What is asphalt made of?

Asphalt is a blend of stone, sand, gravel, and cement. It’s heated to high temperatures to mix the materials and provide a smooth, paved surface.

Why should I choose asphalt for my paving needs?

We’re glad you asked! We’re big fans of asphalt for the following reasons:

  • Asphalt is an economical choice for paving, and it looks stunning. By comparison, this material is approximately half the cost of concrete.
  • Asphalt repairs are more economical than other materials.
  • Because asphalt is porous, water can drain to the ground below, allowing trees and plants under the surface to access water.
  • Asphalt is finished once it’s laid, and the surface is accessible for vehicles and pedestrians within a few hours. By comparison, other surfaces can take days or weeks to “cure.”
  • Asphalt is the smoothest surface, reducing friction and increasing fuel economy.
  • Asphalt requires less energy to produce and can also be recycled for new projects.

What are the benefits of asphalt seal coating?

The most significant benefit of asphalt seal coating is that it extends the life of your surface. It also provides a new and professional-looking surface.

Should a newly paved lot be seal coated right away?

No, it’s not recommended. Instead, the new paving should cue for at least one year before applying a seal coat.

What is the difference between asphalt sealer and pavement resurfacing?

An asphalt sealer is a liquid spray that coats the surface and fills in cracks. Pavement resurfacing involves adding a new layer of asphalt.

Do you offer a warranty for your work?

Yes, we offer a full one-year warranty for all of our materials and workmanship.

How long will a new asphalt driveway or parking lot last?

When the job is done correctly, you can expect your new asphalt surface to last for 10 to 20 years. There are exceptions based on factors like climate, maintenance, and traffic, however.

What causes potholes to form?

Potholes can form for a variety of reasons, including asphalt that’s too thin, heavy loads on the surface, poor drainage, and improper material mixture.

What is the lowest temperature you can lay asphalt?

The minimum recommended temperature is at least 50 degrees.

How long should you stay off of a new asphalt driveway?

We recommend staying off of your new asphalt driveway for 24 hours. If the weather is warm, then we suggest giving it an extra day to cool and cure.

Should a base be installed before paving a driveway?

The answer depends on your soil. If your soil is unstable, you may need a base of 3 to 6 inches to stabilize the sub-grade and minimize the chance for cracks. However, harder ground that resembles what we make the base out of is unlikely to require it. When you get a quote for asphalt paving, make sure to ask if the quote includes a base.

How do I care for a new asphalt driveway?

One of the best ways to care for your driveway is by preventing excessively large vehicles from driving on it. This includes boats, trailers, moving vans, trash collection trucks, etc. If you do have a boat or large vehicle that needs to park on your driveway, we recommend placing a piece of plywood underneath each tire. This will evenly distribute the weight of the object, preventing the formation of divots. 

Oil and fuel leaks can also damage asphalt. We recommend cleaning any spills immediately to avoid that area from becoming soft and vulnerable to damage.

What is the proper way to grade a driveway before paving?

Every property is unique, but there are two things that need to happen. First, we evaluate the sub-grade to ensure there is a solid foundation to pave on. Then, we need to make sure that the water will drain and shed properly. How we determine this depends on several factors, including the length of the driveway, and the underlying materials.

How important is drainage planning?

We cannot stress enough the importance of drainage planning. Without a way for rainwater and irrigation water to move, your asphalt will quickly degrade. If draining planning isn’t done correctly, it could lead to costly repairs or even an entire driveway replacement.

How thick should an asphalt driveway be?

The recommended thickness will vary depending on the type of soil you have on your property. Generally, our paving projects have asphalt between three and six inches.

Can you perform asphalt repairs in the winter?

In Portland, it depends on the weather. We need dry conditions and temperatures over 50 degrees. This typically excludes this type of repair during the winter; however, some projects can still be done.

What’s the difference between permeable and porous asphalt?

Typically, these terms are used synonymously to indicate that the surface will allow water to drain through instead of running off. However, in the case of porous asphalt, the holes may not be connected to the ground, meaning the water can still collect.

How are transitions into the garage, sidewalks, and streets handled?

Steer clear of contractors that recommend bumps and other barriers. The transition should be smooth with a gentle slope to allow for drainage.

What is an asphalt overlay, and is it appropriate for my needs?

An asphalt overlay is a new layer of asphalt applied over the existing surface. It’s a more economical alternative to tearing up the surface to apply a whole new layer of pavement. It can be appropriate for your needs, depending on the condition of your asphalt and the foundation.

Can my existing asphalt driveway be overlayed?

Sometimes, yes! An overlay is often a preferred method for homeowners that want to save money as it’s much cheaper than paving a new driveway. However, the existing foundation must be in stable condition for an overlay to be an option.