Homeowners often recognize the importance of maintaining their properties, especially their driveways. The constant wear of repeatedly driving on it will cause the quality of the driveway to decrease, not to mention the damage that mother nature can cause.
Sunlight and heat break down the driveway’s surface, creating pits and cracks. Water and snow, then seep in, expanding the cracks and eroding the gravel foundation below. If left without maintenance, repairing your driveway can cost you a fortune. Driveway repairs require several considerations that this article will help walk you through.
Is DIY Paving A Good Idea?
In order to save money, homeowners might consider DIY driveway paving. To determine whether this project can be properly handled by an amateur, you need to know if you will have access to the necessary equipment and appropriate materials, or is it wiser to hire a professional contractor? Determining whether or not DIY driveway paving is a good idea depends on a variety of factors and may not be the same for you as it is for your next-door neighbor.
The Type of Paving and Tools Available
The type of paving installed plays a crucial role in determining whether DIY is a smart decision to make. Some kinds can be installed by homeowners, provided they can create a base that is solid enough underneath. If your plans for driveway repairs involve concrete paving, it’s advised to hire a paving contractor. Concrete paving can be complicated, especially on large driveways. If you are planning on having an imprinted or colored concrete driveway, then DIY may not be the best approach for you.
Asphalt paving is probably the simplest, most aesthetically appealing type, it is the most dependable common option for a paved driveway, but without the necessary equipment, homeowners should not attempt a DIY asphalt paving job. Aggregate driveways are naturally derived, making them environmentally friendly. They are relatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and have high DIY potential. Installing a gravel driveway requires no special skill. They do however have some disadvantages; removing mud and snow can be difficult which is often inconvenient and unsafe for some vehicles and pedestrians.
To properly pave your driveway, you will need access to various equipment such as saws with stone cutting blades (to fit on those edges and corner pieces properly), rollers (to make sure the base level is even and smooth) and several other tools. Without the appropriate tools, you risk having an uneven or damaged driveway and are likely to reduce the aesthetic appearance and value of your property.
DIY Step-by-step Guide
To make the most informed decision when it comes to driveway repairs and whether or not you should take on the project yourself, you need to know about the steps you will have to do. Here is a brief guide to walk you through them.
1- Prepare The Base
To prepare the base layer, you might need to rent a compactor and trucks to transport larger amounts of materials needed. First, you need to install a paving foundation by selecting and marking the area to be paved and excavate the area decided on. The overall base depth, the thickness of the paver and sand layer will determine how much you need to excavate the ground. It can be difficult for homeowners to uniformly excavate the entire driveway area. This base will be a compacted rubble or gravel material.
2- Lay the base material
Lay the base materials past the boundary marked for laying pavers to support the pavers on the edges. Usually after the base is laid, a generous layer of gravel is applied to solidify and give firmness to the excavated area. Compact the base with a plate compactor to reduce the water content and prevent settling. Bedding or paving sand is then spread over the compacted base.
3- Finishing Process
After the paving material has been laid, there are several finishing steps, varying according to the type of paving used. Asphalt and concrete may both need to be raked to ensure an even smooth finish. A well-paved driveway can give your home a neater, more appealing appearance. It is also easier to maintain in -especially during cold weather- and can be safer for walking and playing on. DIY enthusiasts should carefully consider whether they are skilled enough and have access to the equipment necessary for this project and the ability to safely and effectively operate them. Take the rental costs into account when comparing DIY and contractor costs to make a more informed decision.