The use of recycled asphalt (millings) to replace gravel driveways is becoming popular, and why not, asphalt millings reduces wash outs, stops issues with mud and dust and is about half the price of hot laid asphalt. Rural property owners have been keen to take up the trend of using milled asphalt to help decrease their driveway issues.
We recently had a chat with small property owner Simon Middleton of Sawyers Valley. Simon had recently installed his own driveway using milled asphalt. Simon’s driveway is 150-160m long and prone to winter washouts as well as the mud and dust that goes with gravel driveways. Simon had been looking for a product that could address these issues when he came across recycled asphalt and decided to give it a go. We chatted to him about some of his tips when it comes to driveway preparation and asphalt installation.
So, here’s Simon’s semi-DIY guide to recycled asphalt driveway installation.
Step 1 – Measure your driveway
Before you go breaking up your old driveway it’s a good idea to measure it up and call a recycled asphalt contractor. They will be able to give you an idea on the tonnage you will need.
Step 2 – Clearing the Way
If you have a current driveway that’s being replaced, you’ll need to remove it completely. Break up any existing concrete or remove pavers; remove all pieces and clear away loose gravel. The surface should be as clean as possible before you move onto the next step.
Step 3 – Grade Your Driveway
Your driveway needs to have the right gradient so you get proper drainage and won’t end up sitting in water. You will want water to run off the sides of the driveway or straight to the bottom.
Stage 1 -4 The start of Simon’s Driveway in Sawyers Valley – Clearing a drive through the paddock
Step 4 – Compacting the Soil
You will need to hire a drum roller compactor for the day and carefully drive it over the base soil to compact it uniformly.
Step 5 – Add Crushed Rock Base
Cover the compacted soil with coarse, jagged crushed rock. Make sure you use proper road base mix to allow drainage. For clay-based undersoil, you’ll need around 20 cm of crushed rock; for sandy soil, 10cm is enough.
Stage 5- 6 Road base and allow to settle
Step 6 – Allow the Base to Settle
For optimal results, the base should be left to settle for several days. This will create a stronger, more stable base to install the asphalt millings over and allow you to spot any potential issues with your initial compaction.
Step 7 – Installing the Asphalt
This is around the time where most DIYers down tools and call in the professionals. However, it’s still good to know what’s going on during the actual installation.
The milled recycled asphalt should be laid down over the driveway at a thickness of about 100mm to 150mm. Special care should be taken to ensure the distribution is as even as possible, however tapering off at the edges so that the fall remains consistent with the road base gradient. The delivery truck will deposit the asphalt in piles along the driveway, you will need to use a bobcat to move the asphalt in place. With the more precise edges, you may need to hand shovel asphalt. Using the rack bucket of a bobcat as a leveler, asphalt can be smoothed across the road base.
Step 8 – Compacting the New Driveway
Now that the asphalt has been distributed it’s time to compact. Hire a drum roller and get rolling. The asphalt will now be compacted down to 100mm. The edges of the driveway will be treated to form a 45-degree angle.
Advice for potential DIYers
Simon is a pretty handy guy and owns his own bobcat, his advice to DIYers;
“If you don’t have your own machinery I would suggest you hire a bobcat and operator for the day, then assist them by doing all the shoveling and raking to get the asphalt in place. You can hire a drum roller for compaction and operate it yourself – they are pretty easy to drive. You can be compacting parts of the drive while the bobcat operator is spreading another area. Installing your own drive will definitely save you a few bucks, however, if there are aspects of the installation that you are not confident with, you can always call in the professionals at ARA”
Asphalt Recyclers Australia provides recycled asphalt for bulk delivery to homeowners, contractors, government authorities, property developers and more in the Perth and Surrounding WA Region (300 kms radius). We also offer construction services for driveways, service roads and other installations. Get in touch today.