How does the construction process for paving a driveway or street work? Pay close attention because it is important to have a basic understanding when dealing with hiring contractors and having them work on your home. We are not expecting you to be an expert in paving and construction over night, or really ever for that matter. But we do think it is imperative that you appear to know how the process works when you are getting quotes, choosing the best company for the job, and overseeing the progress being done on your driveway.
It will help you tremendously to know some of the jargon that professional pavers use so that they do not take advantage of your lack of a seasoned understanding. It is especially helpful to you if you establish from the very beginnings of the process that you have a fairly decent understanding of the job that they are doing. This is important because the sooner you establish that you are not one to be taken advantage of, the less likely that a company or contractor will have the power to walk all over you.
Alright alright already… so how does the construction work?
Asphalt is created inside of a temperature controlled plant from a pavement mixture that is then put into a truck so as not to be separated. This helps the durability and longevity of the pavement. Once the pavement is all grown up and ready to live on some lot or driveway, the asphalt is taken from the plant to the location of the renovation or repair. Throughout the process of transporting the asphalt, it is crucial to know that the asphalt is being temperature controlled the entire time. During the transport, a tarp is put over it so that it maintains a warm temperature so that it does not succumb to the changes in temperature around it while it is en route to the site.
At the job site, the base of the asphalt must get ready to join with grading which will subsequently use a subbase if required. A layer of liquid asphalt is then required for each level of pavement asphalt to make sure that there is a reliable cohesion between all the asphalt layers. Once this part of the procedure is complete, a material transport device, otherwise known simply as an MTD in the pavement construction world, will further mix the pavement before actually depositing it into the ground. You might be surprised to know that paving is not all a job done with machines nowadays. The paver often has to modify the job manually with their own two hands. However, this is why using a company that has up-to-date materials and machines is so important because the better and more diligent an MTD is, the less the paver will have to manually touch up or modify any imperfections that were done by the material transport device. This part is so important because the more thorough the MTD, the more consistent the temperature of the pavement will be which means that the longevity of the asphalt will be prosperous and reliable.
Chances are, re-paving your driveway is a new experience for you. It is not something that you find yourself having to do on a weekly basis, like other tasks and chores you have to take care of around the house. That being said, it should intimidate you a little bit that you can not mess up with getting your driveway repaired. This is not some small task. The contractor hired to renovate your driveway is going to change the look and feel of your house. This is a big deal. Where you live is the most personal thing to you, more than any other so-called sentimental item. So if you are getting your driveway repaired, you are naturally not going to know a lot about the process. But by the time you are ready to hire a paving company, you better know a lot! Take this seriously, otherwise, you will find yourself making one of these mistakes.
Mistake 1: Picking the wrong material
The two most common paving materials are asphalt and concrete. Asphalt is really popular right now and often times cheaper, so many people go with asphalt as opposed to concrete. But asphalt is not right for every climate and geographical location. Nor is concrete. You have to figure out what are the greatest obstacles your driveway will face and go with asphalt or concrete based on that. If you live an area that has consistent hot weather, it is better to go with concrete. Asphalt tends to get soft and have an oil-consistency in heat. But in an area that endures a lot of cold weather, asphalt is better because it can absorb the rare warm sun in the winter while concrete will more easily succumb to damp conditions and develop pot holes.
Mistake 2: Not asking for references
One of the simplest things you can do that will make or break the success of your paving job is just asking for references. There is more to this than simply receiving them from the company you are dealing with. What you want to look out for is how they react to your request. If a paving company Towson has in your area seems hesitant and like they want to deflect from honoring your request, this could indicate that they have something to hide or they know that they don’t have many positive reviews. But if the company is happy to send you references and appears to be confident in the reviews that they have, this is a good sign that they consistently do good work. Even if the company that is hesitant to give them to has a some good reviews, their reaction to your request is just as important as the request itself.
Mistake 3: Not comparing personal and online reviews
A great way to get familiar with some paving companies in your area is to ask your friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. what paving company they used if they had their driveway repaved. If people are ranting and raving about a certain company but not giving glowing remarks about another company that you have been made aware of, then this is a good test to know what companies in your area do a good job. Another way to get reviews is to of course go online and read reviews on websites like Yelp and Google. However, most people do one of these steps and do not do the other. Many people will read reviews online and take those reviews as a grain of salt. Online reviews are great but many people write reviews shortly after a concrete or asphalt paving repair has been completed, so they do not know years later if the job will stand the test of time. That is why it is good to ask around within your social circle as well because the reviews from your friends are more likely to vary in the length of the time the paving job was performed to warrant the review you receive. However, friends can always have personal biases. That is why it is a clever practice to compare and contrast both types of reviews and see which companies have positive marks on both sides of the fence.