Driveway Prep - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-11-2009, 10:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,402
Rewards Points: 900

Driveway prep

About 5 years ago, we had our driveway repaved. The old driveway was removed first.
I did not observe the process.
We have sealed the driveway each year, except this past, because I was told that the sealer we used would last 3 years.

Today though, there was a small bulge in the asphalt next to the curb. It was about 3" round, and 3" high.
When I prodded into the cracked asphalt and removed some chunks, I found mushrooms growing underneath. This is obviously what caused the asphalt to bulge.
I started digging the mushrooms out, and realized that the asphalt was laid on top of mostly soil. There is some gravel, but more dirt than anything.

Isn't asphalt supposed to be laid on gravel? Maybe the contractor who did our driveway just cheaped out. I don't know what the "standard" is, but whenever I have observed professional work on roads, I always see the crushed gravel and then they oil it before paving.

I am going to patch this spot with asphalt from a bag, but I am going to put some sand in the hole first.
Afterwards, I would like to seal the patch, and maybe part of the driveway as well. I don't know if I can still buy driveway sealer this late.
In any case, I will do a full sealing job next spring.

Any comments?





Ultrarunner2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 10:45 AM   #2
Civil Engineer
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 5,680
Rewards Points: 4,940

Ideally all roads (including driveways) would be built on gravel or crushed stone base. The base provides drainage and adequate support for the pavement or concrete. However, placing crushed stone or gravel is expensive, since you have to dig out to the depth (6 or 12 inches is pretty common), dispose of the excavated soil, place and compact the base, then place the asphalt or concrete.

I assume that when you took bids for the driveway, there was some sort of discussion between you and the bidders as to what work they were going to perform. If your deal (presumably it was written into your contract) was to place a gravel base, and the contractor failed to do so, then you have every right to call him back to remove the asphalt, place base, and repave.

If your contract called for placing the asphalt directly over existing soil, then I would say you have no recourse against the contractor. If the driveway is placed directly on soil, and the soil is not sandy gravel (you described the soil as dirt), you may encounter a variety of problems down the road, including cracked asphalt, heaving, or settlement. If you decide to get the driveway repaved, you should discuss with the selected contractor how much subbase they plan to install, how they will compact it, and what type of material it will be. Get it in your contract, then hold them to it.


Daniel Holzman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,402
Rewards Points: 900

Thanks for the info / advice.
I don't know what the contract stated. I wasn't living here when it was done. It is my parents' house, and I recently moved back home.
We probably have the contract around somewhere, but considering what you said about gravel being expensive, it is most likely we did not get much stone/gravel, as we were trying to save money.

I will see if I can find the contract though. I'm curious.


Ultrarunner2017 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad driveway patch and seal work fastfan Landscaping & Lawn Care 1 09-09-2009 08:14 PM
Bury my old driveway problems? kingcire Landscaping & Lawn Care 3 08-10-2009 04:47 PM
Need to have driveway paved and graded Mikey Palmice Landscaping & Lawn Care 3 05-20-2009 07:07 PM
Question about convrete driveway Laser4G63 General DIY Discussions 8 02-12-2009 05:19 PM
3/4" Gravel on Sloped Driveway not locking - help? WynsWrld98 Landscaping & Lawn Care 7 10-17-2007 11:02 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1