Common Paving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to home renovations, repaving your driveway or patio is a big commitment. A well paved driveway should last for years and years in great condition. An improperly paved driveway, on the other hand, will be an eyesore that you’ll likely need to spend more money down the road to replace.

So just what are the most common paving mistakes that homeowners end up regretting after a job is done? Read on to find out and get some tips on how to avoid these costly blunders.

Cutting Corners

Everyone likes to save money. When it comes to home improvements, though, trying too hard to save money can actually cost more in the long run. There is a temptation amongst many homeowners to cut corners when repaving a driveway by doing the work themselves or hiring an inexperienced (but cheap) contractor. These choices will almost always end up poorly. Specialized skills and equipment are absolutely critical when paving. Attempting a job without them is a very bad idea.

Poorly Mixed Mortar

Sometimes, in an effort to speed up a job, inadequate time is allowed for mixing mortar or preparing the cement for paving. If mortar is not properly mixed, the quality of the final product will be compromised and might need to be replaced altogether. An experienced contractor will know how to expertly prepare mortar or cement depending on the size and scope of the job at hand.

Choosing the Wrong Materials

Which material you choose to pave your driveway should depend on where you live, the look you are going for, and the needs of your household. Concrete is the least expensive and most common type of pavement to use. Asphalt, while a bit more expensive initially, often lasts longer and requires little upkeep. Tar-and-chip and gravel are other common options, but can cause complications depending on the weather where you live. Check with a specialist to get recommendations about which material makes the most sense for your home and needs.

Improper Application of Sealer

In order to ensure your asphalt driveway lasts as long as possible, it is important that is correctly sealed after the paving job is done. If you seal your driveway too soon or too long after the paving is completed, the sealant will be less effective, and you may be left replacing your driveway well before you planned on it. Sealer takes two to three days to dry entirely and will dry best in dry sunny weather, so it’s important to be thoughtful and plan ahead when it comes to this final paving step.

Finding the Right Paving Specialist

At the end of the day, many paving mistakes can be avoided merely by hiring an experienced and trustworthy paving company. Don’t assume that you can do a job yourself, or that an inexperienced (albeit less expensive) contractor can do the same quality work as an experienced one. Ask around with friends and neighbors for recommendations of a good specialist, or check out local reviews online. Make sure you explain the project you have in mind to your prospective contractors to find out what experience they have with similar types of work.