Does Your Home Need A New Driveway?
Driveway grading and asphalt paving in a home construction project can be a significant part of the budget. Installed right and maintained well, a paved driveway will last 20 years or more. Done wrong, and an asphalt driveway can fail within five years. Unfortunately, there are many paving companies in New Hampshire who will cut corners on the most important part of installing your driveway: the base.
The secret is in the base. Here in the Northeast, asphalt is by far the best paving material for a driveway. More flexible than concrete, asphalt pavement allows some “give” in our freeze-thaw cycles. But the strength of a paved driveway is not in the asphalt – it is in a properly prepared base. At Sarette & Son Excavation, we don’t skimp on the base. Removing a full 12 inches of soil, we grade and compact inch and a half crushed gravel – the same material used in road construction. A deeper base underneath the asphalt minimizes heaving; thus preventing future driveway cracks. As an extra measure, we suggest the use of a full 3 inches of asphalt when paving driveways.
Not all driveways are paved. In New Hampshire, many homes are set far back from the street. Paving these driveways with asphalt can be very expensive for a new homeowner. As a result, gravel driveways are very commonplace here. One thing that homeowners need to know about gravel driveways is that they require more frequent maintenance than paved driveways. Gravel driveway maintenance begins with checking the grade and crown of the driveway.
Our first concern with any gravel driveway is drainage. Gravel driveway is lower than the edges, you don’t have a driveway – you have a riverbed! Site drainage determines the success or failure of a gravel driveway. It is impossible to keep a low gravel driveway from washing out. Simply blade-grading a gravel driveway that is too low is not a solution that will last. When you call us for an estimate, we will tell you if it is necessary to add new crushed gravel to build it back up. Once we have built up the crown and pitch for the driveway, we dress the edges to ensure your new gravel driveway stays intact.
Some driveway paving companies assume you’re calling them for a good price. Whether its asphalt or gravel, at Sarette Excavation we will always recommend doing the right thing first.