A Strong Asphalt Driveway

31 responses

  1. Bob Johnstone
    May 5, 2012

    We had our drive resurfaced and it appears that some areas of the new asphalt are losing small stones, making the surface very rough. Is there a hot sealer that can be used to bind everything together?

    • Tim Carter
      May 23, 2012


      Not really. You might want to do my 15-Minute consult to discuss your options.

  2. Tim O’Toole
    July 2, 2012

    We just had our driveway top coated with 2 inches of compacted asphalt. The temperatures have been mid-90's and over since paving. I am concerned about driving and parking on the new asphalt.

    How much time would you allow before driving on your new investment?



    • Tim Carter
      January 11, 2013

      Tim, you need to schedule a 15-Minute call with me. There's simply too much to talk about and type.

  3. Kathy
    July 18, 2012

    We are getting our driveway redone. The contractor said that he is leaving the old driveway in place and filling the "pot holes" with QP and will level it. Is this better than tearing out the old driveway completely?

    All the other estimates we got, the contractors all said the old driveway would come up.

    Which is the right/better way?

    Thank you.

    • Tim Carter
      January 11, 2013

      Kathy, you need to schedule a 15-Minute call with me. There's simply too much to talk about and type.

  4. Jenny
    August 20, 2012

    We are currently getting bids to replace our 30 year old asphalt driveway. Some of the contractors are saying that they need to remove the old asphalt and put down a new base and some are saying that it is not necessary to remove all of the asphalt, only the portion that has crumbled. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


    • Tim Carter
      January 6, 2013

      Jenny, your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

  5. ed
    April 4, 2013

    Hi Tim,

    I have a 2200 sq ft blacktop driveway probably over 20 years old. A contractor said he would excavate and lay 5 inches of base with 2 inches of compacted FABC asphalt. What is FABC asphalt and is it good for the north east region?

    • Tim Carter
      April 5, 2013

      Ed, you simply call the asphalt plants around your house.

  6. cj
    June 2, 2014

    how long should you wait between doing phase 1 and phase 2 of a brand new asphalt driveway.

    • Tim Carter
      June 4, 2014

      That's not an easy question to answer because of many variables. I'm going to say you've got nothing to lose by waiting 30 days allowing the light oils in Phase 1 to liberate themselves from the mix.

  7. PMalone
    June 4, 2014

    How long should a driveway cure before putting lawn chairs, small fireplace, etc. on it. Our tenant likes to sit, sun herself on driveway. She has already made several small holes with her furniture.

    • Tim Carter
      June 5, 2014

      I cover that in my past columns about blacktop and asphalt driveways. Did you read all of them? Please do. Use these secret keywords: "lightweight oils"

  8. David
    June 9, 2014

    My drive is being repaved with Asphalt. The contractor said the driveways base looked very good still. He added about 1-2 inches more of base but added 1 1/4 inch rock to the sides of the driveway and in front of the two garage doors. These areas were not compacted down, we are driving on what we can to settle the driveway. The area's that I am unable to compact are my concern and is the large rock necessary. In your article it does state that these do create a stronger driveway.

  9. Wendy
    August 27, 2014

    Do you recommend showering the new asphalt with water after the contractor leaves to help in the cooling of the hot asphalt? Is watering part of the curing process or does it interfere with the curing process? thx

    • Tim Carter
      August 28, 2014

      Cooling hot asphalt with water does nothing to affect the curing of the lightweight oils. Imagine what happens after freshly rolled asphalt becomes the victim of a huge rainstorm.

  10. LAH
    September 24, 2014

    We are having a detached garage built and will be adding 55 feet to where our current driveway ends to the detached garage. Unfortunately, we have an HOA which has stipulated that the driveway (which will be prepped by the builder) be completed/paved within 14 days of completion of the garage. We think that this (2 weeks) is too short a time frame to allow the prepped driveway to settle before the paving. What is the optimal time frame to allow a prepped driveway to settle before paving? Please advise.

    • Tim Carter
      September 25, 2014

      I could EASILY meet that requirement. I could install a new driveway from SCRATCH within two days if need be. Compact subgrade takes two hours. Install base material in lifts compacting each one takes a half day. Pave on the second day. What's the big deal?

  11. Thelma Battiss
    October 2, 2014

    We are in South Africa. Recently we laid asphalt. within 3 weeks we had weeds growing through. When a vehice turns, it leaves donut marks at the front wheels. Where the vehicle was standing, the front wheel sank into the asphalt. Could this be a bad mixture or bad laying? a response will be appreciated

    • Tim Carter
      October 3, 2014

      Thelma, please read all my Blacktop and Asphalt columns for your answer. Look for the ones where I talk about the "evaporation of the lightweight oils" in them.

  12. Carol
    October 8, 2014

    We had a new driveway put in in May. How long should we wait to have it sealed? Six months would be November. Should we wait till spring now?

    • Tim Carter
      October 15, 2014

      You don't need to seal it now. Go read ALL of my driveway sealer columns.

  13. scott
    March 16, 2015

    Looking to have asphalt down over my 6yr old gravel drive. Yes requested I remove all 57 and 78 stone before ABC. Could I install geo fabric and 4-6" Ann before hand over top of this stone and use it as a base in wet areas. I live in Raleigh NC all clay here. Thank you for any info.

    • Tim Carter
      March 17, 2015

      I'd NEVER remove any gravel from a gravel drive if I was going to top it with asphalt. I say that assuming the current gravel is the right size, shape and it's at least 8 inches deep.

      READ my column above again and concentrate on the fact that the gravel supports the loads, not the asphalt. You want nice big gravel about the size of grapefruits as the first layer, then you start to get smaller sizes as you add layer after layer.

      Geotextile fabrics are good, but I feel just creating great drainage away from the gravel is the better idea. Then there's no need for the fabric.

  14. Addie Ross
    June 3, 2015

    My husband and I are building a house, and I would love to have an asphalt driveway. I think it looks really nice, and I like that it doesn't crack as often. Laying gravel down is such a good idea, it's worth it if it helps keep it looking good longer.

  15. Donna ps
    July 6, 2015

    I have a pretty steep driveway in north New Jersey about 100 feet that I want to redo. The bottom section that is surrounded by raised railroad ties due to steep drop at end of driveway, is constantly sinking and cracking the last 10 or so feet of asphalt driveway. What do you recommend to prevent sinking of driveway and erosion from rainwater. We cannot drive up driveway when icy or snowy. Thanks!

  16. Robert
    October 8, 2015

    I had my driveway re asphalted last July. The blacktop company recommended waiting a year prior to seal coating. Can I wait two years or would that be causing future damage to my driveway? Thanks

  17. Mari
    May 10, 2016

    My old concrete drive was removed 4 yrs ago. There has been rare parking on the exposed base. I'm getting asphalt bids. They tell me my base is solid and I don't need more gravel/Rock. my area is about 400 sq ft. They don't need to dig up much to level and they offer between 3-3.5" layer for between $2200- $2700. It seems too simple, but have had two companies with lots of good reviews. Any other questions I should ask?

  18. Joanne
    July 10, 2016

    Hi i have gad quotes for my driveway most contractors use class A gravel however one states class B gravel. Would class B provide a stronger base?

  19. Paula Putzer
    August 7, 2016

    We had our driveway asphalted two years ago. There are so many rocks showing through now, it's more gray than black. Is this normal?

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