Homeowners often choose asphalt driveways because they are durable, long-lasting, and visually pleasing. Nonetheless, the thickness of the driveway is crucial to its performance and longevity. A thicker driveway can better endure heavy loads, prevent cracking, and preserve its appearance over time.
So how thick should asphalt driveway be? Read more as we’ll explore the factors that determine how thick the driveway should be and the benefits of proper thickness in today’s post.
How Asphalt Is Made?
To fully comprehend asphalt and its production process, it is important to know that it is a combination of aggregate (such as sand, crushed stone or gravel) and a binder, usually asphalt cement. The mixture is heated, mixed in a plant, transported to the job site, and then laid down to create a smooth and durable surface for cars and pedestrians. After cooling and hardening, the asphalt forms a sturdy surface.
The Standard Thickness Of Asphalt
Driveways made of asphalt are usually measured in inches for their thickness. The standard thickness range is two to four inches. However, there are various factors that can affect the recommended thickness for your driveway.
1. Climate – The thickness of your driveway is affected by the climate of your area. If you live in a cold climate with freezing and thawing conditions, you may need a thicker driveway. In warmer climates, a thinner driveway may suffice.
2. Subgrade – Your driveway sits on top of the subgrade, which is the natural soil or rock underneath it. A stronger and more stable subgrade means your driveway can be thinner. However, if the subgrade is weak or unstable, a thicker driveway may be necessary to prevent it from cracking or sinking.
3. Traffic – The thickness required for your driveway can be affected by the volume and kind of traffic it receives. If you have heavier vehicles like trucks or RVs using your driveway, they will need a thicker driveway to avoid damage due to their weight.
4. Drainage – Proper drainage is essential for maintaining the integrity of your driveway. If your driveway has poor drainage, a thicker driveway may be necessary to prevent water from seeping into the subgrade and causing damage.
5. Weight Of Vehicle(s) – The weight of the vehicles that park or drive over your driveway are also factors to consider. If you plan on parking heavy vehicles, such as RVs or boats, a thicker driveway may be necessary for maximum durability.
The Benefits Of Proper Asphalt Thickness
Now that we’ve covered the factors that impact the asphalt thickness let’s explore the benefits of proper thickness:
1. Durability – A properly thickened driveway is more durable and can withstand heavier loads. This means that it will last longer and require fewer repairs over time.
2. Appearance – A thicker driveway can look more attractive and provide a smoother surface for vehicles and pedestrians. It can also resist cracking and prevent unsightly potholes from forming.
3. Safety – A thicker driveway can provide better traction and reduce the risk of accidents caused by slipping or skidding.
4. Resale Value – A driveway that is properly thickened and well-maintained can increase the resale value of your home.
The Average Cost Of Asphalt Installation
The cost of asphalt installation varies depending on the size and scope of your project. Generally, the thicker the driveway, the more expensive it will be to install. While a two-inch layer of asphalt may be adequate for most residential applications, some choose to go with a thicker layer (three or four inches) for added strength and durability.
On average, you can expect to pay between $2 and $4 per square foot for residential asphalt installation.
Why Hiring A Capable Contractor Is A Smart Investment When Installing Asphalt On Your Driveway?
Choosing the right contractor is an important step in the asphalt installation process. A reliable contractor will be knowledgeable about all aspects of driveway construction and can ensure that your project is done correctly and safely. They should also provide a detailed estimate of costs before beginning work so you know what to expect.
Moreover, hiring a capable contractor for your asphalt installation is a smart investment. An experienced contractor will be able to provide quality workmanship that will help your driveway last for many years to come. They can also advise you on the most suitable thickness for your project, considering factors such as climate and traffic.
Asphalt driveways are a popular choice due to their durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. When considering how thick your asphalt driveway should be, you should consider several factors such as climate, traffic, drainage, and subgrade. A thicker driveway is generally more expensive but may be necessary to ensure maximum durability. Hiring a capable contractor for your asphalt installation project is always a smart investment and will help to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.
Now that you know what to consider when determining the thickness of your driveway, you’re one step closer to having the perfect driveway for your home. Good luck!