Paving Your Driveway? Learn How Thick the Asphalt Should Be!

Asphalt is a good paving choice for those looking to build a long-lasting driveway. Made of liquid asphalt and crushed stone gravel and sand, an asphalt pavement absorbs heat in the winter and suffer only minimal amount of cracks. Some paving companies experiment with the asphalt’s water composition to make it more durable in colder climates. The pavement’s strength and longevity has a lot to do with the thickness of the pavement. That’s why the paving process often starts with determining the driveway’s thickness. The Ideal Thickness of an Asphalt Driveway


The typical thickness ranges from 2-4 inches, not including the subsoil and the depth of the gravel base beneath it. Thickness is determined by the amount of liquid asphalt, sand and stone in the asphalt mix. Paving companies often spread a three-inch-thick asphalt over the gravel base. A hot layer of asphalt is evenly spread over the surface and compressed using a roller machine. The thickness of this area, however, is not the only factor that determines the quality of your asphalt driveway. If the gravel foundation is weak, then it won’t be able to support the asphalt layer over the long haul. Similarly, the subsoil or the dirt beneath your driveway can affect the durability of your driveway as well. Preparing the Gravel Foundation and the Subsoil

Don’t forget to check the thickness of the gravel base with your contractor. It should typically be at least 6-8 inches thick so that your asphalt driveway can endure the daily stress of heavy weight loads. A proper gravel base and backfilling the edges of a newly paved surface with help to prevent the edges from cracking and chipping.

The subsoil yet another important layer to prepare. Consult a construction company and get the appropriate help, from excavating the site to applying sealer over the asphalt. Paving companies also help lay geotextile fabric over a sandy or clay soil to prevent rocks from pressing into the dirt. Sealing the Asphalt for Protection

The asphalt sealer coats the pavement and protects it from damage. The only downside to applying it is that you have to wait at least six months for the asphalt to set. The good news is, the sealer lasts for up to six years once applied.

Is your asphalt driveway durable? Check if it’s thick enough to endure heavy loads.