asphalt paving

Discover the Best Type of Asphalt Mix For Your Driveway Restoration Project

Okay, so your driveway needs some serious repairs. When planning a full restoration job, there are many things to consider. One BIG thing you need to think about is the type of asphalt mixture that is best for your property. There are several good-quality mixes available (hot, warm, and cold mix, to name a few), but it really depends on your needs as a homeowner. Let’s discuss a few options for you.

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)

Hot mix asphalt (HMA) is the traditional mixture type and requires heating at anywhere from 300-350 degrees at a production facility prior to being laid. This mixture is a combination of aggregate such as gravel or sand which is held together by asphalt cement. Once it arrives at the site, it is poured while hot and cools relatively quickly once applied. This type is best for projects like residential driveways and commercial lots.

Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)

Warm mix (WMA) is similar to HMA except it is heated at lower temperatures (an average of 75 degrees cooler). Additives are used to thin out the binder in the mixture so that it can be heated at these lower temperatures. Because of this, there are many benefits of using WMA for your paving jobs. Because lower temps are used to produce this mixture, it saves time, money, and preserves the use of non-renewable energy. WMA can also be laid at various temperatures and weather situations. Because it cools more slowly (since it’s heated at lower temperatures) it can be laid when it’s cooler outside. HMA, on the other hand, can only be placed when it’s warmer outside to avoid the asphalt from cooling too quickly.

Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA)

CMA is laid, you guessed it, cold. Like WMA, CMA uses additives that allow it to be placed at cooler temperatures. With CMA, oils are also used in the mixture. This type is not as durable as warm and hot mixes are; however, it’s good for smaller-scale projects like fixing potholes or on surfaces that don’t have a lot of traffic. One positive factor of this mixture type is that because it usually uses higher amounts of coarse aggregate, the driveway or road ends up being more porous which helps with water drainage.

How to Pick the Best Mix For Your Project

We’ve discussed only a few important considerations when deciding on the best asphalt mixture for your project. If you have a commercial parking lot that needs repaving, we suggest you go with the traditional hot mix because it’s more durable and thick than the other two mixtures. HMA can withstand heavier, more frequent traffic and will likely last longer. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to repave your residential driveway or road, then either hot or warm mix are good options. It also depends on the time of year you are repaving in. If your project cannot wait and it’s during the cooler months, then WMA might be the better option. However, if it’s warmer outside, HMA is the way to go! 

Finally, if you just need a quick and small repatch or repair job that can hold on until the warm weather returns, then CMA is a nice choice as it’s best used on either small areas or on areas that don’t face a lot of vehicle traffic. It’s the perfect choice for those who simply need a quick fix that they can later fix with a more durable, lasting mixture later on. 

When in Doubt, Hire a Pro

If you’re unsure which asphalt mix is the best for you, don’t hesitate to call your local paving company! A professional is experienced and knowledgeable on the best, most popular paving mixtures and will know which option is best for you. Give Calvert County Asphalt Paving a call today and we’ll get you started with a free estimate! 

asphalt paving

Marylanders’ Guide to Winterizing Your Asphalt Driveway

Winter is here and so is the heavy snow and ice. If not prepared properly, your driveway could wear down faster from the extreme weather and freezing temperatures. However, there are simple steps you can take to winterize your pavement and get it ready to endure Maryland’s cold, long winters! In this article, we discuss 5 steps to getting your road winter-proof.

Power Wash Your Driveway

The first and probably most important step to winterizing your road is pressure washing it. Before you can inspect the surface for cracking or poor water drainage and sealcoat it, all debris and contaminants, including dirt and oil, must be blasted away. 

Power washing relies on high water pressure to eliminate all grime, mold, and any other debris you have on your road. This prepares your driveway for any needed crack filling or sealcoating before winter comes. In addition, because pressure washing removes all oil and grease buildup, which can create a serious slipping hazard when there is snow or ice, it helps keep you and your family safe.

Call your local power washing company to handle this job for you.

Look For Cracks & Fill Them!

Cracks are caused by daily vehicle and foot traffic as well as changing weather patterns. Especially here in Maryland, with the hot and humid summers and cold and wet winters, our driveways have to endure a lot. As a result, they will sooner or later wear down and crack. 

It’s vital that you do regular inspections of your pavement and look closely for any significant cracking. Even small cracks can be problematic in the winter; when water seeps in and then freezes, even the smallest cracks will expand and worsen. This will lead to expensive repairs or even driveway replacement later on. The best thing to do to avoid this is to fill any and all cracks before the cold comes. 

Ensure Adequate Water Drainage

As you do your inspection, also look to see if there is sufficient water drainage to prevent pooling. If water is able to sit on your driveway due to poor sloping, this will eventually create cracks and even potholes in the pavement. Save yourself money by hiring a professional paving contractor to inspect the area and make needed recommendations.  

Sealcoat the Surface

After you’ve filled all cracks and ensured proper drainage, consider sealcoating your road for added protection. We like to compare sealcoating to giving your pavement a thin, protective blanket to shield it from daily wear and tear and oil stains. We recommend sealcoating once every few years. If your road is due for a fresh coat of sealant, contact your local paving contractor today!

Keep Your Driveway Clear All Winter

So, you’ve done everything to prepare your pavement for winter and the snow is here. Does it stop there? Nope. To further protect your driveway, it’s essential that you regularly clear it of snow before it turns into ice. Don’t be afraid to get the shovel or plow out. If snow or ice is left to sit on the pavement for too long, it could cause water damage and wear down the surface. Bottom line: it’s important to clean your driveway before and during winter. We understand, shoveling and plowing can be tiresome and time consuming, but the effort will be well worth it – you’ll have a driveway that will last for years!