We are happy to answer any/all questions you might have about our asphalt services here at Saul’s Paving. Here are some frequently asked questions:
Q – Is there a time of year that is better to install a brand new asphalt driveway?
A – We typically begin paving in early April and pave right up until Christmas. Basically as long as the ground is not frozen we can pave asphalt.
Q – What will you need to do to prep my property for a new asphalt driveway?
A – Each property is different and must be evaluated. Many factors will determine the type of prep work needed for your property, such as the sub-base and the soil that are under your current driveway. The preparation phase consists of us tearing out any old asphalt or soil and bringing in gravel to the proper grade and pitch. We then compact the gravel to 100% compaction to prevent any future settling. At Saul‘s Paving, we believe in educating our customers about the entire process and we will explain what will be required in order to create the best-looking and functioning driveway for your unique location.
Q – How long does it take to create a new driveway?
A – Our customers are always surprised at how quickly we are able to construct a brand new asphalt driveway. The entire process takes less than 2 days, most of the time it’s completed in just one day.
Q – How many inches of asphalt is needed?
A - For residential clients, driveways are typically paved at around 3″ inches, and in commercial applications around 4″. When it comes to working with asphalt, thickness is not the only factor, a solid foundation beneath the asphalt is essential in supporting the asphalt. At Saul‘s Paving, we always use more gravel than needed because we know this is what makes our driveways last.
Q – How much should I budget for a new driveway?
A – Each project is unique and there are a number of different factors that could affect the overall total cost for the job. Call us for a FREE estimate and we will be happy to come out to your location and discuss with you all of your driveway needs.
Q - Do I need to worry about damage to my yard or landscaping?
A - You will never have to worry about your landscaping or yard being damaged when working with Saul‘s Paving. Every job we do we treat like a job we are having done at our own homes. Keeping things looking nice is as important to us as it is to you! Special concerns when it comes to landscaping can always be discussed with a Saul’s Paving trained professional.
Q – What can I expect from my finished driveway?
A – Immediately after paving, most driveways will be very dark in color and will appear to be very smooth. Depending on the type of driveway and the materials used, some variations in texture and color will be seen and are completely normal. Over time, most driveways will change in texture and the color will become lighter. Again, this is completely normal and is no cause for concern.
Q – How long do asphalt driveways typically last?
A – An asphalt driveway that has been properly installed using quality materials should last anywhere between 15-20 years. Many factors can affect a driveway’s longevity, such as the local weather conditions, sub-soil conditions, drainage and usage.
Q – How long after paving can I drive and park on my new driveway?
A – You can drive and park on your new driveway after 3 to 4 days if you are careful.
For the first couple of summers, especially on very hot days:
• Never turn the wheel of your vehicle when in a stopped position
• Avoid parking in the exact same spot every day
• Pointed items such as kick stands, motorcycles, and car ramps may cause depressions.
If you do have a few minor scuffed areas the sunlight will smooth the surface over time.
It can take up to 12 months for the asphalt to harden and cure.
Q - My car left tire scuffmarks. Are they permanent?
A - Tire scuffmarks are caused when you turn your car's steering wheel while the car is stationary. If it is a hot day and the asphalt has not completely cured, the surface will get a blemish like grinding your heel into a soft substance. Over time, most of this will become less noticeable.
Q - What should I do to help prevent the edges of my driveway from cracking?
A - The edges or 'shoulders' of your drive are one of the most vulnerable areas of the driveway. If you put a lot of weight on the edge (say by driving your car or lawn mower right to the edge), there is the possibility that the edge will crack or break off if it is not properly supported. We try to help the situation by creating a 'beveled edge' on the side of the drive with a 45° angle to defuse the pressure. You can help by installing seeded topsoil against the finished height of the asphalt once the job is completed.
Q - Our car is leaking oil on the asphalt and it is causing it to deteriorate. Why is this happening?
A - Asphalt is a petroleum based product and oils, gasoline and brake fluids act like a solvent, causing the surface to soften and become more susceptible to damage.
Q - I have grass growing in my new driveway. How can this happen?
A - Properly compacted asphalt has 10% air voids in it. If a seed of grass gets into the mix and germinates - viola! - We have grass. The best thing to do is spray the area with 'Round Up' to kill the grass.
Q - What kind of warranty do you offer?
A - We offer a standard one year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials. A detailed explanation of our warranty is available on the back of our contracts. Some of our competitors offer longer warranties than us, however, they can not compete with our dedication to our customers. Saul’s Paving has been in business for over 20 years. In that time there has never been a customer who has had an issue with their driveway that wasn't addressed no matter how old their driveway was. If Saul’s Paving installs a new asphalt surface for you and a problem arises 5 years down the road we want you to know that we will be here to address the problem and try to find a solution. Its a promise from our family to yours.
Q – What can I do to make sure I get a quality asphalt driveway installed?
A – Call Saul’s Paving at 518-756-3059 and set up an appointment for a free consultation. With over 20 years experience serving customers, Saul’s Paving will provide the best solution for your investment.
• Asphalt FAQ:
Q - What is the difference between resurfacing and seal coating my driveway?
A - The main difference is that resurfacing/ rehabilitation is a structural repair that will extend the useful life of your asphalt surface. It entails the patching (if necessary) and resurfacing of the entire surface with a new overlay of 1 ½" to 3" of hot bituminous asphalt. Seal coating is not a structural repair and may be likened to painting your house. The seal coat protects and extends the life of your asphalt, but does nothing to correct structural flaws. Seal coating, accordingly, is substantially less expensive than resurfacing your driveway.
Q – Can I just put a new layer of asphalt over my existing driveway?
A – It is possible to just overlay a new asphalt driveway over an existing driveway in an effort to reduce costs. However, the customer should know that any cracks or broken areas of asphalt may rise to the surface eventually. After evaluating your driveway we would advise if overlaying is an option based on a few factors.
Q - Can I get asphalt in any color other than black?
A - Essentially all asphalt is black. When the aggregates (stone) are mixed together with hot asphalt cement, the mass of material becomes black. Over time, as the asphalt oxidizes, the coating on the aggregates breaks down and the color of the aggregate starts to show through. This can lead to a 'grayish' color if the asphalt plant uses a light color aggregate.
Q - Why does asphalt appear to have different textures in different areas?
A - Asphalt is comprised of roughly 95% varying sized aggregates and 5% black asphalt cement. While the mixes we use are all state approved, the appearance and characteristics of the mixes from the asphalt plants will vary. It is natural to expect a variation in the surface texture of the asphalt between loads and in different areas of a paved surface.
Q - My driveway has areas that are deteriorating. Should I wait a year or two and get the entire driveway resurfaced or address these specific areas now?
A - Much like the repair of rot in a piece of wood on your house exterior, it is significantly cheaper to repair deteriorated areas before they start to spread than to wait and rehabilitate the entire driveway. Typically a dollar spent on repairs in the first half of a driveway's life will cost $4 to $5 to repair at a later date.
Q - I am concerned about the aesthetics of patching my driveway.
Will it look OK?
A - This is one of the trickiest questions we get. And the answer is 'it depends'! Once we patch part of your driveway, it will be a black area in the midst of your existing graying surface. If your driveway has been seal coated previously, the new asphalt will also have a more porous texture. This does not bother some people, as they know that they are protecting the investment that they have in their driveway. Others see it as an eyesore and have the whole driveway resurfaced or seal coated after the patching is completed.
Q - What exactly is sealcoating?
A - Sealcoating is a process not unlike painting your house. The asphalt in your driveway can deteriorate due to exposure from the sun, heavy traffic or oil spills. The sealcoating process involves spray applying an asphalt or coal tar emulsion to help protect the asphalt from the elements.
What sealcoating is not.
The important thing to remember about sealcoating is that it is a cosmetic process and is not a structural repair. If your driveway requires any patching or crack sealing, these must be done first before the sealcoating takes place.
Q - How often should I sealcoat my driveway?
A - We recommend Sealing your new asphalt driveway the first year, the second year, then every few years after that, or when it starts to look ‘dry’.
Q - My driveway has a lot of cracks. Will you crackfill these?
A - As part of the production process, we will hot crack fill to fill significant cracks. We define significant as cracks of roughly ½" or more wide. In general, if the asphalt has extensive 'alligatoring', you will still be able to see the random cracks through the sealcoat.
Q - What will the finished product look like?
A - Sealcoating gives your property a uniformly black color that many people find very attractive. When you examine the surface, however, you will still be able to see areas that have been crack filled or patched due to the different texture of the asphalt. Worn asphalt that has been previously sealcoated has a much smoother appearance than new asphalt that is just sealcoated the first time.
Q - Do you have any suggestions for making the production process run smoother?
A - Yes. If you have a lawn sprinkler system, please make sure to shut it off. While we will barricade areas that we have sealcoated, you should advise your lawn service and trash pick-up to stay OFF of the surface for at least one or two days to prevent scuffing.
Q - When can I drive on my newly sealcoated driveway?
A - Every situation varies due to the weather, but as a rule of thumb you should stay off the drive for at least 1 to 2 days to allow the sealcoating time to properly cure so that it doesn't track onto adjoining areas or scuff.
Q - Can you sealcoat in any type of weather?
A - No. Sealcoating should only be done when the ground temperature is at least 40 degrees and rising. Colder than this and the sealcoating tends not to adhere to the asphalt surface very well. We do not schedule sealcoating projects when rain is imminent, but if the product is down for 2 or 3 hours before a sudden summer rain shower, the surface has generally set adequately to prevent washing out of the sealcoating.