How thick should your asphalt driveway be?

measuring tapes

If you are planning on renovating your driveway soon then you have come to the right place! It is important that you have a plan before laying down your asphalt as doing it improperly can create some issues. You need to determine now how thick you want your asphalt driveway to be because it will be difficult to change once all is said and done. Let’s go over what you need to consider so you can know how thick your asphalt driveway should be!

What happens if your asphalt is too thin?

When asphalt is too thin problems start to arise. The reason that asphalt has to be a certain thickness is that it cannot hold weight otherwise. When asphalt is installed the right way, its natural flexibility will spread out the weight of the load. The pavement is supported by a layer of granular base aggregate underneath. That said, if the asphalt is spread thin the weight will not distribute properly. The vehicle will compress the asphalt right underneath the tire causing cracks to form from fatigue. These cracks will eventually spread to the rest of the pavement causing the whole surface to deteriorate.

As you can see, it is imperative that you lay down a thick layer of asphalt. With that in mind, let’s go over how thick your asphalt driveway should be, bearing in mind that it is dependent on how much weight you are planning on putting on the pavement.

Residential Driveways

Residential driveways need to have a minimum of 2 to 3 inches of asphalt. Keep in mind that it is better to overcompensate than to cut corners. Do not be afraid to lay down 4 inches if you are worried about cracks forming. Underneath the asphalt, you are going to want to put 6 to 8 inches of granular base aggregate. Laying all of this over rocky, gravelly, or sandy soil is going to be for the best. This soil will provide you with the best form of drainage thereby minimizing water damage.

Commercial Driveways

Commercial driveways follow the same steps as residential driveways; however, you should consider laying down some thicker asphalt. It is harder to predict the type of vehicles that will drive over a commercial driveway meaning that you want to prepare for the worst. 3 to 4 inches of asphalt should do the trick.

Heavy Duty Commercial Driveways

Heavy-duty commercial driveways are designed to carry a large amount of weight. They are designed to work as loading docks and they will be your best option for carrying large trucks. 4 to 7 inches of asphalt is recommended for a project like this. This asphalt should go over top at least 3 inches of granular base aggregate.

How can we serve you?

The professional paving contractors at Sipes Asphalt & Concrete know the ideal conditions for pouring concrete or asphalt. Whether it’s a new driveway, parking lot, or crack sealing, we’ve got you covered. Call Sipes for your paving estimate and the best paving solutions in the Indianapolis area.

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