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DIY Driveway Paving Preparation

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Asphalt | 0 comments

Base preparation is different for installing asphalt and concrete. More than 50% of asphalt’s strength comes from its base. If the base is done improperly, it can lead to major issues. Unlike asphalt, concrete gets most of its strength from its hardness. Both need an appropriate base for a long lasting outcome. 

Occasionally customers want to do their own prep-work. If that is the case, here is what you need to know. 

Excavating and grading

Excavate the area where you want to have the asphalt or concrete laid. Keep in mind that when excavating you need to account for base plus either asphalt or concrete. Usually asphalt is 3” thick and concrete 4”. 

After you have excavated, add back base, keeping in mind your target grade. Use 3”-12” road base for asphalt and 3”- 6” of ¾ in gravel for concrete. The grade is the slope that the asphalt or concrete will have in order to make sure that water is able to run off. Concrete should have at least a 2% grade and asphalt 3%.

Grade can be measured using some simple items you probably already have around your house. You’ll need a bubble level, tape measure, and a 2X4. Take the 2X4 and put it on the ground with one end at a high spot and the other end pointing in the direction you expect the water to drain. Place the level on the 2X4. Pick up the low end of the 2×4 and lift it till the bubble in the level is centered between the two lines marked on the level. Measure the distance between the end of the 2X4 and the ground in inches.

Take that measurement and divide it by the length of your 2X4 in inches. Then move the decimal twice to the right and that is your grade percent. Repeat this grade check in multiple locations to make sure all areas slope toward an acceptable drainage area.

Example: Measurement from bottom of an 8 foot 2×4 to the ground is 3 inches. 8 feet is 96 inches(standard 2X4 length). 3 divide by 96=.03125. Move decimal to the right twice (3.125). Slope is just over 3%.

Once your grade is correct, rake the surface smooth, moisten, and compact.

Contact Top Job 

When you have completed these steps, contact us about  laying the asphalt or concrete. If, after reading this, you realize it might be a good idea to have a professional do it we would be more than happy to help.  Call us for a quote and then we’ll schedule a time to finish your project. We pride ourselves on doing it right and making sure our customers are taken care of.

Top Job Asphalt can help customize your project to meet your individual needs. We  work hard to train our employees, so that you as the customer can feel comfortable asking questions and knowing that you are getting credible information.

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Pam Taylor
Pam Taylor
October 4, 2021.
My husband and I contracted with Top Job to asphalt the driveway at our cabin in Fish Haven, ID. Starting with Steve who gave us the estimate, to Teri, Sam and especially Kevin who headed the project was timely, professional, and exceptionally well done. They are an honest and reputable company. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone who is looking to asphalt. Pam
Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson
October 1, 2021.
Top Job Asphalt works extremely well to the satisfaction of each of their customers!
David Hansen
David Hansen
September 29, 2021.
Very pleased with the work performed.
Tony Nielson
Tony Nielson
September 29, 2021.
Top Job Staff and crew did an excellent job on our parking lot. The crack seal crew was on the job before daylight and did great work. Most impressive was the slurry seal crew. Kerry and his team did a wonderful job. worked around my tenants parking issues, worked between rain storms. Kerry would not apply slurry until he was 100 percent sure the parking lot was dry enough after the rain. refreshing to see someone care so much about his product, his job, and his crew. Rosalie was also right on top of scheduling and even made a site visit to make sure I was happy. Top Job went above and beyond my expectations and I would recommend them to anyone .. I will use this company again in the future. Thank you very much! Tony and Cole Nielson T.K.S. Development.
Dennis Simonson
Dennis Simonson
September 23, 2021.
Was really impressed with the professional preparation on the driveway surface prior to the application of sealant. FRIENDLY and easy to work with. Highly recommend. Compared prices before settling on Top Job, good value. Their communication between office, field and scheduler was exceptional.
Christie Brown
Christie Brown
August 16, 2021.
We now have the PRETTIEST driveway approach and RV parking on the block! Nice job, TOP JOB ASPHALT!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Very impressed with the quality of their work and the organization of the company. The project estimator was spot on as to when the bid would be received and the work was professional  from start to finish. I appreciated the opportunity for a walkthrough inspection after the crack filling was completed as I had some very large cracks in the asphalt. I give this company a ten out of ten (which I really do) and highly recommend them.

Paul Pratt