon project completion. Once the sub-base is laid and any soft areas have been identified and repaired, the next step involves adding the binder layer. The binder layer consists of a mixture of large aggregate and oil, rendering it highly durable and robust. The binder layer can be seen as the foundation for a resilient asphalt surface.

Weather Considerations

You have to plan ahead and consider the weather conditions when undertaking paving projects. Once the road base has been properly compacted and graded, paving can commence. When choosing an asphalt paving service, it is important to note that asphalt pavers are complex machines. If not well-maintained, these machines can result in subpar paving outcomes. Weather conditions play a significant role, and it's essential to have a minimum temperature requirement of 45º F for successful asphalt paving, according to our team. Moreover, it's advisable to avoid paving during rainy conditions. It's also important to be cautious if the asphalt paving company is under a contract deadline for another project, as this may prompt them to work on your project under unfavorable weather conditions in order to meet their schedule.

Required Installations

Prior to commencing the asphalt laying process, it is vital to incorporate butt joints at the junctions where the driveway intersects with sidewalks, curbs, and garage floors. Furthermore, it's necessary to install butt joints at any point where older asphalt meets the newly laid pavement. The primary objective of these joints is to establish a more consistent and uniform surface upon project completion. Additionally, these connections enhance stability and minimize the risk of warping and deformities.

Filling Cracks

After completing the necessary preparations for an asphalt job, the next step involves repairing damaged sections of the existing pavement. This encompasses addressing minor cracks as well as larger holes and fractures. In certain cases, you may opt to perform a skin patch, which involves applying a thin layer of asphalt over damaged areas without modifying the existing pavement layer. This technique effectively restores the integrity of the pavement and ensures a smoother surface.

Clean and Coat

After the installation of butt joints and the completion of filling or patching damaged sections, the next step is to thoroughly clean the surface of the pavement. It's important to ensure that the entire surface is uniform and free from any debris, rocks, or other unwanted materials on the driveway. Once the surface is cleaned, the next task is to apply a tack coat to the repaired layer. This tack coat plays a crucial role in binding the new asphalt pavement to the existing layer, promoting a strong and seamless connection between the two.

ADA Compliance

If you're planning to put new asphalt down for your business, there is something you need to keep in mind. Your parking lot will have to meet ADA compliance requirements. This will be the last part of your installation project. You will have to ask the asphalt paving service working with you to add the required road surface markings as well as the rumble strips to roadways that require them. For ADA compliance, you'll also have to add parking stripes and accessibility markings.

Once you have followed the necessary steps to adequately prepare the pavement for asphalt paving, you are now prepared to proceed with the final layer and complete resurfacing. The new layer of asphalt should have a thickness of 2 inches and achieve a seamless, smooth finish, according to our experts.

To ensure a successful outcome, it is crucial to acquire the appropriate tools and collaborate with a dependable asphalt paving service. Make sure to research the service you want to hire and make sure they have the right experience and skills to complete the project you've got planned. Don't team up with a service that is cheap but unprofessional. Contact us at A-One Asphalt Paving to get started!


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