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How Thick Should An Asphalt Driveway Be When Paving

Asphalt driveways are popular for many homeowners due to their durability and relatively low maintenance cost. The thickness of the asphalt pavement is one of the most crucial elements to consider when laying an asphalt driveway. So, how thick should an asphalt driveway be?

Asphalt driveway thickness is an important consideration when installing a new driveway. The thickness of the asphalt will impact the driveway’s durability and how long it will last. Asphalt driveway thickness must be based on your needs and budget.

The asphalt paving thickness and structure ultimately depend on the intended use of the pavement once it is completed. But there’s more to it, as asphalt pavement involves an entire structure and few critical decision-making points involving subgrade materials and drainage. 

This thickness is typically only necessary for commercial properties or driveways that will see a lot of heavy traffic.

Residential Driveways

Residential driveways commonly use 2 to 3 inches of asphalt, with 3 inches being ideal for occasional large vehicles or heavy equipment.

Maintaining a minimum of 6 to 8 inches of granular base aggregate beneath the asphalt is vital. There is soil underneath, so if your local soil is gravelly, rocky, or sandy, it will drain well and can be left alone. But, if your soil is loamy or clay, it may need to be excavated and returned to a particular depth before it creates significant challenges later. 

Commercial Driveways and Parking Lots

For commercial driveways and parking lots, asphalt should have a minimum thickness of 3 inches. Commercial driveways should also use 8 inches of granular foundation aggregate, whereas lots should use 6 inches. The underlying soil should have good drainage.

Heavy Duty Commercial Driveways and Lots

Driveways near loading docks or that will be often used by heavy trucks should have a stronger structure, with different finish and binder layers resulting in asphalt thicknesses of 4 to 7 inches altogether. Heavy-duty commercial lots should have 6 inches of asphalt over a three-inch aggregate base layer.

What if your asphalt is too thin?

When asphalt is poured properly, the load’s weight is distributed throughout the surface due to the material’s thickness and inherent flexibility, which is eventually supported by the base layer underneath. However, if the asphalt is too thin, the weight isn’t evenly distributed and compresses the material directly beneath the tire, causing it to pull away from the adjacent pavement and form fatigue cracks. These flaws will eventually expand upwards and outwards, rapidly expanding in size and causing the surface to deteriorate well before the product’s lifecycle is complete.

Several benefits of having a thicker asphalt driveway

A thicker driveway will be less likely to crack or break under the weight of cars or trucks. A thicker driveway is also less likely to develop potholes, last longer, and be more durable.

If you live in a place with severe weather conditions, you may want to consider a thicker driveway. Extreme heat or cold can cause the asphalt to expand or contract, leading to cracking. It will also withstand the elements better, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Overall, a thicker asphalt driveway will provide a higher-quality product that will last longer.

The only drawback to having a thicker asphalt driveway is the cost. A thicker driveway will require more material and labor to install. But a thicker driveway is worth the investment if you can afford it. 

Highway Masters Paving specializes in asphalt paving. Our team of expert asphalt paving contractors has over 25 years of expertise and understands how to build long-lasting, high-quality pavement. As a leading asphalt paving contractor, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent work at a reasonable price, backed by outstanding customer service. Consider hiring Highway Masters Paving if you want everything done correctly. If your residential driveways or business parking lot is in Los Angeles, CA, and you need asphalt paving services from a professional paving contractor. Highway Masters Paving can help you meet your needs and budget.

If you are paving a new driveway, consider the thickness of the asphalt. A thicker driveway will last longer and be more durable. But it will also cost more to install. Weigh your options and choose the right thickness for your needs. Do not hesitate to contact Highway Masters Paving at 323-915-8765, if you need assistance. We’re always pleased to assist in obtaining the finest outcomes possible for your asphalt paving driveway projects in Los Angeles, CA.