Author Archives: ATX Paving

What is asphalt driveway resurfacing?

Driveway covered in cracks and potholes.

The Importance of an Attractive Driveway

An asphalt driveway can make a home’s appearance look elegant and welcoming. When it is buckling, cracked, and has potholes, it can make the overall appearance look bad too. Choosing sealing and asphalt resurfacing in Austin, TX  can fix those things and give your home a makeover!

What is the difference between resurfacing vs sealcoating?

Asphalt is an inexpensive and durable material, ideal for driveways made from cement or concrete. It can create an extremely attractive presence and it can also look like a warzone where there are cracks and potholes. Fortunately, there are ways to fix these issues at a few different levels, with asphalt resurfacing and sealcoating. 

  • Asphalt resurfacing, sometimes referred to as overlaying, is when your asphalt driveway is completely ripped up two to three inches deep and new asphalt is installed. In essence, you’re getting a new driveway where the old drive was located. This is a cost effective measure that can only be done where the original driveway was installed correctly.
  • Sealcoating is a liquid mixture that the contractor spreads over the entire driveway, which hardens into a thin layer. You’re left with this amazing dark and rich black driveway that now has durable protection. 

When it comes to asphalt sealing vs resurfacing, is one better than the other, or are they even the same thing? Sealcoating your asphalt driveway offers a layer of protection from rain, UV rays, auto fluids, and more. Resurfacing is like getting a new driveway. If you have a new asphalt driveway installed, you don’t need to get it seal coated, but why wouldn’t you? 

How much does driveway resurfacing cost?

Asphalt resurfacing a 600 square foot driveway will typically cost between $1,800 and $4,200. The cost factor isn’t just for the square footage of the driveway, but for repairs that are needed before the asphalt resurfacing is done. Regardless, this is much less expensive than having a completely new driveway installed and will look just as good. 

For a driveway that is between 5 and 15 years old without any potholes, the asphalt resurfacing process is the right step to take, though keep in mind it requires physical labor and specialized equipment. You want to make sure you check any contractor’s insurance and licensing, asking for recent references and pictures of the work done. 

Can you put new asphalt over old asphalt?

If your current driveway is old and worn out or maybe you’re getting your home ready to sell and want to freshen up the appearance, a driveway is a great way to accomplish these things. So, are you able to have new asphalt put on top of the existing old asphalt? Yes, and it will be an easier option that will still give your home a refreshed appearance and add years to the lifespan of the driveway, up to 15 years! 

How do you resurface old asphalt?

For homes where the weather exhibits a lot of freezing and thawing or an abundance of snow, asphalt driveways are popular, and because of that weather, asphalt resurfacing is common. The aggregate mixture of bitumen, gravel, sand, and stone is used in the construction industry as well as for paving parking lots, roads, walkways, as well as driveways. 

It is best left to experienced contractors that have the equipment and know-how to resurface asphalt, but if you want to try this on your own, the following steps will lead you through an asphalt resurfacing:

  • Cleaning the Driveway

All the algae, debris, dirt, and weeds need to be 100% removed before the asphalt resurfacing can be done. Using a garden hoe, hose and shovel will help you loosen any debris in cracks, then a broom to sweep it clean, followed by a leaf blower.

Next, using a cleaning solution made for driveway cleaning, spread with a push broom, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. (Follow the label’s directions). Then, with the broom, scrub any remaining dirt off the driveway and rinse clean with a pressure washer or garden hose. The driveway needs to be 100% dry before you begin the asphalt resurfacing, so allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. 

  • Make Repairs

Now fill the cracks with fillers, smoothing with a putty knife. Then fill potholes with patching material and smooth it over with a trowel. Tamper the patches to flatten then wash away any oil spots with a degreaser and apply a primer.

  • Resurface

Mix your asphalt resurfacing material with a 3” wide paintbrush, applying the resurfacing material along all the edges. Next, pour the asphalt resurfacing material in a line across the driveway and spread evenly with a driveway brush. Keep moving back and forth in a continuous pattern. 

Preparing asphalt for resurfacing is essential for the asphalt resurfacing to hold in place and look good. This is not the place to take shortcuts. 

Black asphalt driveway in front of a brick house.

In Closing 

Whether you do your own asphalt resurfacing, or have it done by a professional contract, how long does asphalt resurfacing last? If done properly, including the cleaning of the surface and then the patching and repairs, asphalt resurfacing should last a minimum of eight years and can often last as long as fifteen years. If you could use some help with asphalt resurfacing in Austin, TX, reach out to the ATX Asphalt Paving team by calling 512-646-6069.

Can You Have a Gravel Driveway on a Slope?

gravel driveway installation

Are gravel driveways a good idea?

If your home is out in a rural area, you may not have a driveway or your current driveway may be washing away, disappearing. If you have a gravel driveway, that isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t mean that a gravel driveway is a bad idea. 

Maybe not always in every situations, but a gravel driveway can add charm to a home, even in the city. Depending on the location of your home, or business, whether you choose gravel driveway or asphalt for the drive should fit the landscape and architectural style of the home or structure. It may or may not need to blend in with the neighborhood, and you’ll need to check with building codes and POA restrictions. 

To have a good gravel driveway, there are things to be considered in addition to building codes and POA restrictions. A gravel driveway construction is more than just having a dump truck bring a load of gravel. Like what gravel for driveway.  What is the recommended rock for a good gravel driveway? 

A gravel driveway is usually thought to be a budget, low-cost way to have a driveway. However, they can be stylish and trendsetting when installed and maintained correctly.  Yes, a gravel driveway could have vulnerabilities with potential downsides over time, but not all of them are. The quality of the rock you choose, the gravel driveway build up process, and the quality work of the contractor that installs your gravel driveway will make a difference. 

Before the gravel you see, there is a base installed that keeps the gravel stabilized. There are few choices in the material used for a bottom layer. The choices of what to put under gravel driveway are: 

  • A clean stone referred to as “ base gravel #3”. The contractor will install a 4 inch thick layer with 2” diameter stones. This helps with the driveway draining. 
  • Another base layer option for a gravel driveway is “item #4” which is comprised of dirt, sand, and golf ball-sized stone. There is a recycled version of this type of rock which will consist of blacktop, brick, concrete, recycled stones, and rock. 

Other options in gravel driveway base materials are: 

  • Quarry item # 4, which is a crushed limestone material. 
  • Gray item # 4,  which is dark grey
  • Crushed bluestone item #4, common for municipal driveways

Then a middle layer is installed with golf ball size stones, #57 stone or more commonly known as crushed gravel. This material aids in your gravel driveway draining. Now, let’s talk about the options in surface driveway gravel. The following are going to have rock dust combined that will help create a solid-like surface for driving on: 


 This is the same as the crushed up #57 stone but is combined with rock dust and can handle moderate amounts of traffic from heavy vehicles. 


Industry name for this is “crusher run” and is excellent for surface material of driveways and walkways with the stone dust and crushed stone. The stone dust settles and compacts, creating a semisolid smooth surface. This should be installed so that it slopes off the sides for drainage. 


The most popular topping for gravel driveways is pea gravel. The small round stones make for great aesthetics and with the different colors, you can match it to your home’s exterior. It easily migrates and spreads though when drove on much, so a good base for stabilization is needed. 


A mixture of brownstones, gold, tan, white, and yellow gives this a sandy appearance and is similar to pea gravel, requires good stabilizing base and borders. 


Marble chips is the more expensive material for a gravel driveway with the sparkling white rock. A firm stabilizing base and bordering is a must to keep the aesthetic appeal that it offers. 


Also referred to as Blackstar rock, this dark gray gravel is extremely attractive and makes an excellent choice with the angular shape that locks together. Combine this with a stabilizing grid paving system, and you have a beautiful and durable gravel driveway. 

gravel installation

Can you seal a gravel driveway?

If you currently have a gravel driveway and want it sealed, this will require paving over it with a hot-asphalt seal-coating. This will need to be done by an experienced contractor. It is not a weekend DIY project. 

So, why use gravel for driveway?  There are several benefits to having a gravel driveway, so if you’re wondering is gravel driveway good idea, yes, in certain settings. A gravel can be great for a tight budget, especially if you have a long driveway. Compared to having plain rocks installed, gravel will compact better for the long run. 

A gravel driveway is porous, so it will drain easier and faster than other materials, and there isn’t much maintenance once it is installed. You’ll have a longer lifespan and even better, you can do this yourself! Just have the gravel delivered after you have the base in place and spread it yourself. Call 512-646-6069 today for gravel driveway installation in Austin, TX.

Can you put cold patch on top of asphalt?

patched road

How do you fix a hole in asphalt?

The roadways today seem to be getting worse with each passing day here in Texas and around the country. The cracks and potholes are endless it seems, and there really isn’t much we can do as citizens except drive carefully. City, County, State road crews have endless asphalt patching and repairs to do, but with the budget they have, they may never get caught up 100%.

When it comes to parking lots, private roads, and private driveways though, we are in charges of our asphalt patching and repairs. First though, you should understand what type of surface you can do asphalt patching on, and how. If it isn’t done correctly, it won’t stick, then you could end up with a bigger problem than you had.

Filling and repairing potholes as soon as they have started is important. If they aren’t, the holes get bigger, causing widespread pavement failure. This leads to damaged vehicles which can lead to lawsuits and insurance claims for the property owner. Asphalt patching and repairs can be done with either of the following two methods:

Cold-Patch Asphalt Patching

There are asphalt patching products on the market for cold-patch, that is affordable, easy, and best of all, durable and long lasting:

Step One – Clean the pothole out, removing debris and any big loose rocks.

Step Two – Pour the cold-patch material into the hole, half inch over the pothole surface, then spread and compact.

Step Three – Compact the cold-patch material with a tamper or you can drive back/forth over it to compact and level the asphalt patching material.

Water Activation Cold-Patch Asphalt Patching

Today, there is a water-activated pothole asphalt patching cold-patch technology. IT sets quickly to create a permanent pothole asphalt patching repair.

Step One  – Clean the pothole out, removing debris and any big loose rocks.

Step Two – Pour the cold-patch asphalt patching material in the pothole up to half an inch above the surface.

Step Three  – Spread a generous amount of water over the patch and allow it to penetrate into and soak the asphalt patching material. Water is what activates the curing mechanism within the cold-patch material.

Step Four– Compact the cold-patch material with a tamper or you can drive back/forth over it to compact and level the asphalt patching material.

What do you put under asphalt patches?

  • Add crushed, angular stone to the pothole, no less than 1-1/2 inch, but not more than 2 inches. With a steel tamping plate or any other heavy tool, pack the stone base.
  • Apply the asphalt patching material you’ve chosen, following the above steps and manufacturers instructions, leaving it at three-eighths of an inch above the surrounding area. Using a straight edge, check for an even surface, leveling out any high or low spots.
  • Do not cover the asphalt patching with an asphalt sealer. The patched area need air for curing. Between the asphalt patching and sealing, wait 30 days.

Even with expansive number of potholes and puddles, check if asphalt patching and repairs is possible before getting a new driveway, parking lot, or private roadway. An asphalt topcoat costs approximately one-third of a complete driveway redo. Almost any size crack can be done by patching asphalt with cement with the following steps:

  1. Clean debris and growths from the small cracks and holes .
  2. Hose the cracks and holes down and spray with weed killer.
  3. Use an asphalt patching product for crack of 3/8” or smaller and for cracks and holes larger then 3/8” use a concrete or vinyl concrete patching product. A quickset concrete product will work too.
  4. For deep cracks and large holes, fill with gravel up to 4 inches from the surface then fill with concrete.
  5. Tamp the concrete filled cracks and holes using a magnesium float and the finish up with a flat trowel to match the existing area level.
  6. After the asphalt patching is completed with the concrete, use a specialty cleaner to remove any spots then apply a sealant.

 How much does it cost to patch asphalt?

A professional asphalt patching and repair job can average anywhere from $900 and as high as $3,700, based on the size of the area to be patched and repaired.

What is the difference between asphalt and blacktop?

In general terms, asphalt refers to highways and public roadways and blacktop is referring to driveways and residential roads. While the terms are interchangeable, and blacktop is a form of asphalt, they are different.

  • Asphalt has two main ingredient, bitumen, and crushed stone. The bitumen is a black, or sticky material made from petroleum distillation that holds the crushed stones together.
  • Blacktop is made with the same ingredients, but a higher amount of stone. For it to be applied, it must be heated up to 300 degrees.

After being heated, both asphalt and blacktop are pre-mixed then poured into the area needed. Asphalt provides a smooth quiet surface, making it popular in neighborhoods. Asphalt is ready to drive on in 2 days while blacktop must cure for 4 to 5 days depending on the heat.

blacktop in need of patching

Can blacktop be patched?

Yes, with a specifically formulated product, Sakrete All-Weather Blacktop Patch, permanent repairs of cracks, potholes, and other defects are possible with this ready-to-use product. Follow the instructions on the packaging for best results and this environmentally friendly product will have the roadway ready for use in short time.

You can’t do much about the public highways and roadways, but your private drive and roads you can.  As soon as you notice cracks and holes, immediate asphalt patching and repair is needed so that you aren’t facing bigger problems. If you aren’t able to do the patching and repairing yourself, call for professional service, getting 2 or 3 quotes. Need help with your asphalt patching in Austin, TX? Call 512-646-6069 today.

Can you put new asphalt over old asphalt?

asphalt road

Is blacktop the same as asphalt?

Asphalt is used for more than just parking lots and roadways. There are homes with asphalt driveways, and depending on the architectural style of the home, it lends to the elegance. Until there are cracks and potholes in the driveway, then asphalt resurfacing is needed to maintain that look of elegance. 

Asphalt resurfacing and sealing can make an asphalt driveway look new again, extend its life, and improve the home’s curb appeal. What is resurfacing asphalt? Asphalt resurfacing is the process of replacing the top layer of an existing asphalt surface with a fresh layer of asphalt. The asphalt resurfacing process can extend the life of a driveway for up to another fifteen years in the right environment. 

Yes and no.  Asphalt and blacktop are made from the same two ingredients: bitumen and crushed stone. Where they differ is how those two ingredients are blended. 

  • A construction drum is used to mix asphalt, keeping it at a minimum temperature of 250 degrees. This keeps the asphalt pliable enough for pouring yet keeping it durable and strong. 
  • The ratio used for blacktop is different and at a higher temperature than asphalt, usually at a minimum of 300 degrees. There is more crushed stone than bitumen, giving blacktop that sparkle.  The hotter temperature and extra crushed stone gives blacktop a longer lifespan. 

After a harsh season of weather, both surfaces are simply resealed to renew their appearance. Blacktop is better for pathways, parking lots, playgrounds, and driveways or residential roads where the traffic is light. Asphalt is recommended for major roadways where traffic is steady and heavy. 

How often should an asphalt driveway be resurfaced?

The frequency of asphalt resurfacing isn’t as important as the sealcoating. Sealcoating is more important than other maintenance efforts like asphalt resurfacing because it protects the asphalt. With a proper sealcoating, the asphalt doesn’t degrade as quickly, is protected from the weather, and extends the lifespan. 

Without sealer, the asphalt resurfacing could be needed every 5 to 6 years at the cost of thousands of dollars each time. With sealcoating and a good maintenance regime, your asphalt driveway can give you as many as 25 years. 

How thick should an asphalt overlay be?

For minor surface issues, asphalt resurfacing is sometimes the better option, and there are a few advantages to asphalt resurfacing compared other maintenance treatments. 

  • Seals shallow fatigue cracks.
  • Adds strength to the existing surface.
  • Provides support for bigger loads and have minimal chance of stress failure.
  • Restores proper slope.
  • Improve the smoothness.

However, proper, and thorough preparing asphalt for resurfacing is needed for the results to meet expectations. An existing surface with deep cracks and ruts, wheel paths, and underlying base problems like deformation or moisture, asphalt resurfacing won’t suffice without proper repairs done first. 

How long does an asphalt overlay last?

Asphalt resurfacing is a significant part of asphalt driveways today. It requires the existing surface to be clean, level, and structurally intact so that the asphalt can bond. With an asphalt overlay, the customer must expect that it likely won’t last as long as a full replacement of asphalt, getting a maximum of 15 years instead of 20 years. 

The existing driveway’s elevation is a strong factor in the lifespan of a asphalt resurfacing job. Proper drainage will be key to the longevity of the asphalt resurfacing, so a minimum of one and half inches is recommended. If there is any existing cracking in the driveway, it will likely come through the asphalt resurfacing over time, and that time frame will vary based on the soil surrounding the driveway. 

aphalt built up over time

Can old asphalt be reused?

Absolutely!  The RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) market is busting and when you look at the original service life, it makes sense. Even old asphalt pavement is still of value when you consider that there are more than two million miles of paved roads in this country. Of that, over 90 percent are surfaced with asphalt. Recycling and reusing that old asphalt is a priority and because contractors and states now recognize RAP as an economical and environmental plus, it is used more extensively today. 

Why choose an asphalt driveway over your current gravel driveway? Installing an asphalt driveway on your property has four significant benefits: 

  • Asphalt Is Cheaper 
  • Asphalt Repairs are Easier
  • Asphalt Has a Smooth Appearance
  • Asphalt Is Installed Faster
  • Asphalt Cures As It Is Installed 
  • Asphalt Is Easier To Recycle

When you compare these advantages, it is easy to see why asphalt is the better choice over a concrete driveway. Especially when you consider that concrete will take days to install and then has to cure for a week or more before using it. Call 512-646-6069 today for your asphalt resurfacing needs in Austin, TX.

When to Use Decomposed Granite

A Decomposed Granite Drive

When to use decomposed granite

If you’ve chosen decomposed granite for a drive or garden path, you’ve made a really good choice. Not only is the material durable and inexpensive, it drains well and reduces dust. You also add more when it weathers or erodes. It’s also a versatile material. Along with drives and paths, it can be used for other landscaping projects such as xeriscape or as a transitional space between your garden and wilderness. If you are planning to install a decomposed granite drive in Austin, TX, take advantage of the expertise of ATX Asphalt Paving. Book a time to get an estimate today by calling 512-646-6069.

How much decomposed granite do I need?

If you want to figure out how much decomposed granite you need for your drive or another landscaping project, you’re going to have to figure out square footage. You do that by multiplying the area’s length by the width in feet. Because the granite is often sold by the cubic yard, you can take a couple of additional steps. First, take the square footage and multiply by 0.25 to get the cubic footage. Second, you divide the cubic feet by 27 for the cubic yardage.

Can you drive on decomposed granite?

There are several types of decomposed granite: loose, stabilized, and decomposed with resin. While any of these will work for a drive and can be driven on, typically the decomposed granite with resin is usually the best for drives. Though usually more expensive, it’s also more durable for high traffic areas. It also doesn’t erode and can’t be tracked away. At the same time, it doesn’t drain well and doesn’t look as natural as other types of granite.

How long does decomposed granite last?

The lifespan of decomposed granite will vary depending on the type of granite used. Loose granite will have to be replaced fairly frequently because it erodes quickly. On the other hand, when stabilizers are mixed in with the decomposed granite—or DG in the trade—it creates a harder surface that erodes much more slowly. Stabilized DG lasts about seven to 10 years. The most durable DG is DG with resin, which, as implied, has resin added to it. In some instances, this type of granite is comparable to asphalt and has a much harder surface than the other types of DG. It tends to last anywhere from 10 to 14 years.

Does decomposed granite harden?

The type of DG used will determine hardness. There are no additives in loose DG, so it is less hard than stabilized DG or DG with resin. If loose DG is compacted, however, it hardens. Stabilized DG hardens even more than loose DG and is less susceptible than loose granite to erosion. DG with resin is the hardest type of granite, is comparable to asphalt, and does not erode.

Is decomposed granite permeable?

When decomposed granite, or DG, is compacted, it will become permeable. This means it will allow more water to pass through it, which will aid your soil and return water to the water table. Compacting the DG also makes it less susceptible to erosion. Permeability also benefits your drive and landscaping because water won’t collect or create standing pools. This can eliminate problems with pests or other issues that can damage the drive.

Does decomposed granite need to be compacted?

Compacting loose decomposed granite will make the granite more permeable, which will benefit your soil. It will also make it less susceptible to erosion, which will stabilize the material and make it last longer. Moreover, compacting it will prevent loose stones from being tracked into your home. These loose stones can scrape and scuff hardwood and laminate flooring and damage your vehicle’s floorboards.

Do weeds grow through decomposed granite?

Once you’ve compacted loose decomposed granite, you’ll have little worry about weeds growing through it. Although weeds can grow through the material, they have a tough time of it because they typically have to push through about three to four inches of material. When they do push through, you can usually get rid of them pretty easily with a garden hoe or a herbicide.

Black Granite

What is similar to decomposed granite?

Decomposed granite isn’t the only aggregate available for paving and landscaping. Other types of materials include:

  • Pea gravel: Although it is easy to walk on and controls erosion well, it’s also less stable than other materials and requires edging materials to contain it.
  • River rocks: Though aesthetically pleasing, these smooth rocks are primarily used for garden paths and as edging for gardens.
  • Crushed stone: Similar to DG but not as finely crushed. It’s not good for play areas because of sharp edges. It’s suitable for drives but has to be replenished frequently.

Whatever your driveway needs in Austin, TX, look to the experience professionals at ATX Asphalt Paving. Get more information or schedule a service by calling 512-646-6069.

What is a good grade for a driveway?

driveway system

How do I reduce the slope of my driveway?

By driveway grading, we aren’t talking about “grades” like A, B, C, etc.  So, what does grading a driveway mean? Have you ever navigated around puddles in a parking lot while it was raining?  Or does your garage have water inside after a rainstorm even though the doors were closed? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, that is the results of a driveway under grade. 

If you are experience water in your garage, or you own property with a parking lot that water puddles after every rain, you need professional driveway grading services.  The longer that water is allowed to puddle and stand, the weaker the cement is going to get, then potholes begin forming, along with bigger problems.  Driveway grading is important in the stability of the driveway or parking lots. 

Does your home have a steep driveway that is creating hassles or giving you concern for safety? A steep driveway can make backing out challenging and scary. When the driveway is wet or ice covered, it becomes tremendously slippery and dangerous to walk on as well. Driveway grading is one solution to fixing this issue.

One driveway grade fix is to have a curve added to the driveway, creating a gradual descent. This isn’t a DIY project. You need to hire an experienced professional contractor with driveway grading equipment that will examine the driveway grading and plan a curve that is the right angle for your driveway. When driveway grading isn’t done correctly, you could end up with a bigger problematic driveway than you have now. 

What is the maximum slope for a driveway?

Driveway contractors recommend a driveway slope shouldn’t be more than 12% unless in a hilly neighborhood or on a mountainside.  The maximum driveway grading allowed is typically a 25-foot rise for 100 feet . A sharp angled driveway grading should have a transitional zone to ease into areas where pedestrians or traffic is located. This is important as a safety factor for both passing cars and people. 

How do you regrade a gravel driveway?

A gravel driveway can be the perfect solution to create an affordable, beautiful, and unique driveway. Gravel is a  versatile material, and many homeowners undervalue that a gravel driveway offers. It does require a few steps to maintain it, like driveway leveling. 

Over time with regular usage and weather, a gravel driveway will get bumpy and uneven.  This is caused by small gravel bits getting displaced and scattered each time it driven on, pushing the gravel down into the ground beneath. Rain will also wash away some of the gravel.  These are things that can’t be avoided, but it doesn’t have to be a major problem either. 

Raking the gravel and moving it from one spot to another is a lot work and won’t do much good. Here, we offer a suggestion to restore your driveway to the appearance you desire and the functionality you need. 

Unless you have access or ownership to the heavy duty equipment required to complete these things, you’ll need to hire a professional contractor experienced in working gravel driveways. 

Chop and intermix the existing stones. This requires either a box blade and tractor or a three-point angle blade to re-compact or tamp the rock down. Next, three inches of fresh gravel should be spread over the driveway top. For driveway grading purpose.

driveway outside of luxury home

How thick should a gravel driveway be?

A gravel driveway should be no less than four inches thick and no more than six inches with a middle layer of angular stones in a two three inch diameter such.  The middle layer of angular stones will lock together, creating a stable foundation and driveway grading traction. A gravel driveway is inexpensive compared to other driveway materials. When it has been professionally installed and maintained, you can expect a life span up to ten years. 

The process of installing a gravel driveway that has the right level of driveway grading will include the following steps: 


  1. Staking out the driveway area.
  2. Remove grass and topsoil from the staked off area.  
  3. Level the area and apply a weed preventive product. 


  1. Determine the amount of crushed rock or  recycled concrete needed for a base, with six inches as the ideal thickness. 
  2. Determine the amount of angular stones for the middle layer.
  3. Determine the amount for the top layer with a thickness between four to six inches. 


  1. Compact the bottom layer.
  2. Compact the angular material  for the middle
  3. Compact the top layer. 

A driveway may have heavy traffic, so having it installed properly and the driveway grading at the right angle will make it much easier for coming and going.  Driveway puddles are more than annoying, they are a way to destruction too.  Keeping your driveway in healthy condition with driveway grading will keep the value of your home in place. Should you decide to sell the property, and unhealthy driveway is something potential buyers notice. Need help with your driveway in Austin, TX? Call 512-646-6069 today!

What do cracks in driveway mean?

cracks in driveway

Does a cracked driveway mean foundation problems?

Do you have a driveway crack that is annoying you and is ruining your landscaping? Could the ground shift any more than it does here in Austin, Texas? We have a mixture of different soils, between the coast and the panhandle, east to west, there is red dirt, sand, and all-time favorite, black gumbo aka black dirt. Not sure if it is the type of soil or is the state on a curvature, but driveway with cracks are common. 

There are the obvious indicators that you could have foundation problems. While it is important to be aware of those obvious indicators, you should be aware of other things that you may not realize are associated with foundation problems.  

  • Driveway Cracks: Yes, driveway cracks can indicate you have foundation problems. In fact, it is the first on the list. A driveway is typically poured so that the water will flow away from the foundation. If you have a driveway crack, water is probably not flowing away as the intended design and plans and could be flowing back toward the foundation. This water build-up around the foundation is referred to hydrostatic pressure, which can make the foundation walls to bow. You should get quotes on driveway repair or replacement along with foundation repairs.
  • Countertops Pulled Away: When the bathroom and kitchen countertops are pulled away from the wall, it is likely the foundation has settled and shifted.  If you’re noticing the cabinetry pulling away and any of the other symptoms like drywall cracks, door and window sticking, or cracking walls, it is time to get an estimate on foundation repair.
  • Musty Smelling Basement: If there is a foul odor or high humidity coming from the basement or from the crawl space, there is probably water in there. That water is likely coming from a cracked foundation, which could be plumbing or shifting soil. 

Should I seal cracks in my concrete driveway?       

Yes, sealing a driveway, concrete crack filler will stop water from flowing under the driveway, causing driveway cracks and under the foundation, weakening it.  Use a cement caulk for the cracks, joints, and expansion joints. 

Can you use sand to fill driveway cracks?

Sure, a driveway crack can be filled with sand. Over and over and over. Yes, this means that you’ll be refilling that driveway crack with sand because it will begin to grind upon itself, making it finer. The finer the sand gets, the more it will settle down inside the driveway crack, or it will get blown away or washed away. 

What to use to fill cracks in driveway?

Driveway repair with tar is one option if you have the equipment or hire a professional. Otherwise, you can do it yourself with the following steps: 

  1. Clean the driveway thoroughly with water and allow to dry
  2. Remove any grass growing in the cracks
  3. Fill a zip lock back with sand, cut a corner off so it is easy to pour into the cracks with sand
  4. Purchase tar crack filler at your local big box home improvement store, get the bigger size, it is better to have leftovers than to run out before you’re finished.  
  5. Generously pour the tar crack filler over the sand, smoothing out with a trowel to flatten the tar filler so it seals. 
dried cracks in pavement

How do I keep my driveway from cracking?

The most common explanation for the concrete driveway cracking is freezing and thawing cycle in the winter. Most people use salt to melt the sand that that actually speeds up the process of freezing. From there, it cracks and pits, refreezes, thaws, cracks, pits, etc., etc. It’s recommended to use sand instead, which most municipalities use a mixture of salt and sand on their roadways today. 

The sun is not a friend to concrete either, causing concrete driveway cracking as it heats up and expands. When it cools down at the day’s end, it reverts to its original form of unbaked material. 

To prevent driveway cracking, crazing, scaling and pitting, an annual application of an acrylic silicone that is solvent-based sealer on the driveway surface. For a concrete driveway that has already cracked, a professional concrete contractor can make repairs with dry packing, epoxy injection, or routing and sealing techniques. This stabilizes the cracks and stops them from spreading.

Once you have a concrete driveway crack, it’s almost like that missed chalk mark on the board the teacher didn’t erase. As much as you want to believe it won’t bother you, it will. At the first sign of a driveway crack, have your foundation checked. Hopefully, it is in good shape and you can decide if you want to live with a driveway crack. Call 512-646-6069 today for repair.

How Do I Keep My Driveway From Flooding?

Drain Grating

How do I keep my driveway from flooding?

You have a beautiful driveway, but every time it rains, your drive floods. This means you don’t have good driveway drainage. When your drive is continually inundated by rain, in time your drive can be subject to damage such as cracking of your asphalt or concrete. That damage often leads to expensive repairs. There are solutions, however, to your flooding problem that won’t break your bank. Two popular options include either installing a channel drain or a drainage swale.

  • Channel drain: These are narrow drains and work similarly to gutters, directing water away from your drive. The channels can be open or closed, though closed models are best to keep dirt and leaves out the drain.
  • Drainage swale: Swales follow the contours of your drive and divert water from the drive in a similar way as channel drains.

If your asphalt has been cracked because of flooding and you need asphalt repair in Austin, TX, look to the professionals at ATX Asphalt Paving for expert, effective repairs. Find out how we can repair your drive by calling 512-646-6069.

Does my driveway need drainage?

Whether you’re planning to build a new drive or you already have a drive in place, driveway drainage is essential if you want to ensure your drive lasts a long time. Water can quickly cause all kinds of problems for your drive if you have no way of diverting it. Both concrete and asphalt will crack over time and the soil surrounding the drive erodes and wears away the drive’s foundation. Pooling water can discolor the drive or cause algae to grow. All of these problems can lead to costly repairs. 

If you already have a drive in place, you can improve drainage by creating swales or install gutter-like channels. These are also options for new drives, although the best solution for new drives is properly grading the drive so there is enough of a slope created so water washes from the drive rather than pooling on it.  

How do you drain water from a driveway?

If you are having trouble with driveway drainage, there are several driveway water drainage solutions. Among those solutions:

  • Effective placement and slope: When building a new driveway, try to place it in an area that has good drainage and not in a low-lying area. Also, make sure the grade is steep enough it will drain properly.
  • Install a trench or French drain: In some areas drainage will be poor even if you have a good slope on your drive. Adding a trench or French drain is a good solution for these areas. These are channels that go across the width of the drive and are covered by a grate.
  • Create a swale: This is a wide but shallow depression in the ground that diverts water from the drive. Swales are good when you have natural slopes.
  • Use permeable or porous material: Concerns about drainage can be addressed by using a permeable or porous material in the drive’s construction. With permeable material, water passes through voids in the material to the soil beneath.

How does driveway drainage work?

When you install structures like channel drains on your drive, as part of your driveway water drainage system, they work similarly to gutters. Water drains off your drive into the channel as it would into a gutter on a roof. There are two basic channel drain designs, ones with built-in falls, and ones with a standard depth. Large parking areas often employ drains with built-in falls that keep the water flowing away from the pavement. Channels with standard depths often work best when an area has a natural slope. Both types of drain rely on gravity to move the water through them.  

Driveway drainage on a hill

While you want to have a good slope for driveway drainage, when you have a drive built on a hill, you can still have problems with drainage and pooling, especially along the bottom of the drive. To alleviate some of these drainage problems you can add a swale alongside the drive. Swales follow the natural contours of the drive. They are dug shallowly enough so that they won’t accumulate water. 

Driveway grates for drainage

When you install channel or French drains, drain grates cover the channels and help keep dirt, leaves, and other debris from clogging the channels. The grates are made from a variety of materials ranging from hard plastic to cast iron to stainless steel. What kind you choose will depend on how much traffic your drive gets and what matches your driveway’s style and design. The grates come in a variety of colors as well as different designs. 

A Roadside Channel Drain

Call Us Today

If you are building a new drive or have an old drive and need some driveway drainage solutions in Austin, TX, you can always count on the experienced professionals at ATX Asphalt Paving. We’ll make sure your drive drains properly so it will last longer and continue to look great as well. Find out how we can help or book a service appointment by calling 512-646-6069.

What’s the best way to patch asphalt?

crack in pavement with a baby plant

What is asphalt patching?

As a business owner, is your parking lot sending potential customers away? Do family and friends suggest having gatherings at their house instead of yours? Do you ever wonder why? Maybe you have the best prices in town or the biggest backyard for all the kids to play in, but everyone seems to avoid your business or home. Maybe your parking lot or driveway could use asphalt patching?

Depending on the quality of the original construction, an asphalt parking lot will typically last five to seven years before repairs are needed. If the property owner is on top of the repairs, usually filling cracks, applying seal coating, and minor asphalt posting will extend the lifespan a few more years. 

While asphalt patching is cost effective and will protect the original surface and foundation, and the driveway or parking lot will look better, it is only a temporary fix. Repairing the potholes in the asphalt surface will protect the pavement underneath from damage and erosion. 

Too often, the homeowner or property owner ignores the cracks and small holes, and that leads to more complex and expensive repairs. An experienced asphalt contractor that knows how to asphalt patching correctly, will make sure there is a stable base first. Asphalt patching will not adhere if there isn’t a good base to work from. 

Can you patch asphalt?

It is possible to repair an asphalt driveway or small parking lot yourself, if you get them done promptly. Like any do-it-yourself project, asphalt patching has details important to follow for the patch to last. Asphalt patching uses specialized products that you may not be familiar with, you may need assistance determining which products to use for what type of asphalt patching you’re doing. 

How do you fix a hole in an asphalt driveway? 

Cracks that are under half inch can be repaired with a crack filler product that usually comes in cartridges. Cracks that are wider will require an asphalt cold patch that comes in bags or cans. Remember, you want to do your asphalt patching job in warm weather and follow the label instructions thoroughly. 

 Steps for Asphalt Patching a Driveway Repair

  1. Pull any weeds growing in the cracks
  2. With high pressure setting on garden hose, clean the cracks out
  3. Apply a weed killer inside the cracks
  4. If the crack is deep, add one-fourth inch of sand and tamp it down
  5. Apply the asphalt patching compound
  6. Allow the compound to cure
  7. Apply asphalt patching sealant

Can you patch asphalt with cement?

Concrete can be used to patch almost any crack in an asphalt driveway. As we described in the steps above, you need to pull any debris, grass, or weeds out, rinse with high pressure water house, then apply a weed killer. 

Any deep cracks or sizeable holes you must add gravel up to four inches from the surface, then pour in the concrete and tamp it down using a magnesium float. Finish it with a broom or flat trowel so that it blends with the asphalt driveway finish. 

Keep in mind that when cold weather arrives, larger patched areas won’t last long under the pressure of winter freezing and thawing cycles.  Once you have completed the asphalt patching, use a specialty cleaner to remove any spots. Next, use a sealant that keeps water out of the repair. 

What is the best asphalt cold patch?

If your driveway or parking lot needs repair, you want to get your asphalt patching done in warm weather before the winter weather arrives. Asphalt patching doesn’t stick in cold weather.  When a hole in asphalt driving is left open and exposed, rain will fill the hole and seep under the surface.

For the best asphalt patching, hiring a professional contractor will get the best results with a guarantee. However, if Asphalt patching cost is an issue, several types of asphalt patching have been tested by Consumer Reports for DIY cold asphalt patching with these two being the best:

  • Sakrete U.S. Cold Patch: A Permanent Pothole Repair that cost approximately $10 and has a fairly strong result.
  • Aquaphalt Permanent: A Pothole Repair that cost up to $40 dollars and requires water to activate the product prior to compacting it down. It proved to the be the strongest of any tested.
nice flat asphalt road

How do you fix asphalt?

Asphalt is a form of concrete, compose of aggregate of rocks and sand. It is mixed with hot asphalt cement, then poured to build driveways and roads. Asphalt is a crude oil by-product that resembles tar and functions as a bonding agent that seals the aggregate. Once this is all added together, a strong, watertight surface is formed. 

  • Step One: Dig a base for the area you’re paving approximately 8″ deep. 
  • Step Two: Pour a layer of gravel in the hole 5 to 6 inches deep. 
  • Step Three: Add 1 to 2 inches of aggregate over the gravel. 
  • Step Four: Purchase asphalt mix from a contractor who will deliver to your home or business. Have them pour it onto your prepared base and you’ll need to spread it as it pours. 
  • Step Five: Add crushed gravel in a thin layer while the asphalt is hot, then drive a paver over the patch until it is a level and smooth surface. 

If doing your own asphalt patching is the way you go, we cannot stress enough to do it in warm weather and to pack it down when complete. Following the manufacturer’s instructions on the can, cartridge, or package for the best results. Need asphalt patching in Austin, TX? Call 512-646-6069 today.

Does chip sealing work?

tar and chip driveway

How long does a tar and chip driveway last?

Chip sealing or asphaltic surface treatment is a solid alternative to many options known in paving. While commonly used on rural roads, it can also be applied to a driveway using layers of asphalt along with layers of aggregates. Often, it can be used in place of expensive repairs or replacements while keeping the structural integrity of the driveway intact. The application of chip and tar provides enhanced skid resistance and moisture protection while preventing deterioration from occurring further than it already has. While it cannot replace a full-on concrete or asphalt driveway, tar and chip can serve a home for several years. The general lifespan for a tar and chip can be at a minimum of 10 years with some lasting as far as 30 years, but it depends on the conditions and traffic that goes over the driveway. 

While tar and chip driveways are much less expensive than concrete and pure asphalt driveways, they are better suited to repairing damages in either if a person does not desire to go with the traditional route. Its much lower cost provides itself as a solid choice because it lasts longer than expected on a general basis, but the homeowner should call into question what they want out of their driveway when considering a tar and chip driveway. Call 512-646-6069 today to schedule pavement services like tar and chip with ATX Asphalt Paving in Austin, TX.

Can you seal a tar and chip driveway?

In short, no. A tar and chip driveway does not need to be sealed and actually needs much less upkeep to maintain it’s durable strength. A benefit that tar and chip have over a pure asphalt driveway is that it does not need to be seated due to the shifting dirt. Unlike other options, a tar and chip driveway can be better kept than even concrete thanks to the capacity a homeowner has to reapply modified bitumen and stones. Taking it a step further, when it is taken care of, tar and chip driveways can actually compete with the stronger options thanks to its ease of repair that the specific option is known for. While it may very well last around 10 years minimum, the reason it can stretch decades longer is that layers of bitumen and stones can be again applied to create a new driveway. By and large, whereas you need to seal other driveways like asphalt, tar and chip remains a choice that requires very little over an expanded period of time to do an excessive amount of service for the home.

What driveway surface is best?

The most popular, by far, for driveways in the United States is the asphalt option. Homeowners tend to enjoy the polished appearance an asphalt driveway brings with it and takes frigid as well as sweltering climates. With that said, asphalt needs regular maintenance and needs to be set just shy of every five years. Concrete, however, is tougher and has far more capability in being decorated with colors and patterns. Bricks are very fashionable as a driveway, but this particular example does not stack up to any of the mentioned suggestions nor does it match up with the tar and chip driveway. 

While a person can enjoy a more expensive driveway, homeowners in more rural settings may be interested in something that can match the land. The two best options for that are gravel as well as tar and chip. The reason being is that both options will save a person a significant amount of money when it comes to maintenance, installation, and installation if it comes down to it. That is not the case in concrete or asphalt, which can be devastated in such a setting thanks to erosion. The reason that is not the case with the prior two is that they are easily maintained and added to overtime, while a concrete and asphalt is either highly expensive to be applied in such a setting or must need a definite service applied.

tar and chip construction

Is tar and chip cheaper than asphalt?

While a tar and chip driveway costs less overall than asphalt, it is more expensive than gravel. The cost tends to come down to a few factors like: 

  • Material value
  • Cost of labor
  • Maintenance 
  • Durability

The last of those stems from a simple concept that a driveway needs to be built up to withstand the weight of vehicles passing over it. Take concrete versus gravel for examples of opposite sides of the spectrum. Gravel is fairly easy to put down and even though it is not durable, can be easily maintained by applying more gravel to it regularly to keep the surface at a general level. The same is not so with concrete, it is durable and can sustain much more weight than most other options on the market, but when it breaks or needs maintenance, it comes out to be a bit more expensive. Tar and chip can be a good middle ground in this sense being that it can be applied over most driveways and can be used to repair those that are broken. While we do not necessarily recommend it being applied over gravel, it does provide one of the best options in terms of when a person needs a driveway without breaking the bank. So give us a call today at 512-646-6069 for your tar and chip driveway services.