The Basics of Asphalt Driveways

February 17, 2020

When it comes to installing a new driveway, your two main choices are asphalt and concrete. Though we may be a bit biased, we believe asphalt is the superior choice! Keep reading to learn more about asphalt and what you can expect in terms of asphalt driveway life in Montgomery County, MD.

Laying fresh asphalt

First things first, let’s learn about installing a fresh asphalt driveway. The process starts with laying down four to eight inches of compacted fill. This granular fill ensures there’s a solid base for the asphalt, while providing good drainage for your driveway. After the base layer is down, we add two to three inches of hot asphalt that is quickly compacted with a heavy rolling machine. Newly-laid asphalt can be driven on almost immediately, whereas concrete has to set for up to a week before it can be used.

Proper maintenance

The biggest knock against an asphalt driveway in Montgomery County, MD is that it’s not maintenance free. Unlike concrete—which requires practically no maintenance—asphalt does need to be sealcoated every three to five years. The sealcoating process reduces fading from the sun, guards against oil stains and helps prevent cracks from forming. If cracks do form in your asphalt driveway, they’ll need to be patched up right away to prevent them from growing longer and wider. On top of those two maintenance items, asphalt driveways should be swept and hosed down to remove any buildup or stains.

Asphalt lifespan

Many of the questions we get have to deal with asphalt driveway life in Montgomery County, MD. After all, nobody wants to pay to install an asphalt driveway if it’ll only last a few years. Factors affecting asphalt’s lifespan include proper installation, routine maintenance, climate and usage habits. However, you should expect your asphalt to last anywhere from 12 to 20 years before it needs to be replaced.

Total cost

The cost to install your asphalt driveway ranges from $2 to $5 per square foot. Comparatively, asphalt is twice as expensive as gravel, but only half as expensive as concrete. Along with the size of your driveway, your total cost depends on the contractor you choose to install it. Going with a cut-rate asphalt contractor might save you some money in the short term, but you may end up needing more repairs down the road, which will add up over time and cancel out those initial cost savings.

Choosing a contractor

Don’t just go with the first asphalt contractor you find online. Do your research and find a company that offers fair pricing and high-quality results. There’s no harm in calling around to get quotes from a few different companies around town. We also recommend reading reviews from former customers to make your decision, as you’ll be able to get a feel of the work they’ve performed in the past.

With warmer weather hopefully on its way in the coming months, now is a great time to get a quote for a new asphalt driveway in Montgomery County, MD. Maryland Asphalt LLC offers free quotes for all of our services—call us today to get one!

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