Residential Archives - Affordable Paving & Excavating

What is Tack Coat?
Tack coats are thin layers of asphalt product that are used in the construction or refacing of roads, highways, parking lots and even driveways. This type of product is used to help the layers of asphalt laid down as part of the resurfacing process to bond together with more efficiency. As a result, overlay is able to hold up under constant use for longer periods of time, making it easier to maintain the road properly.

Also known as bitumen, the tack coat itself is composed of asphalt by-products. The bitumen is sticky, an attribute that makes it ideal for use as an adhesive between layers of asphalt. Without the presence of the tack coat, a new layer of asphalt laid upon an existing road would deteriorate much more quickly, often creating potholes and various conditions that decrease the safety of the asphalt.

In order to achieve the highest degree of efficiency with a tack coat, it is important to prepare the section of road properly. This means that the layer of asphalt that is already present should be dry and relatively free of dirt and other contaminants. This will help to make it easier to apply a uniform layer of the product and help the tack coat provide a greater bond with the asphalt that is applied over the adhesive.

What is Petromat?
The Petromat® System extends the life of new asphalt  pavements and asphalt overlays. The Petromat System consists of Propex’s Petromat non-woven polypropylene fabric which is field saturated with an asphalt cement tack coat. When placed between pavement layers, the Petromat system becomes an integral part of the roadway section, forming a barrier to water infiltration and absorbing stresses to reduce reflective and fatigue cracking of the new blacktop surface layer. Since 1965, the economical Petromat System has had an outstanding record of improving pavement performance while reducing maintenance and roadway life-cycle costs. Paving fabric systems are currently being used at a rate of over 15,000 equivalent lane miles per year in North America alone.

Stress Absorbing Interlayer
Petromat paving fabric, saturated with tack coat, forms a substantial interlayer media within which stresses can be absorbed. Stresses associated with limited movement along cracks and joints in existing asphalt or Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements are absorbed within the paving fabric system and therefore, are not translated, or reflected, up into the asphalt layer over the system.  Also, asphalt concrete flexible pavement will eventually develop fatigue cracking due to tensile stresses while flexing. The inclusion of the Petromat System interlayer results in a layered pavement with greatly reduced tensile stresses compared to monolithic pavements with no interlayer. The result is a dramatic increase in the fatigue life of new pavements or overlays.

Beware of Dishonest Paving Contractors
Unfortunately for the honest paving contractors out there, this profession has a reputation for scams and conmen. Watch out for:

  • Contractors who find you, rather than you finding them.
  • Contractors who say they have leftover asphalt from another job and will cut you a good deal.
  • Contractors who seem to be moving through the area, rather than local, permanent contractors.

Please remember in a recession many companies will do whatever it takes to get your business, which means skimping on materials and craftsmanship. With over 50 years combined experience, local home owner and businesses have relied on us to produce the very finest pavement, at the lowest possible price.

How to Find an Asphalt Paving Contractor

  • Local reputation. Seek out projects that are more than a year old and have withstood snow, rain, and sun–and that still look good and function well.
  • Paving contractors don’t necessarily have to be licensed as contractors, but if they happen to be–and they have a clean record–that’s a plus.

Install Asphalt Paving Over Existing Driveway
If your existing driveway is in good condition and is not severely cracked or crumbling, the hot-mix asphalt can be laid right on top of your driveway. One consideration, though, with laying on top of existing pavement is height. Are there fences, garages, and other structures that might make it impossible to raise the height of your driveway?

Rip Out Existing Driveway; Install Asphalt Paving on Aggregate Base
With this option, an aggregate stone base partially replaces some of the hot-mix asphalt. Typically 5-8 inches of aggregate go under 2 1/2 inches of asphalt.

Conditions Must Be Right to Lay Asphalt
Hot-mix asphalt is sensitive to temperate and moisture. Warmer temperatures are better because they give the contractor more time to work with the asphalt before it hardens.
Temps should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit in order to lay 1 1/2 inches of asphalt. If the contractor is using more asphalt (2 inches or more), he can work with a greater range of temperatures–down to 40 degrees is possible. Wind will shrink the window of time, as will moisture. In fact, too much moisture and the job may be delayed.

Asphalt Paving Goes Down
With all the preparations done, the actual asphalt paving goes fast. Blink and you may miss it. An average driveway may take as little as 60 minutes to at least begin to look like a finished product. However, more time will be needed to compact the asphalt. And then of course, the asphalt needs to harden. While you’ll probably be able to drive on it within 1 to 2 days, the contractor will most likely recommend that you wait 3 to 5 days just to make sure the asphalt has time to cure especially on extra warm days.

If your driveway is free and clear of other structures, this last step may be unnecessary. However, you may have had to remove fences or gates prior to laying the driveway. These structures must be re-installed and often re-configured to accommodate the higher pavement.
Now that you have a nice, new driveway, you’ll want to occasionally have your driveway sealed by a professional to prevent water from working into the surface pores. Oil base sealer is much better than water base sealer but comes with an additional expense. If cracks begin to develop over time–even the smallest ones–apply a crack sealer to keep cracks from getting larger.

When can I drive on my driveway?
Keep automobile traffic off your newly paved driveway for at least 3 full days and longer in hotter, more humid temperatures.

Please be careful with your newly paved driveway for at least the first 2 years (Especially in the Summer)

PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!! Due to the inherently soft nature and slow curing time of asphalt, it is necessary to be very careful with your new pavement. The most common problem is tire marks made from stationary turning in hot or sunny weather. Please try to be moving when turning, or the top surface of asphalt will be easily torn or scarred! These tire marks can scare customers into thinking that there is something wrong with their new driveway or parking lot. The Asphalt Institute of America sends all paving contractors letters every year letting them know about this growing problem.

Do not Drive over the Edges of your Driveway
Please do not drive over the edges of your new blacktop, as this will weaken and crumble the edges. The new black top edges that are showing or higher than the yard should be backfilled with topsoil and seeded. This will support the edge of the driveway in case of anything driving off the edge. If you need to bring in soil, it is recommended to wait 4 to 6 months before having a dump truck on the driveway.
The heat during the summer months will soften the asphalt. Try to keep your driveway clear during this time. Pointy-based objects such as: chair and table legs, jack stands, bicycle & Motorcycle kickstands, grills, high-heeled shoes and anything with a small diameter can cause indentations in softened asphalt.

During the first year, vary your parking pattern. Avoid parking your car in the same location. This will help prevent depressions in asphalt.

Be Careful Using Gas or Oil around your Driveway
Gas and oil can eat away asphalt so be careful using it around your driveway. Example: filling lawnmowers. Put baking soda or sand on a gas or oil spill to absorb the liquid. Then be sure to wash the area thoroughly with water.

Asphalt takes approximately 2 years to begin to cure, although you can drive on it about 3-5 days or so after it’s been paved. As your pavement ages, it will become harder and will provide many years of durable service.

When should I consider seal coating my driveway? 
Once your asphalt has started to turn gray call us to have it seal coated. An oil-based sealant will replenish the oils that the driveway is made out of and a water-based sealant will protect against gas and oil leaks and spills on your driveway.

Feel free to call or email us if you have any questions or concerns. It is our goal to help you protect your investment.

Get Printable Driveway Care Instructions