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Old 03-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
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Asphalt Driveway


We are looking to get our asphalt driveway resealed and we have called in 2 contractors who have given us very different stories.

Background: The driveway is between 6-9months old we think (just bought the house). It looks like it has a limestone base and then large stone aggregate top that is 2-3 inches thick. Some of the larger rocks are pulling up out of the driveway.

First contractor came in and said we need to put a 'top coat' on the driveway because it isn't thick enough and that would be $8100.

Second contractor came in and said that we would be stupid to put a top coat on it now because that would be less likely to last and would probably end up with water problems and peeling off. He recommended to just seal it every year to fill in the gaps. Around ~$1000. He said that the contractors are trying to sell the top coat because they can charge a lot more.

I like the second guys answer a lot better, but that doesn't mean that I want a crap driveway. We are planing on staying at the house ~10 years.

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Old 03-12-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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It sounds like a base asphalt layer was put down and not a finish layer. There 's not usually large aggregates in this type of application.
Post some photos.
Ron

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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as Ron said, its a base course & no one placed the top ( wearing or finish ) course,,, base can be up to 2" crushed stone but the finish coat's 1" or less aggregate,,, seal all you want & you'll still have trouble w/only a base course,,, then again, it is your driveway
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
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I agree with the two responders. Pictures would be a great help also. From your description, it sounds like the contractor used a limestone base (probably while building the house) then had an asphalt base course placed on top. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Now, if the large stones are popping out of the asphalt base I am very concerned the asphalt base is of a poor quality, or you have other problems.

Couple of questions:

What kind of traffic will be using this driveway? Any heavy trucks using or will be using the driveway? Lots and lots of cars like an apartment complex would generate?

How thick is the limestone sub base? Do you know?

Is the driveway in good condition overall except for a "some of the larger rock pulling up"? Do you see any cracking in the asphalt? Any wheel ruts? Any soft areas?

What part of the country are you from? Freeze thaw an issue? Does your area have a lot of clay, or do you think the driveway is built out of rock type soils?

What I am driving at, if the asphalt base is in good condition and not showing any signs of distress, then I would probably top coat it with a good quality asphalt surface. If you see problems, I would address these first, then probably place another asphalt base course then top coat it with a surface layer.

You are correct in questioning how to finish this driveway. A poorly built driveway will cause you headaches for years to come. To build it right the first time will benefit you forever. Good luck with the house!
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erb170 View Post
We are looking to get our asphalt driveway resealed and we have called in 2 contractors who have given us very different stories.

Background: The driveway is between 6-9months old we think (just bought the house). It looks like it has a limestone base and then large stone aggregate top that is 2-3 inches thick. Some of the larger rocks are pulling up out of the driveway.

First contractor came in and said we need to put a 'top coat' on the driveway because it isn't thick enough and that would be $8100.

Second contractor came in and said that we would be stupid to put a top coat on it now because that would be less likely to last and would probably end up with water problems and peeling off. He recommended to just seal it every year to fill in the gaps. Around ~$1000. He said that the contractors are trying to sell the top coat because they can charge a lot more.

I like the second guys answer a lot better, but that doesn't mean that I want a crap driveway. We are planing on staying at the house ~10 years.
Ayuh,... Around here, you have what is known as a type 3 binder driveway, that's awaiting it's type 6, or type 7 topcoat...
After it's topped out, then in a few years worry about sealcoating it for preservation, 'n color...

In other words, the 1st contractor is Right,...
You've gota 1/2 a driveway...
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Update:

We spoke with the original people who paved the driveway. They said that we have down #3 modified binder and that was done on purpose. We have a really steep driveway and the rougher coat provided better traction. He said we could put down a topcoat and it may or may not increase the life of the driveway (it might just peel off and it would definitely result in water flowing toward the garage. He said the driveway as is should last 10-12 years if we seal it properly. I think that we are going to just seal it, because from the opinions of him and other contractors the additional cost of the top coat does not necessarily result in a better driveway.

Words of advice for others in this situation:
Get lots of opinions. The first guy must have thought we were a bunch of idiots, or he thought he would pull one over on my wife. He quoted $8100 for a 4500sqft driveway. We've had 5 contractors come out and not one has quoted the same square footage. The first was the highest and others have been as low as 3500 sqft. and prices to top coat it at $3000. One common theme is that all other contractors have thought the first guy was trying to rip us off.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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That is why you should always get at least three or more quotes on a job and make sure everyone is bidding on the same thing. (Apples with apples) if you’re going to reseal then hot mix asphalt is the real stuff; the stuff you want for a good, complete driveway that you won't have to replace for 20-30 years. It's similar to what you see road crews using on roads. It's an aggregate of stone and sand, along with liquefied slurry of asphalt. Unfortunately for the honest paving contractors out there, this profession has a reputation for scams and conmen. What you should be looking for is:

1) Local reputation. Seek out projects that are years old and have withstood a number of seasons of snow, rain, and sun and that still look good and function well. As the home owner who did their driveway.

2) Not all Paving contractors necessarily have to be licensed as contractors, but if they happen to be and they have a clean record that's a plus in my book.

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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from the two men contractor's stories the second one is more efficient in dealing with your driveway. basically, it doesn't cost that much when your making asphalt driveway you should consider external factors on how to improve well and building an effective driveway..

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