Some people think that the best kind of driveway is hardly noticed at all. If it’s built and installed right, you should basically never have to think about it. This is true in one sense, but a fantastic driveway is something you should notice. The smoothness, the form and shape, and the high quality that can be retained year after year.
This is assuming, of course, that your driveway was installed by a really experienced and knowledgeable professional. If not, you could be dealing with a very different scenario. The scenario in which you notice your driveway for all the wrong reasons. There are glaring imperfections in the way it was installed; or perhaps structural issues are beginning to cause problems. Whatever the case, the problem could have been averted if the company who installed the driveway really knew what they were doing.
So as a homeowner, it’s useful to know about some of the most common mistakes made by the companies who installed driveway pavement. This can point you toward the right questions when talking to and researching pavement specialists.
1. Using a low quality mix
This is a common mistake, and one that many people don’t realize is possible. Aren’t all asphalt mixes the same? Not at all. There is a spectrum of quality when it comes to asphalt mixes. The best companies will use a very high quality mix and will be able to explain the details of the mix they would use for your driveway.
2. Problems in the base and sub-base layers
A lot of people don’t realize the importance of the layers beneath the actual surface asphalt. Known as the base and sub-base layers, these provide structural support to the entire installation. When asphalt fails and cracks up, it’s often because the base or sub-base layers were not properly prepared and installed, prior to laying the asphalt.
3. Incorrect leveling
A driveway that isn’t perfectly level is certainly an annoyance. In some cases, it’s worse than that. But why would a professional driveway installation company not properly level a driveway they were installing? It can happen from lack of experience or outdated tools. Again, this points to the importance of researching a quality contractor.
4. Not taking local climate and conditions into consideration
Not all asphalt installations are alike — in fact, it’s fair to say that no two are exactly alike. But the real professionals know that climate and seasons play a big role in deciding what kind of mix you’re going to use, and other technical aspects of the installation.
Don’t let these mistakes happen to you (or your driveway)
Choosing a company to install your driveway may seem like a minor decision with very little risk, and of course that should be true. But if your contractor isn’t properly experienced and equipped, mistakes can happen. And when they do, it’s probably you who will end up footing the bill! This also highlights the importance of working with contractors who offer written guarantees to back up their work.