Asphalt is a common surfacing material that is used in construction of highways and driveways across the country. Asphalt is oil based, and prices of the material rise with the increase cost of oil. The earliest cases of using reclaimed asphalt go back to 1915, but in the 1970s the oil embargo increased demand for reclaimed asphalt materials. Reclaimed asphalt is added to a mix of new material to create cheaper asphalt that is still strong enough to produce the road surfacing needs of road builders.
Clean off the existing asphalt area of debris. Sweep away all organic matter, which can harm the reclaimed asphalt. Pull any weeds that are growing from the cracks. Use a blower to clear out debris and a power washer on the surface. Wait until the area is dry before proceeding.
Inspect the old asphalt surface for cracks or holes. These can compromise the structure of the new asphalt. Buy hot or cold fill crack filler to fill in the cracks. Cracks wider than half an inch should use cold patch while narrow cracks use crack filler. Cracks that are deep should be filled to one quarter inch below the surface with sand. The sand should be packed down tightly to prevent later settling.
Shovel out the reclaimed asphalt mix over the area that is being paved. Shovel out enough so that the area has a one-inch thick layer of asphalt. Use an asphalt rake to even out the surface and spread the material.
Compact the material with a hand tamper, vibrating plate or steamroller. Even the material out. The choice of item depends on the size of the area you are using. Hand tampers are good for small or narrow areas. Vibrating plates are smaller machines that can cover a larger area faster and compact more thoroughly. Steamrollers can be useful on large areas, road work or large driveways. Vibrating plates and steamrollers can be rented from local construction equipment dealers.
Apply an asphalt seal coat after the surface dries. Give the area at least 24 hours before applying the seal coat. The seal coat will protect the asphalt from the damaging effects of weather and extend the life of the asphalt surface.
- asphalt image by dinostock from Fotolia.com