House Renovation

paved driveway
House Renovation

How to Maintain a Newly Paved Driveway

You’ve worked, you’ve saved, you’ve dreamed, and finally, the day is here. You’ve watched pavers lay down the most gorgeous asphalt driveway you’ve ever seen, and you can’t wait to enjoy it. But you want to make sure that the paved driveway stays in amazing shape for years to come. 

It’s important that you care for your paved driveway the right way, especially during its first few months. Read on to learn how to maintain a new asphalt driveway so it will look as beautiful as the day it was laid.

Let It Cure

It may sound obvious, but the first thing you need to do to care for your new paved driveway is to let it cure. Depending on the weather when you have your driveway paved, it can take up to five days for your asphalt to fully cure. Avoid parking on it during this period to give it chance to set.

Clean Spills

When you’re working on a car, it can be easy for oil, gas, antifreeze, and other such substances to get spilled on your driveway. It’s important to clean these up as quickly as possible using kitty litter or soap and water. Leaving them on your driveway can cause the asphalt to break down and become damaged over time.

Sweep off Debris

In addition to keeping your driveway clear of spills, it’s a good idea to sweep it off regularly. Stones, sand, and even dirt can pull oil out of your asphalt and get trapped under vehicle tires, causing dents. Aim to sweep debris off your driveway at least once a week for the first year while the asphalt continues to cure. 

Park on Plywood

During the early months of your driveway’s life, the asphalt paving will still be soft and in the process of curing. It’s a good idea to park vehicles, especially larger, heavier vehicles, on plywood during this time. This helps to distribute the weight of the tires and avoid dents.

Shift Where You Park

In addition to parking on plywood, you may want to try to shift where you park on your driveway during that first year. Consistent pressure in the same area can cause a low spot that may begin to collect water (more on that later). By moving around, you distribute that weight evenly and keep your driveway nice and flat.

Avoid Concentrated Pressure

During those first few months after you pave your driveway, you want to avoid any source of concentrated pressure on your driveway. Kickstands for motorcycles or trailer stands can cause spot damage that can leave dents in your driveway. You should avoid using these, as well as lawn chairs, on your driveway without some sort of protective layer under them. 

Avoid Standing Water 

If your driveway was laid properly and you maintain it well, it shouldn’t hold standing water. However, try to remove any water that you do notice standing on the surface. Over time, puddles can break down your asphalt and cause it to crumble or crack during the winter months.

Maintain the Edges

The edges of your paved driveway will be the most delicate, especially at first. Try to avoid driving over the edges, and be sure to keep grass trimmed neatly back away from them. After the first year, you can build up the topsoil around the edges of your driveway to help protect them.

Kill Weeds 

Weeds and tree roots are the biggest culprits when it comes to cracks in your beautiful new driveway. Don’t let them get enough of a hold to damage your pavement. Spray weed killer on any weeds you notice beginning to grow in and around your driveway.

Seal Cracks 

No matter how careful you are with your driveway, there’s a good chance that, when winter rolls around, you’re going to get some cracks. These are a normal part of the asphalt expanding and contracting with temperature changes. However, it’s important to seal these cracks as soon as possible so they don’t spread, allow your pavement to dry out, or give weeds a fertile environment.

Reseal Annually

After the first year, your pavement should be fully cured and ready for regular use. However, it’s still a good idea to reseal your asphalt every year or two in order to keep it in good condition. This can help to keep your pavement from drying out and will give it that like-new black sheen we love so much.

Remove Snow

During the winter months, we know the last thing you may want to do is to go shovel snow off the driveway. But if you have new pavement, this is incredibly important; snow represents two of asphalt’s worst enemies: cold and wet. Shovel or blow snow off the driveway and put down salt to keep it clear of ice during the winter months.

Learn to Care for Your Paved Driveway 

A paved driveway can be a beautiful addition to your home, but, like anything, it needs care and maintenance. During the early months of your driveway’s life, avoid putting too much pressure on it, especially in one specific spot. Try to keep your driveway clear of water, snow, debris, and chemicals, and reseal it annually to keep it in tip top shape.

If you’d like to learn more about caring for your paved driveway, check out the rest of our site at Washington Pavements, LLC. Driveway paving has been a family tradition and trade, and we bring passion and quality workmanship to every job we do. Get a quote from us today and discover the hardworking pride we put into every project.

residential asphalt paving
House Renovation

A Complete Guide to Residential Asphalt Paving

Considering getting residential asphalt paving done?

Of the 75 million driveways in the US, 90% are made of either concrete or asphalt paving. 

One of the reasons asphalt paving is so popular is because it’s affordable. However, it’s also durable, quick to install, and is a sustainable option. 

That said, getting a driveway paved and choosing between driveway materials can be a daunting undertaking. If you’re feeling unsure about the benefits and process of laying asphalt, keep reading as we unpack everything in this guide to residential asphalt paving. 

Benefits of Asphalt Paving

When decided whether to have asphalt paving put down, the first thing to get clear on is its pros and cons. 

Here are some of the main benefits of asphalt paving

Cost-Effective

One of the major draws of residential asphalt paving is its price point. Although asphalt paving doesn’t last as long as other options like concrete or pavers, it is the most affordable of all driveway materials (besides gravel).

Asphalt typically comes in at roughly half the cost of concrete. If you choose colored or stamped concrete, the price difference can be even more. 

Flexible

Another advantage of asphalt paving is its flexibility. Thanks to its slightly “spongy” nature, asphalt has some give to it. This can prevent it from developing cracks.

Cement paving is very prone to cracking. Heavy vehicles, high use, and impacts can quickly cause cracks to develop in the surface. Besides this, cold weather and freezing can also cause the cement to contract and crack. 

Because asphalt paving has some flexibility, it can better withstand impacts, freezing, and heavy vehicles.

Recyclable

Besides being the most cost-effective option, asphalt is also recyclable, making it a more sustainable choice. 

According to the last published analysis, asphalt is recycled at a rate of 80%. What’s more, asphalt is one material that can actually improve with recycling rather than degrade. 

Quick to Install

Another advantage of residential asphalt paving is that it’s relatively quick to install. Unlike other paving materials that can take days to be installed, a well-equipped contractor can lay down a large area of asphalt paving in a matter of hours. 

Can Be Installed Over Existing Paving

Finally, asphalt also shines as one of the easiest driveway materials to install thanks to the fact that you can choose to lay it over an existing driveway. This is not the case in every install, but, if your driveway has the right elevation and will provide a solid base, you overlay it with asphalt.  

Being able to lay asphalt paving over existing driveway materials (such as concrete slab) can cut down on costs dramatically. This is because you won’t need to pay for removal of the existing driveway materials. 

Drawbacks of Asphalt Driveways

Although asphalt holds various advantages, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any cons. When compared to other driveway materials, residential asphalt paving has a few drawbacks you should be aware of. 

Once you know about them you can make an informed decision as to whether asphalt paving is right for your needs. 

One of the primary disadvantages of asphalt driveways is they won’t last as long as other options like paving or concrete slab. They also require periodic maintenance, such as patching and sealing.

However, keep in mind that if you do carry out the right maintenance on your asphalt paving, it can last you for up to 20 years. 

Besides requiring periodic maintenance, asphalt paving also limits your color options. Unlike cement that can be colored, asphalt has typically one signature color. Keep in mind though, colored cement paving materials typically aren’t as strong, and are more prone to cracking and chipping. 

Another potential disadvantage of asphalt paving is that it’s prone to overheating and can become slightly soft in very hot conditions.

The Asphalt Installation Process

If you’re thinking of getting residential asphalt paving done, here’s what the installation process will look like. 

To begin with, the contractor you choose will need to do an initial inspection and work with you to plan out where the paving needs to go. They will also want to map out where to direct runoff. 

After this, they will need to prepare the base. If you’re starting with dirt, this will usually involve grading, leveling, and laying down aggregate. If you’re paving over an existing driveway base they might need to clean this up.

Once the asphalt pouring process begins, your driveway can start taking shape within as little as 40 minutes. 

However, the asphalt will still require compacting, and then some time to cure. Usually, you should be able to drive on it after 2-3 days. However, curing times for hot mix asphalt can differ so be sure to check with your contractor.

Take note that residential asphalt paving will need roughly 30 days to cure and harden completely. Although you can drive on it during this time, you will need to avoid turning too sharply or bringing in heavy vehicles. 

How to Get an Asphalt Installation Done

If you looking to get residential asphalt paving done, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a contractor who specializes in asphalt driveways. 

Make sure you find a licensed, reliable contractor who carries out professional work. Avoid fly-by-night contractors and anyone who doesn’t specialize in asphalt. 

The contractor you choose should have good online reviews, an established brand, a good name in your area, insurance, and the appropriate equipment to carry out asphalt installation. For instance, to properly compact asphalt, they should have at least a 1-ton roller at their disposal. 

Once you have found a reputable contractor for your asphalt installation, you’ll need to schedule an appropriate time for the project to happen. Asphalt is usually best poured in the warmer months of the year. 

Also, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use your driveway for a few days while the area is being prepped, poured, compacted, and left to cure. 

Are You Considering Residential Asphalt Paving for Your Home?

Residential asphalt paving is affordable, durable, and easy to have installed. 

However, you do need to pick a good contractor. Otherwise, you might end up throwing money at a driveway that’s going to deteriorate far quicker than it should. 

We are a family-owned residential asphalt paving installation company, passionate about providing a good service and keeping our customers happy. 

Get the ball rolling on your new driveway and contact us today for a quote.

asphalt driveways
House Renovation

The Most Important Benefits of Getting Asphalt Driveways

Driving on a gravel driveway can be annoying, especially if you want to take good care of your car. Gravel can pop up and ding your paint job, and you may have trouble with mud and flooding when it rains. Getting your driveway paved can be a great investment in your home, but it’s important that you choose the right material.

Asphalt can be a fantastic choice for your new driveway. Read on to discover some of the benefits of asphalt driveways and how they can improve your home.

Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits asphalt offers for driveways is additional flexibility. Driveways bear enormous loads, and over time, concrete, which is tremendously inflexible, may start to crack. These cracks can become worse in the winter, as we’ll discuss later, and can present trip and fall hazards.

Unlike concrete, asphalt has some flexibility that allows it to give way when needed. This can help to prevent cracks and keep your driveway in better shape for longer. However, it is important to note that almost any paved driveway surface is likely to crack over time, so your asphalt might experience some small cracks.

Affordability

Getting a driveway paved is an investment in your home, and it comes with a demanding budget. Concrete generally costs between $5 and $7 for a square foot for a plain gray slab. If you want any sort of color or embellishment on your concrete driveway, you can expect to pay as much as $18 per square foot. 

Asphalt, however, is much more affordable at only $3 to $4 a square foot. While you can’t get any special embellishments, the smooth black surface is a classic that will fit with any home style. And if your driveway is 800 square feet, you could save as much as $3,000 or more just by installing an asphalt driveway instead of concrete. 

Winter-Hardiness 

If you live somewhere that gets very cold in the winter, chances are you deal with concrete roads breaking down as temperatures drop. Concrete shrinks when it gets cold, which can lead to cracking and potholes. Salt and ice melt can also seriously damage concrete, leaving it brittle and crumbling in the spring. 

Asphalt isn’t as susceptible to these problems as concrete and can withstand harsh winter weather better. While it, too, will shrink up, because it isn’t one solid surface like concrete, it’s slightly less susceptible to cracking. It’s also less likely to be damaged by salt or ice melt and won’t become as brittle as concrete.

Timeline

When you pour a concrete driveway, you have to allow time for the concrete to cure. Depending on weather patterns in your area and the size of the driveway, this could take as long as a week. And in the meantime, you’re left without access to your garage, parking on the street or wherever you can find a spot.

When you pour an asphalt driveway, it’ll be ready to use as soon as it hardens up, which is a matter of just a few hours. Your installer might recommend that you stay off it for a day or so to give it time to fully set and avoid dents or cracks. But compared with the set time for concrete, you’ll be able to use your new driveway much sooner with asphalt.

DIY Repair

No matter how much care you take or which material you choose, your driveway will wear down over time. Cracks and holes will appear, and if they’re not addressed, they’ll degrade further. Repairing concrete is patchwork at best and leaves your concrete looking disheveled and uneven.

Repairing asphalt, however, is a job you can manage easily enough on your own. You can resurface and reseal your asphalt so it looks brand new. It’s also a good idea to reseal your asphalt every so often to prevent cracks and keep your driveway looking its best for as long as possible. 

Environmental Impact

These days, more and more people are becoming aware of the impact their lives have on our planet. One of the biggest contributors to climate change is the construction industry, and concrete is a big part of that. In addition to the environmental cost of manufacturing concrete, concrete cannot be recycled.

Asphalt, on the other hand, can be recycled when it gets old and made into new surfaces. You can reprocess asphalt without losing any of the material quality in the new surface. This helps to save not only materials but also the impact of manufacturing asphalt to begin with. 

Performance 

You might be surprised to learn that asphalt out-performs concrete in a variety of different arenas. Asphalt works well for driving or walking on, since it is smooth and resistant to cracking. But it can also help to make your home safer if it’s constructed the right way.

When installed properly, asphalt can quickly move water off of its surface. This means that, unlike with concrete driveways, you won’t get standing pools of water every time it rains. It can also protect the surface from breaking down and may even help to direct water away from your home and garage.

Discover the Benefits of Asphalt Driveways

Getting your driveway paved can be a fantastic investment in your home, as well as making for a much more pleasant living experience. Asphalt driveways outperform concrete in almost every arena, from affordability and environmental impact to winter-hardiness and performance. And your asphalt driveway will be ready to use in a matter of hours, not days.

If you’d like to discover the benefits of asphalt driveways for yourself, check out the rest of our site at Washington Pavements. We are paving your neighborhood, and high quality is always guaranteed. Get a quote from us today and experience the hard work and pride we put into every project for yourself.

driveway paving mistakes
House Renovation

3 Common Driveway Paving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Your driveway has your back. Well, your tires. It’s a functional, hard-working space that you pass over every single day, usually without a second thought.

Until it’s time to pave. Or re-pave.

Unfortunately, common driveway paving mistakes can weaken your driveway’s performance and require significantly greater maintenance over time. Here are three of the most common driveway paving mistakes to be aware of and what you should do instead.

1. Too Little or Too Much Spacing

How much space does your driveway need? It’s a planning consideration that will significantly alter how you use your driveway in the future.

A single-car driveway, for example, is usually between 9 to 12 feet. A 20-foot driveway provides enough space for two cars to pass, though not quite enough space to park side-by-side and open doors, which is why two-car driveways can get as wide as 24 feet. For a single-car turnaround, you’ll need a space measuring 10 by 20 feet, while a two-car turnaround needs 20 by 20 feet.

This is often dictated by the size of your garage, but keep in mind that your driveway becomes a landscaping feature. Pay attention to how it integrates into your landscaping so that you can balance comfortable maneuvering with curb appeal.

2. Improper Asphalt Driveway Surfacing

Your driveway is supposed to last for decades. With proper maintenance, an asphalt driveway can last 15 to 20 years. But if it’s done poorly, it might last a fraction of that time (if you’re lucky). Then you’ll be paying for early asphalt driveway repair every time you turn around.

For example, if you choose the wrong material, you’ll have to spend a lot more time and energy keeping it in good repair. Here’s a hint: the cheapest material isn’t always the right one.

Alternately, if you choose to resurface your driveway with a different material, you can’t just throw down the new material. Any issues in the underlying material will eventually show up in the new one, so you have to repair the old driveway surface in order to install the new one properly.

3. Hiring the Wrong Asphalt Driveway Contractors

You could Google “driveway paving near me” and come up with a list of at least twenty contractors in your area, plenty of them with decent prices. That does not mean you should hire any old contractor, though.

Start by taking a look at the company’s website. Check out their quotes (hint: if they give a blanket quote rather than customizing the estimate to your project, take your project elsewhere). Check out their testimonials page to see what their customers have to say.

In your initial call, ask questions and pay attention to the company’s level of professionalism. Ask for a list of references and ask a variety of questions of those references, like their satisfaction with the work, how closely the contractor followed the contract, and the cost of the job.

You should also ask for proof that the company has liability insurance. If they’re incredulous at your skepticism, insist on proof. Any contractor worth their salt will gladly provide proof of liability insurance.

The Driveway Paving Company That Does the Job Right Every Time

Don’t fall victim to the same old driveway paving mistakes. Your driveway is an essential part of your home, and when it’s time to give it a refresh, turn to experts you can trust.

We’re your trusted driveway experts servicing the DMV area, from Falls Church to Waldorf to Washington, DC. Our job is simple: to deliver the great driveway your home needs, backed by hard work and years of expertise. Get a quote for your project today and learn how our team can deliver a driveway that lasts for decades.

repaving a driveway
House Renovation

Instant Curb Appeal: 5 Benefits of Repaving a Driveway

Are you tired of seeing cracks in your driveway? Is the color fading? Is it making your house look less than welcoming?

We completely understand. A cracked, faded driveway is no way to present your home.

Your driveway is one of the first things that visitors see when they walk or drive up to your home. So, you should make sure that it’s looking its best so that your home can also look its best.

The solution is driveway repaving. Repaving a driveway may seem like a large undertaking, but we promise it’s worth it.

Keep reading to learn why.

1. A Better Look

Of course, resurfacing your driveway will make your driveway and your overall property look better. No one likes the look of cracks and crevices all over their driveway. These can take away from the beauty of your home and yard.

That’s why so many people testify for driveway resurfacing. It can truly change the entire feel of your home from the outside in.

2. Sealing Isn’t Enough

Some homeowners think that the cracks in their driveway can be sealed off. However, it’s not this simple.

You can try to invest in materials that say that they’ll seal off cracks and reives, but you’ll never get that new look again. Completely resurfacing the driveway is the only way to ensure that you get a look that is as good as when the home was built.

3. Get an Upgrade

While you’re repaving your driveway, you may decide that you want to upgrade it. You can choose a new style, material, and color if you want to spice things up.

This is a great option for those of you who are over the look of your old driveway. There are plenty of options for you to choose from, and a driveway repaving expert would be happy to help you find the best option for your home.

4. Save Time and Money

If you want to resurface your driveway, you don’t need legal approval. You can simply hire a professional to get the job done.

Plus, the cost of repaving your driveway is much less than any injury or accident that may occur because of the cracks in the pavement.

Your car will thank you later.

5. Delay Replacement

By repaving your driveway, you’d be delaying driveway replacement. This is a much more expensive procedure.

Repaving can hold your driveway off from replacement for several more years.

Repaving a Driveway With the Experts

Now that you’ve made it to the end, we know we’ve convinced you that repaving a driveway is the way to go. It’s such a small job, but it will work wonders for the external look of your home.

Now, all you need are asphalt driveway contractors. That’s where we come in.

Our team here at Washington Pavements can help you with asphalt driveway resurfacing. We will have your driveway looking as good as new.

Get a quote today to see how much we could repave your driveway for. We can’t wait to get to work.

driveway paving near me
House Renovation

Driveway Paving Near Me: How to Find the Right Company

According to survey results, one in five homeowners who’ve had work done on their homes withheld final payments due to quality issues. 

This is not the situation you want to be in when hiring a driveway paving company to carry out driveway repair for you. 

If you’re looking for asphalt driveway contractors, it’s essential that you don’t simply type in “driveway paving near me” and go with the first search result that comes up. 

Instead, you should carefully vet your options. Otherwise, you might end up with a half-finished driveway (and compromised access to your home), a job that doesn’t stand the test of time, or a hole in your pocket. 

Keep reading to learn how to find the best local driveway companies.

Ask Around and Search “Driveway Paving Near Me”

Know someone who’s recently had asphalt driveway surfacing done? If so, ask which driveway paving company they used and if they were happy with their service. 

You can also type in a search like ‘driveway paving near me’ sift through the results. Check out the top driveway repair company websites and see which look the most professional.

Do they have a blog? Does their site look like it was built in the 90s, or is it fresh and user-friendly?

Also, check asphalt driveway contractors’ sites for testimonials from past clients. If they have lots of glowing testimonials, this a good sign. 

Check the Reviews of Any Driveway Paving Company You’re Considering

Another thing to check while you are online is reviews. Look for reviews on any potential asphalt driveway contractors to see what previous clients had to say about them.

If you see a trend of positive reviews, this is a good indication that the company in question is reliable and gives good service. On the other hand, a string of unhappy reviews is usually a warning flag. 

Ask About Experience, Licensing, Training, and Insurance

Once you have a shortlist of asphalt driveway contractors, start contacting them and comparing notes.

Ask them how long they have been in the driveway repair industry, and what training their staff has. 

Another area to check is whether they are licensed and bonded. Asphalt paving contractors who aren’t licensed or bonded are usually fly-by-night operators who aren’t going to give you top-notch service. 

What’s more, if you hire a contractor that’s insured, and one of their staff suffers an injury on your property, you could be held liable

Prioritize Efficient, Friendly Service

When contacting potential local driveway companies, make a mental note of their initial interactions with you. Were they friendly and efficient? Did they get back to you promptly?

Prioritize asphalt driveway contractors who are easy to deal with and swift in their communications. 

Need Driveway Repairs Done in Virginia? 

If you’re looking for driveway re-pavement services, it’s essential that you vet your options thoroughly and avoid unreliable contractors.

Fortunately, you won’t have to look far to find a superior driveway repair company. Besides searching “driveway paving near me” you can also check out our asphalt driveway repair services. 

Here at Washington Pavements, we specialize in asphalt driveway resurfacing, as well as new driveway constructions, patching, extensions, and more. 

Contact us today to get a free, knowledgeable quote and start the ball rolling on your driveway repair project. 

House Renovation

Everything You Need To Know About Your Asphalt Driveway In Winter

Cracks, shovel damage, and potholes are just some of the issues winter can bring to your new asphalt driveway. You need to know how to take care of it, or you can cause more damage on top of that. There are a few tips and tricks you should know to prevent damage over the winter months.

Don’t accidentally damage your driveway. Take steps to prevent damage in the future. Read on for everything you need to know about your asphalt driveway in winter.

Don’t Use Metal Shovels

Using a lightweight plastic shovel instead of a heavy metal one can prevent damage from shoveling. Holding the shovel at a shallow angle to avoid damage, as well. Don’t hold the shovel at a steep angle or use an ice pick to dig into the ice, or you risk harming the asphalt.

You should also shovel after every snow to avoid ice build-up. Letting it build up or turn into ice can have disastrous consequences! Keep your driveway as clear as you can!

Use Rock Salt Alternatives

Standard rock salt de-icers are toxic and damaging to your driveway. When temperatures reach below fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, it is ineffective anyway. Avoid it and use better alternatives.

You can use either Magnesium Chloride or Calcium Magnesium Acetate, which are good down to zero degrees Fahrenheit and negative twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. They are better for your driveway and are more effective. Use them selectively, though, as too much of anything can be bad.

Use a Snow Blowing Service

If your schedule doesn’t let you keep up with the snow, hire a snow removal service. If you do, make sure they are keeping the snow blower’s skid plates and shoes to a quarter of an inch above the driveway to prevent potential damage. The same worries about metal shovels apply with snow blowers!

Talk to your neighbors and friends to ask for recommendations. A company with a good word of mouth reputation is what you want to look for. The company must treat your driveway with the utmost care.

Seal-Coat Your Driveway

As soon as your driveway is ready, seal coat it! It can help prevent water and freezing damage to the asphalt, which is doubly important in the winter months. Getting the seal coat done early is important for your driveway’s health!

Watch For Asphalt Failure

Cracks in your asphalt driveway can be disastrous in winter. They can easily go from a small issue to a much bigger one. Make sure to call and schedule a patch and repair if you have cracks in your driveway before winter comes around.

Asphalt Driveway Care and Maintenance

It can be a battle in winter to keep your driveway from sustaining damage. Make sure you have to tools necessary to win the fight! If something happens to it, remember to check our service areas to get your driveway back to its beautiful best!