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Understanding the Driveway Paving Process

Driveway Paving

A paved driveway adds value to your home and is an attractive property feature. There are many materials to choose from including poured concrete, asphalt, and pavers. Budget and style considerations guide material choices. Your climate should be factored in, too, since some materials handle the weather better than others.


Driveway Paving Summerville SC is more visually appealing and easier to maintain than gravel. However, paving your driveway requires heavy equipment that most homeowners cannot access. It also requires professional paving contractors who have the expertise to ensure a quality finished product. This is why it is important to understand the paving process so that you can be an informed consumer.

First, the existing surface of the driveway is removed. This can involve saw-cutting the old surface and hauling it away for disposal. Next, the area is graded and pitched for proper drainage. This will prevent the water from pooling on the new surface and creating damage over time. Large driveways may need drains installed in strategic locations to manage water flow and minimize potential flooding issues.

Then, the sub-grade is prepared by spreading a layer of geo-textile fabric over the entire site. This material will prevent the soil from shifting when it freezes and thaws, which can create damage to the new pavement. Finally, the sub-grade is topped with a lift of runner-crush stone and compacted in place using heavy machinery. This forms the base of the new road and provides strength to the asphalt surface that will be laid over it.

Once the sub-grade is prepared and both lifts of runner-crush stone are put down, the binder course can be applied. This is the “weight-bearing” layer of asphalt that utilizes bigger aggregate sizes than the top course. We typically install this with a self-propelled paver and compact it with a dual drum roller to ensure a consistent, high-quality finish.

If your new pavement is joining an older paved or concrete surface, a “tack coat” is required to promote bonding and allow for smooth transitions. This is a thin liquid asphalt emulsion that is applied to the surface and then rolled over with a drum roller.

Once the tack coat has set, the final asphalt surface can be put down. We generally use a double-drum vibratory roller to achieve a high-quality finish that will last for years. It is important to work with your paving contractor to develop a maintenance plan that includes regular sweeping, washing, filling of cracks before they become too large and tending to foliage that could be carried by the wind and sprout in the cracks.


The type of material used to pave your driveway is a key consideration for both aesthetic and long-term performance. Popular paving materials include gravel, asphalt and concrete.

A good paving contractor can help you choose the right material for your driveway based on climate and geography. For example, the right paving materials will be flexible enough to withstand freeze-thaw cycles without damaging the sub-grade or leaving unsightly tire marks. They will also hold up well to salts that are needed to melt snow and ice.

Gravel is a durable and economical option that comes in various colors to complement your home. It is a permeable material that allows water to soak through, so the soil underneath can retain nutrients. Another environmentally friendly option is recycled gravel made from crushed concrete that would otherwise be thrown away.

Asphalt is a highly versatile material that is widely used for public roads and highways. It has a low initial cost, and requires very little maintenance beyond periodic resealing. It is also a popular choice for homeowners, as it holds up well to winter weather and resists cracking.

In order to create asphalt, a sub-grade is constructed, which can be made up of clay, sand, loam, or silt. This is then covered with a layer of 1″ minus stone, which is like regular runner-crush but more finely ground. Dependable Paving recommends a 10 inch thick stone base, which is installed in two lifts (or layers).

The first layer is called the binder course and is the weight-bearing component of the asphalt. This uses a smaller aggregate, usually quarters, nickels and dimes, than the top course, which is filled with larger pieces of aggregate. Both the binder course and the top course are installed over a geo-textile fabric, which prevents the underlying soil from sticking to the asphalt and causing premature wear.

Once the binder and top courses are installed, your paved surface is ready to be driven on! Over time, asphalt can become rutted, which is an unsightly and unsafe condition for both pedestrians and vehicles. Rutting can lead to mud, slush and ice that is hard to shovel and can cause cars to skid or spin. It’s important to maintain resealing on asphalt every two to four years to preserve the life of your driveway.


Homeowners have many options when it comes to paving their driveway. They can choose from a variety of materials, including gravel, asphalt, and concrete. In addition, they can select different colors and patterns to match their home. Choosing the right material is an important factor in determining how much the project will cost. The price of the material is typically the highest expense, but labor and square footage also contribute to the total cost.

Choosing the best paving contractor is an essential step in the process. Before hiring anyone, homeowners should request references from previous customers and check out their Better Business Bureau rating and online reviews. Additionally, they should ask if the contractor is licensed and insured. Finally, homeowners should get a detailed quote in writing from several contractors. This will help them compare prices and choose the best option for their budget.

The type of paving chosen will also affect the cost. For example, a concrete driveway is more expensive than a gravel one. Heated driveways are another high-end option that can add to the cost. Also, periodic maintenance can drive up the cost. For instance, a gravel driveway may be the cheapest to install, but it will require raking and replacing lost gravel regularly.

Paved and coated driveways are often a priority for owners of older homes. This is because they provide a safe and convenient way to enter and exit the house. They also offer a calming effect to the environment and can help maintain the value of the property.

In addition, paved and coated driveways are a great alternative to a traditional concrete or asphalt driveway. Compared to these, they are cheaper and easier to maintain. Moreover, they are durable and can withstand heavy traffic and weather conditions.

Whether your existing driveway is in good condition or needs to be replaced, resurfacing may be an affordable option. Resurfacing costs are typically less than replacing the entire driveway and are based on the site’s square footage. Resurfacing is also a great option for old or damaged asphalt driveways, as it preserves the base layer and only replaces the top surface.


Regardless of the material used, all driveways experience some wear and tear that necessitates preventive maintenance solutions. A paving contractor can help you decide what materials are best for your home and provide you with the right care to keep them looking great.

A concrete driveway is durable and requires little upkeep beyond occasional power washing and degreasing. However, the light color of a concrete driveway can stain easily and needs frequent cleaning to look its best. Asphalt is less susceptible to stains but requires routine sealing and resurfacing every three to five years.

Resurfacing your driveway involves replacing the top layer of the paved surface. It is a more cost-effective solution than a complete replacement and can restore your driveway to its original condition.

Asphalt and concrete need regular resealing to protect them from moisture penetration that can crack and freeze the surface, leading to heaves and potholes. Resealing also helps prevent oxidation of the pavement, which is most prevalent in exposed areas.

The resealing process involves preparing the paved surface, which includes eliminating stains and filling cracks. Then, your paving professional will apply the sealant and allow it to dry for up to 12 hours. It’s important to choose a quality sealant that is appropriate for your type of driveway.

Both paver and brick driveways should be regularly sealed with a product made specifically for these types of paving materials. Other generic products may actually contribute to a paver driveway’s deterioration.

It’s important to check for and repair any cracks in your paving surface, particularly those that appear as hairline fractures. Cracks that are left untreated can become larger and create safety hazards for vehicles and pedestrians.

Driveway paving is an excellent way to enhance your home’s curb appeal, but proper maintenance is essential to prolonging its lifespan. Routine resealing, crack repair and weed removal are just some of the steps that need to be taken to maintain your new driveway.

The driveway is a primary point of entry and exit for vehicles and pedestrians, and it’s also an important part of your property’s overall landscape. A properly maintained driveway will improve your home’s curb appeal and value and reduce the risk of accidents and damage to your vehicles and pedestrians.