Asphalt Driveway - Foundations

Properly installed, an asphalt driveway can last 10 to 15 years. During the sales process, some contractors will focus on explaining the thickness of the asphalt surface, but the key to a durable driveway lies mainly in the foundation upon which it is built. The base soil beneath the driveway should be strong and should be firmly compacted before the next level, a gravel base, is installed. Typically, asphalt surfaces are installed on a base of crushed angular gravel. The thickness of the gravel will depend primarily on the usage of the driveway; a minimum of six inches of gravel base is fine for a driveway expecting mostly light vehicle traffic, but if the driveway will host larger commercial trucks on a regular basis, then the gravel base should be a minimum of eight inches. The crushed gravel should be installed in layers, with the first layer laid about four inches thick, graded smooth and compacted firmly, and then the second layer will be installed.