Tarmac driveways, the same as asphalt driveways, are laid to the exact specifications. No-one applies tarmac anymore, even though it’s commonly referred to as a tarmac driveway. The most common surface now applied on a driveway is SMA (stone mastic asphalt), which we lay here at Abel Driveways LTD.
The installation and laying process for tarmac changes only for either a new driveway installation or resurfacing an original driveway. We lay out both methods for you to be better informed and understand the differences in how tarmac is laid on a new driveway versus resurfacing a tarmac driveway.
Resurfacing A Driveway With SMA
This is the more affordable choice when it comes to replacing your older driveway. The hardest part of resurfacing a driveway is the preparation work where the edging will need chipping out, and any loose surface on top will be graded off.
You chip out the edging to make sure the new surface can come in back in at the same level as the original surface,, which is very important for entrance points, side gates, garage doors etc…
Grading off the area is essential as it needs to be clean for the surface to bond to it. To help with the bonding process, we will spray down hot bitumen, which will aid with that and make sure the new surface adheres nicely.
Once the preparation work is completed, the driveway area is resurfaced using an SMA topping course levelled off. Generally, you only want around 1-inch depth (approximately 2.5cm) as the older surface will provide all the support it needs.
Laying A New Tarmac Driveway
With a new driveway installation, all the old surface is removed including the old foundation. We will always inspect the sub base and replace it as well if we find it is not sufficient to the job. Once everything has been dug out and removed, we will put in our new foundation and machine roll that base till it is nice and solid.
At this stage, we will put in our drainage, manhole covers and brick on edge. If you are not sure over a border, you should view our reasons to use a brick border on a driveway to see why we recommend it.
Depending on the type of finish we have agreed, we will either apply a base wearing course first. This is made up of a more coarse aggregate which makes it excellent for supporting a driveway which should be laid to about 2.5 inches (over 6cm) with a topping course put on top of it. The topping course is a finer aggregate, around 6-8mm dense, which is laid to a depth of 1 inch ( around 2.5cm) and machine rolled till solid.
The other option is one solid coat of 8mm dense SMA at a depth of 3 inchs compressed instead of using 2 coats. During our many years of laying driveways, we have found no discernible difference between using 2 wearing courses and 1 thicker course.
The Benefits of Hiring a Tarmac Laying Professional
As you just read, it takes a lot of skill, patience, and tools to lay a tarmac driveway. Instead of tackling this project yourself, let an experienced like Abel Driveways LTD do it for you. We always will ensure your new tarmac driveway looks beautiful and lasts for many years to come.
Click here to read more about tarmac and asphalt or call Abel Driveways LTD on 01483 342767 to book in a free estimate today.