The thickness of asphalt ultimately comes down to the anticipated use of the pavement. For example, pavement that will be used as heavily as an interstate or highway will have different strength requirements than that of a residential driveway. Additionally, there is more to asphalt than the asphalt itself. You must also consider the thickness of the base aggregate, soil, and how the drainage will be handled. In this post, we will take a look at all of these factors when it comes to a residential asphalt driveway.
General Thickness of an Asphalt Driveway
- A residential driveway will typically use 2 to 3 inches of asphalt; if you have a large truck or plan on parking heavy equipment, 3 is better.
- Underneath the asphalt there should be between 6 to 8 inches of granular base aggregate. Providing the asphalt with a strong, stable base is an important part of the installation process and helps you get the longest life possible from your driveway.
- The last layer consists of soil. Soil that has a lot of gravel, rocks, or sand will provide excellent drainage. If your local soil is more clay based, it will need to be excavated and replaced with a better draining material to prevent issues in the future.
There is a new type of installation being performed by some contractors called Full-Depth Asphalt. This process consists of excavating and grading the soil, compacting the soil, then pouring a 4 to 6 inch layer of asphalt on top. The thicker layer of asphalt eliminates the need for a gravel base.
What If My Asphalt Is Too Thin?
If asphalt is poured too thin, the natural flexibility of the material will not be able to evenly distribute the weight of the load. This leads to compressing the material underneath the tire. Eventually causing cracks that will continue to spread upwards, outwards, and deteriorating the driveway at an accelerated rate. A properly installed driveway, however, should last you up to 35 years.
As GTA’s leading paving company, Epic Paving knows how to make your asphalt driveway look great and last long. Call us today at 416-701-1881 to get a consultation for your property.