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Five Tips For Smooth Asphalt Driveways And Parking Lots

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Want a smooth and shiny finish for your asphalt parking lot or driveway? There are several strategies that can help you create the smooth finish you desire. Take these tips into consideration.

1. Focus on Adequate Preparation

You need a smooth level surface if you want the asphalt to be smooth. If you are starting from scratch, make sure that you do a survey that ensures the parking lot or driveway is level and only slopes as needed for rainwater drainage.

Then, lay a sturdy layer of aggregate or gravel underneath the surface. That provides stability for the asphalt so that it is less likely to sink in or bubble up in random places.

2. Keep the Asphalt Warm

The warmer the asphalt is, the more pliable and easier to handle it will be. If you're working with cool asphalt, it tends to be more resistant to spreading, and it can make your surface bumpy.

In most cases, you have to move asphalt from one site to another, and if there is a long drive between sites, the asphalt may start to cool. Take steps to lock in the heat by covering the asphalt with black tarps, and also structure your project so that you are ready to start spreading the asphalt the minute it arrives. The longer it waits, the more it will cool.

3. Use Pneumatic Rollers

Once the asphalt is applied, you need to compact it to make it smooth. A roller is the best option, and to get as much force as possible behind your efforts, use a pneumatic roller. For large projects, you may want a large pneumatic roller, but for small driveways, you can use a water-filled roller that you push like a lawn mower.

4. Mix Sand in the Seal Coat

After the asphalt is dried and compacted, you may want to add a seal coating. To make that look smooth and shiny, spread a layer of fine play sand over the asphalt first. That may sound counterproductive, but surprisingly, the small grains of sand don't create bumps.

Instead, as you spread the sand over the asphalt, it fills in any small holes or irregularities. Then, when you put the seal coat on, it ends up looking smoother and even glassier than usual.

5. Hire a Professional

For the best results, you may want to hire a professional. You can take a look at their other asphalt work to see how smooth they get it, and if you're impressed, you can let them handle the hard work.

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