Asphalt driveways provide a great deal of advantages to home owners who opt in for them. They’re durable, can stand up to a huge variety of weather conditions, can be made for both high and low traffic areas, and when they reach the end of their years asphalt driveways can be broken up and recycled.
Before putting down an asphalt driveway though it’s important to follow all of the necessary steps that have to come first. For both driveways and roads that means that the area where the asphalt is going to go has to be primed and sealed beforehand.
The base level of a driveway is going to be pavement, which needs to be properly cleaned and prepared. Once it’s clean the next step is to apply a primer, which is similar to a primer for painting. The primer coat smooths out the pavement, fills in any of the pores, and once the primer dries it provides a smooth layer for the others to bond with. The primer can take between 24 hours and three days to cure, and the warmer and drier the environment is, the quicker the primer is going to cure.
Once the primer is in place and has had enough time to cure the next step is to seal it. After the primer and sealant are in place and have cured properly only then will an asphalt top layer be poured and allowed to solidify. Once the asphalt is in place it can be painted on (the standard lines and warnings for roads, or whatever designs someone wants to use for a driveway), and then used as soon as it’s ready.
For those who want to have a long-lasting asphalt driveway putting down a primer coat is a step that shouldn’t be skipped. The primer is the foundation of the process, and skipping it can lead to a weaker, crack-prone top coat of asphalt.
There’s nothing that says the process has to happen all at once, either. There can be days, or even weeks in very low-traffic areas, between the primer being put down and the sealant being applied. The same is true of the time between the sealant and the asphalt itself being put down. Once the sealant has been put in place and allowed to cure a primer can last for several weeks with minimum maintenance. If there’s been little to no traffic across the top of it the primer coat can last even longer. If there’s too much traffic though, it’s possible that the primer will need to be re-done before the sealant is put on and the asphalt placed on top of that.
While it might seem like a lot of steps to put down a simple asphalt driveway, the flexibility on time is just one more benefit this material offers. Once a previous layer is in place there’s no hurry or rush to get the next layer in place. It’s a material that moves on the home owner’s time table.