What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is a composite material which consists of aggregate minerals of stones and sand mixed together with a highly viscous, black and sticky substance known as “bitumen”. Asphalt is primarily used for road construction, parking lots and even for residential driveways. It is widely known for its durability and affordable price range.
Before we go deeper into discussing the cost of installing an asphalt driveway or parking lot, let’s take a look at the different types of asphalt currently used in the market.
Types of Asphalt
There are actually three types of asphalt that are categorized according to process, application, and use.
Hot Mix Asphalt or “HMA”, also called “blacktop” is produced under high heat between 150 °C – 190 °C. HMA is considered as the most durable among the three and is used for high traffic areas such as highways and airport runways.
In contrast to HMA, Warm Mix Asphalt or “WMA” does not require high temperature levels to produce. Generally, the temperature to create WMA is 20 °C – 40 °C lower than that of HMA. WMA also has added emulsions, waxes and zeolites that allows it to operate at a lower temperature. However, it offers less durability than HMA and is used for low traffic areas or for patching.
Cold Mix Asphalt is the most affordable option among all types of asphalt. This is because it doesn’t need heat in its production; instead, it uses a particular bitumen emulsion that coats the aggregates during the mixing and compaction process. However, it cannot be considered as an alternative to HMA for actual paving installation. It is mostly used for driveway repair during winter.
Asphalt paving costs is largely dependent on the size of the area or project you are looking to pave. But there are other factors that can affect how paving experts are going to price their services and it varies on the situation of the area to be paved. To better understand how much your paving project is going to cost you, we have outlined a list of the most common factors.
Direct costs such as the type of asphalt that will be used for the installation, transportation expenses and other raw materials are the things under material cost. You can control this aspect if you can source a trusted supplier for the material which you can refer to your contractor. It would also be great if you can hire a local paving company near you so you can save a bit more on the transportation expenses. This way, you get a better idea of how much the installation is going to cost you.
Having a proper water drainage is essential if you want your asphalt pavement to last long. Now if you don’t have a proper and unobtrusive drainage and your contractor will have to set it up for you, then this is going to raise the installation cost.
Similar to the drainage problem, if you don’t have an existing surface that they can work on, and if they’ll have to excavate your place and clear and haul debris off your space then expect that you will have to pay them more.
The thicker the gravel base is, the higher the quality and the more expensive it will be. Nonetheless, it is still worth the money if you can have a strong foundation because it will certainly last you longer given that you take good care of your pavement.
Requesting to add special top coats and sealants will naturally increase the price, but if you think the extra protection is worth it then might as well go for it.
Lastly, it all boils down to the total square footage of the area. The size of the coverage will dictate the amount of materials to be used, the labor time and the depth of the base to be prepared for the site.
Asphalt Driveway Cost
A properly installed asphalt driveway normally costs from $2 – $5 per square foot. As per HomeAdvisor the total average cost that people pay for an asphalt driveway installation ranges from $2,853 – $6,296, but can go for as low as $1,500 or as much as $10,000 all depending on the type of material, area coverage and other factors mentioned previously.
Parking Lot Paving Cost
Similar to a driveway paving job, the price varies on the extent of the area, the leveling of the surface, drainage set up, material costs, and labor rates. Nevertheless, parking lots are generally less expensive than a driveway because paving contractors offer price reductions in larger coverage areas. And again, according to HomeAdvisor, they have estimated that a 50,000 square foot parking lot in the Mid-Atlantic market may have an average cost of $1.25 – $1.50 per square foot with a 1.5 – 2 inches of overlay.
Lastly, before you do any undertaking on that paving project of yours, do take note that more skilled and more experienced paving professionals will charge you more compared to novice paving contractors, but then again it’s up to you and your budget to filter out and pick the contractor that you think is best for you.
For asphalt repair and installation, contact commercial paving contractor in Annapolis for a professional and top-quality paving job. But as for reliable professional paving companies, turn to an asphalt marketing company to grow your paving business.