We own a house in Upstate NY, and we want to put in a paved driveway. We
have a rural home with heavy clay soil. The winters are pretty intense,
and we get extreme temp fluctuations. The driveway has never been paved
before. Looking for advice and tips. Also recommendations for pavers in
the Syracuse area.
With clay or any silt laden soils you definitely should raise the roadbed
( ditch on both sides if at all possible ) such that it will never become
saturated with water in the winter months which would promote plastic flow
underneath the pavement......
A larger aggregate should (ideally) first be mixed in with the clay soil to
some depth above the expected maximum water height in the ditches or at
least placed on top and then compacted into the plastic soil first ( this
keeps the roadbed dry, and distributes the load into the soil)........a
thinner lift of crushed rock or cinders is then placed on top of that,
compacted and graded, to distribute the wheel loading directly under the
asphalt....and then finally this is capped with the actual bituminous
To figure your cubic yards of asphalt, a general rule of thumb is roller
compaction to 50%.....IE, a 2in lift of hot asphalt mix should be spread to
a 4in thickness before rolling in...
Soil and ambient air temperature is very important for obtaining proper
Here in the Pacific Northwest, asphalt paving is generally only carried out
during the summer months, though often some unscrupulous firms might do
slipshod jobs when they can get away with it during unfavorable
weather....and all too often the result will be insufficient compaction,
which eventually leads to premature failure of the asphalt due to the
ingress of water and a general lack of tensile strength because of entrained
air voids--at any rate, it is imperative that the asphalt not be allowed to
cool too much before final rolling--on the other hand, it can often take
several hours if not close to a days time for it to cool sufficiently for
rolling if the weather happens to be too hot....
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