Choosing an asphalt driveway is a sound investment for many homeowners because of its low maintenance and high durability. However, one crucial factor in the installation process of a residential driveway is determining how thick should an asphalt driveway be.
Your asphalt driveway thickness is a critical factor to consider before installation. A thicker asphalt driveway will be more durable and last longer, but it also costs more. You need to decide how thick your driveway is based on your needs and budget.
Your asphalt driveway’s proper thickness and structure depend on what you plan to use the pavement for once it is completed. Asphalt pavement is about more than just the asphalt layer. The entire structure must be considered, including subgrade materials and drainage.
Residential Driveway Asphalt Thickness
It is recommended to use 2-3 inches of asphalt for residential driveways. Three inches thick would be ideal for large vehicles or equipment that isn’t used often.
Keeping a minimum of 6 to 8 inches of granular base aggregate beneath the asphalt is vital. If the soil in your area is gravelly, rocky, or sandy, it will likely drain well and won’t need to be tampered with. If your soil is made up of loam or clay, it may need to be excavated so that you won’t have to deal with any challenges later on down the road.
Commercial Asphalt Pavement and Parking Lots
Commercial driveways and parking lots should be at least 3 inches thick. Commercial driveways should have an 8-inch granular foundation, while regular lots only need 6 inches. Soil with proper drainage is necessary.
Heavy Duty Commercial Driveways and Lots
Commercial driveways often used by heavy trucks or near-loading docks need a stronger structure, with various finish and binder layers, to result in an asphalt thickness of 4 to 7 inches. You should have six inches of asphalt over a three-inch aggregate base layer for a heavy-duty commercial lot. A thickness of this level is only typical for large commercial properties or driveways that will have a high volume of traffic.
Insufficiently Thick Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt construction is designed to distribute the weight of the load evenly across the surface. The material is thick and flexible, which allows it to be supported by the base layer underneath. However, if the asphalt is too thin, it can’t distribute weight evenly. This compression of material beneath the tire leads to the pulling away from adjacent pavement and eventually causes fatigue cracks. These flaws will continue to grow upwards and outwards, causing the surface to break down much sooner than expected.
Why You Should Choose a Thicker Asphalt Driveway
An asphalt driveway made with ideal thickness will be able to withstand heavier vehicles without cracking or breaking. A thicker driveway will not as easily develop potholes, last longer overall, and be more durable.
When asphalt is exposed to intense heat or cold, it expands and contracts, causing cracks. A driveway is an important part of a home, but if you live in a place with severe weather conditions, consider a thicker or reinforced driveway. Generally, a thicker asphalt driveway will result in a better-quality driveway that will last for an extended period. It will also withstand the elements better, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.
The only downside to a thicker asphalt driveway is the cost. A thicker driveway will require more money for materials and labor during installation. But a thicker driveway is worth the investment if you can afford it.
Hiring a Reputable Contractor
Our team of expert asphalt paving contractors in Hickory Asphalt Paving has over 50 years of expertise and understands how to build long-lasting, high-quality pavement. As a leading asphalt contractor, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent work at a reasonable price, backed by outstanding customer service. Consider hiring Hickory Asphalt Paving if you want everything done correctly. If your residential driveways or business parking lot is in Hickory, NC, and you need asphalt paving services from a professional paving contractor. Hickory Asphalt Paving can help you meet your needs and budget.
If you are paving a new driveway, consider the thickness of the asphalt. A thicker driveway will last longer and be more durable. But it will also cost more to install. Weigh your options and choose the right thickness for your needs. Do not hesitate to contact Hickory Asphalt Paving if you need assistance. We’re always pleased to assist in obtaining the finest outcomes possible for your asphalt paving driveway projects in Hickory, NC.