Because asphalt driveways are durable and very simple to maintain, many homeowners and businesses prefer asphalt. The thickness of an asphalt driveway is one of the essential components in figuring out how long it will last, though.
So how thick should the asphalt driveway be? If your driveway is too thin, it will likely crack and crumble. However, if it is excessively thick, you must pay extra for supplies and labor that you could have avoided. So how thick should the asphalt driveway be?
Recommended Driveway Asphalt Thickness
Residential Driveway: An asphalt driveway should be at least 3 inches thick to accommodate one automobile. A 4-inch thickness is even better, but issues may still arise if the subgrade is not properly ready or the asphalt mix is of poor quality.
Commercial Driveway: A common asphalt thickness ranges from 4 to 6 inches for business driveways or parking lots. However, you could need to go up to 8 to 10 inches thick depending on the traffic volume and weight of the cars.
Guidelines for Asphalt Pavement Thickness
Based on advice from the Asphalt Institute and other industry professionals, the following recommendations were made:
The asphalt’s minimum thickness should be 2.5 to 3 inches for a light-duty residential driveway.
The minimum asphalt thickness needed for a medium-duty driveway, such as one for a light truck or single automobile, is 3 to 4 inches.
For a heavy-duty business driveway, the asphalt should be 4 to 6 inches thick at the very least.
The minimum asphalt thickness for an extra-heavy-duty driveway, such as one for trucks and buses, should be 8 to 10 inches.
If you live in a region with low and freezing temperatures, vehicles that have not been winterized will use your driveway. Use an asphalt mixture with anti-striping additives and increase the pavement’s overall thickness by 1/2 inch.
How Can a Thick Asphalt Driveway Be a Disadvantage
Although an asphalt driveway has numerous advantages, certain disadvantages are unavoidable.
1. AIt will cost more to build a thicker asphalt driveway than a thinner one.
2. After the asphalt is placed down, it will take longer to cure (harden). Therefore you will have to wait longer before accessing your driveway.
3. For some vehicles, like motorcycles, a thick asphalt driveway may be too heavy and harm the surface.
4. The process cost could increase if thick driveways need specialized installation tools.
What Benefits Can a Thick Asphalt Driveway Offer
Here are some benefits that asphalt paving can provide, as many property owners pick it for their parking lots and driveways.
1. It is less likely for cracks and other issues to appear in a thicker asphalt driveway.
2. It will last longer than a thinner driveway, so you won’t have to replace it often.
3. A thick asphalt driveway can better withstand heavy traffic and weight without damaging the pavement.
4. It is less likely to be damaged by weather extremes, such as freezing temperatures or excessive heat.
5. A thick asphalt driveway will provide a smoother ride for vehicles than a thinner one.
6. It provides a smoother driving surface and can reduce noise levels.
When deciding the ideal thickness of an asphalt driveway, climate and the amount of traffic the driveway will be subjected to are among the important factors to consider.
Generally, a thicker layer of asphalt can withstand wear and tear from heavier traffic. However, a thicker layer of asphalt will also be more expensive.
Living in an area with extreme weather conditions (e.g., very hot summers or very cold winters) is important to factor into your decision. A thicker layer of asphalt will help to insulate against extreme temperatures, but again, this comes at a cost.
Working with the Profesional Asphalt Paving Contractors
Are you planning to install an asphalt driveway? Your asphalt driveway can provide years of trouble-free use with proper installation and maintenance. Talk to a professional about the ideal thickness for your particular situation.
If you are unsure which thickness would be best for your situation, you can consult with a professional paving company, like Highway Masters Paving. They can determine your unique demands and recommend based on their experience and expertise.
Highway Masters Paving is a family-owned and operated business with over 30 years of experience in asphalt paving. This paving company in Los Angeles, California, offers a wide range of services, including asphalt driveway installation, repair, and maintenance. They also provide a free estimate to get an idea of what it will cost to have your asphalt driveway installed or repaired. Contact Highway Masters Paving today to learn more about their services or to schedule a free estimate.