Driveway, Parking Lot,
Hot Asphalt Pavement
Construction and Installation

"Compare Apples to Apples"

There are many different ways to construct and install hot asphalt pavement. It can be a very unfortunate situation to the uninformed purchaser of this type of service. Usually, when someone is looking for this type of service they get estimates from different contractors. Most of the time this results in different opinions and proposals from the contractors and then the purchaser cannot compare "apples to apples".

The first thing to take into consideration is the drainage and soil conditions. This is especially important in the Albany, NY and other cold winter areas due to frost affecting the life of the pavement. If the pavement is constructed where there is poor drainage, the base material will stay wet and freeze in the winter. When it freezes it expands and usually will not expand evenly, which will then cause the pavement to crack, allowing more water to enter into the problem. This can occur in all types of soils, but is more common in clay soil. Sandy soil usually drains pretty well, but can still have this problem if too much water is diverted to a small area. In order to get the maximum life out of pavement, drainage issues need to be taken into consideration and taken care of before or during pavement construction.

The next thing to take into consideration is whether or not to use a soil separation fabric. This material is a fabric that goes in between the base material and the soil. It helps to keep the soil from working its way into the base material, which can compromise the base material and shorten the life of the pavement. The fabric also gives the base material added strength, due to the durable and strong woven fibers in the fabric. The fabric is usually cheap insurance and is recommended for all soils to get the maximum life out of pavement.

After the fabric, the base material should be taken into consideration. Essentially, it is the foundation of the pavement. In the Albany, NY area, a stone mix called "crusher run" is generally used and is a mix of different sized stones and stone particles. The different sized stones allow for great compaction and drainage. The amount of base material is also very important. In this case, more is better, the more base material the stronger the foundation will be, the longer the pavement will last. In the Albany capital region area, four inches of crusher run should be the minimum installed.

Next, the amount of and number of asphalt layers should be considered. Again, more is usually better. For a more durable pavement, two asphalt layers are recommended. The bottom layer is called a binder course and consists of larger stones than the top layer, which can be called the wear course. For this process, a 2 inch binder and a 1 ½ inch top are recommended as a minimum. If a single layer of just top is applied, then the minimum should 2 ½ inches. A paving machine should always be used to apply the asphalt layers.

A decision will also have to be made as to which type of top is used. For this, it can be a type 7 or type 6. The type 7 has a smoother finish, the type 6 is more durable, but has a more coarse finish.

For each of these steps, proper compaction is very important. Without proper compaction, there will be uneven settling over time and the pavement will not last as long.

With this information in mind, when getting proposals from contractors, see what is recommended as a minimum for your area and situation from at least 3 reputable contractors. Make sure you can compare "apples to apples" and try to get separate prices for options above the minimum. When you pick a contractor, make sure that you can trust they will do what they say they are going to do.

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SMITH'S 783SEAL
Paving & Seal Coating

776 D Watervliet Shaker Rd.
Latham NY 12110
518-783-SEAL(7325)

Smith's 783Seal serves the entire New York Capital District and surrounding areas which include Albany, Altamont , Ballston spa, Ballston Lake, Berne, Bethlehem, Coeymans, Cohoes, Colonie, Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Green island, Guilderland, Knox, Latham, Menands, Malta, Niskayuna , New scotland, Ravena, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Scotia, Schenectady, Voorheesville, Watervliet, Waterford, Westerlo and more. We provide sealcoating, and paving services for residential driveways and commerical parking lots.

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