More Asphalt Driveway Questions

I posted here a couple of weeks ago asking about the feasibility of
installing a driveway in two phases. Phase one would be the excavation
and laying of a suitable base for a property which borders wetlands to
be done in the fall. Phase two would be laying the asphalt in the
spring after the winter thaw and after adding more base to re-level
any low spots caused by thawing and soft ground.
After doing more reading on the subject, I have some follow up
- Is it better to remove more soft topsoil and increase the
size of the base. Note the water table under part of the driveway is
only about 4-5 feet below ground level and may even be less during
heavy rains.
- Is installing drain tile an option? Knowing that water can
move in both directions, will this serve to increase water under the
driveway rather than take in away.
- Should some type of edging be used to protect the sides of the
- Should geo-textile fabric be used? Some contractors have said
it's a waste of money and they don't recommend it. Some say it may
- Is an asphalt base rather than a crushed stone base a better
way to go? If so, how many inches deep should it be. I was planning to
use about 12" of crushed stone.
- One contractor spoke of "process material" which he described
as a concrete-like material which hardened when wetted. Is this in
addition to a gravel base or instead of a gravel base?
Thanks again for any responses.
Reply to
do you have ANY lower area to drain water from under driveway?
if not I recommend a gravel driveway built as best possible, then tar and chip surface which could easily be leveled and recoated yearly if needed.
In any case I would do the base this year, gravel top and observe it for winter. see how much movement occurs.
ideally in such a challenging location the base should elminate ALL TOPSOIL even if you must execavate to 8 feet deep at least below the frost line.
you should check with authorties being in a wetland there may be a mountain of rules and regulations limiting what you can do.
might as well know that first.
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The road in front of the house slopes downward towards the rear of the property and the wetlands. So draining would have to be towards the wetlands which (I think) could cause the water to back up under the driveway during heavy rains and winter thaw.
I've read about tar and chip but have no idea what it costs. If it's not exhorbitant, I'd consider it.
Well, if money were no object, I'd agree. I planned to double the base from the usual 6" to 12", but I'd go to 18" if that would help.
Good point. I'm ok in that area.
Reply to
tar and chip is pretty cheap. dig and lay gravel like your putting in a asphalt driveway. gravel gets compacted.
then the slowly drive a tanker truck full of hot asphalt tar, which speads the black goo which is then covered with fine gravel and rolled making a nice gravel driveway.
no matter what you choose I would spend the extra bucks for the fabric because mud alaways migrates thru gravel
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I'm looked in my yellow pages for contractors that do tar and chip and none were advertised, so I'll have to start calling and asking around. I've read that tar and chip requires warmer weather than asphalt. Can you give your opinion on how late this can be done in Southern New England? Also, do you have an idea on the cost of the fabric. It seems like a step I could do myself to save money.
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fabric price call local suppliers like building suppliers
call and get on site estimatews from execavators, do you have close by space to dump excess dirt?
put gravel in NOW, then next summer go tar and chip.
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I tried and my local building and supply company doesn't carry anything. Not surprisingly, neither does Home Depot. Lowes has a solid plastic barrier sold in rolls 6' x 100' and 6 mils thick, but I think that's not heavy enough.
I'd like to get a brand name for the product and perhaps the name of a company that sells it online.
I do.
That's what I'm leaning towards. What would you recommend for edging. With tar and chip, I'd like to use some type of edging to help keep the loose stones out of the lawn. Belgian blocks come to mind first. Is there a preferred edging with tar and chip?
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you can use belgium blocks but they create grass cutting troubles. steel eging works well to keep the stones where you want them.
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