Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts

There's a lot to know about asphalt. This information is intended to explain the process involved in the creation of a high-quality paved surface.
Although this covers a lot of the basic information, it may not explain everything that applies to your specific information. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have, so don’t hesitate to call and ask today!

Building Your Asphalt Drive or Parking Lot from the Ground Up

  • We determine the best course for adequate drainage and usability of your drive or lot. Proper drainage is a must in order to get the longest life expectancy from your asphalt. Usability will make you smile and keep you from cursing.
  • We remove and dispose of vegetation along with unsuitable subsoils (i.e., clay, marrow, muck, and deteriorated asphalt.)
  • We install new draining subsoils or use those already in place. Placing more asphalt or thicker base materials will not always guarantee longevity if placed on unsuitable sub base.
  • We install base materials. Most commonly used is road gravel of 22A or 21AA specifications, but crushed stone / concrete is also an option. The base must be a compactable product to ensure a dense, hard base for your asphalt.
  • Placement of the asphalt: The thickness of your asphalt is based on traffic usage, whether it is a residential or commercial location, and the weight of vehicles using it.
  • Continuing to provide proper care and maintenance for your asphalt investment will ensure that it lasts for years to come. (edging, sealing, etc.)

Tips for Maintaining Your New Asphalt Driveway

  • Since the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to harden and cure, usually 6-12 months, your driveway will remain soft and pliable until then. You may walk on your new driveway immediately, however, please refrain from automobile traffic for a minimum of 24 hours (longer during hotter temperatures). Even after the blacktop has cured, do not expect it to be as hard as concrete.
  • Your new blacktop will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. Watering down your driveway with a hose on hot days will cool and temporarily harden the blacktop. This is helpful, but not mandatory.
  • Blacktop is scarred by automobiles starting out too fast, pulling in too quickly, or just plain driving too fast. During the first 6-12 months, while your driveway is curing, try to avoid parking in the same spot every time. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.
  • Avoid using jack stands or car ramps unless a piece of plywood is placed under them to help distribute the weight. Excessive weight from large, heavy vehicles can depress your new blacktop. Keep oil trucks, concrete trucks, and any other heavy trucks off your new driveway. When storing campers for long periods of time, again, place a piece of plywood under the tongue jack and also under the tires.
  • Lawn chairs, bicycles, and motorcycle kickstands exert weight on concentrated areas and can create holes or depressions in your new driveway. Especially watch out for those pointy high heels during the warm months when your driveway is new.
  • The edges are the weakest part of your driveway due to the lack of side support. Avoid driving on the edges, as they will crack and crumble in time. We suggest building up the sides of your driveway with topsoil. This will support the edges and enhance the appearance after grass is grown.
  • Your driveway may look smoother in some areas than in others because of the makeup of the blacktop. Blacktop has various sizes of stone, sand, liquid asphalt, and other ingredients which cause a varied texture on the surface. Also, blacktop areas that have been raked and spread with hand tools may appear different in texture than those spread by machine.
  • Avoid gasoline, oil, antifreeze, power steering and transmission fluid spills, and leaks. These will dilute the liquid asphalt in your blacktop. Any hole left by these spills should be filled with cold patch. Any hairline cracks that may have developed over the winter due to the contraction and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler. These products can be purchased from your local building supply store.
  • To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to seal coat it after paving. Sealing too soon, however, may cause damage to your new drive. The best time to seal is 6-12 months after it has been paved and every 2-3 years thereafter. Because blacktop is naturally porous, water can seep into and through the paving. This not only causes deterioration, but results in ridges and upheaval due to frost and freezing. Blacktop is also softened and broken up by gasoline, lubricating oils, grease, road salts, and antifreeze, which drip from cars. Sealer protects blacktop with a coating that is impervious to these harmful elements. Unprotected driveways remain porous, dry out, become rough, and lose their life rapidly.
  • If you’re interested in our services or just want to learn more, call 800-968-2275 today!
Serving Manistee, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Wexford, and Mason counties
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Since 1986, the service you can trust. Don't wait any longer to get your perfect driveway or parking lot. Get in touch with the experts at Ron Brown & Sons Inc today and be on your way to a new and improved driving surface.
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