Paving In Different Areas of Halifax Regional Municipality

Layers of Asphalt Base

You may think that paving a driveway is as simple as putting down some gravel and then placing the asphalt on top. However, there are many factors that an experienced paving contractor considers when providing a quote. We are going to discuss what its like paving in different areas of Halifax.

Paving a Driveway In Bedford Isn’t The Same as Paving a Driveway In Dartmouth

Layers of Asphalt Base

There are two main factors that go into determine how long a new driveway is going to last. These factors are the condition of the base under the asphalt and the compaction of the asphalt itself. Learn about Asphalt Compaction here. For the sake of this article we are going to look at the base factor.

Bedford gets its name because its basically built on sold bedrock. Try digging a hole to put in a fence in Bedford and you’ll in most cases find nothing but rock. Homes built in Bedford generally cost more because the cost of development is higher. The blasting and moving of rock costs significantly more than in an area with softer or sandy soils.

The bonus comes when its time to pave. The sub-base (material under the gravel we add during paving) in Bedford is typically crushed or blasted stone. This material drains well, compacts well and is resistant to freeze thaw cycles. When paving in Bedford an experienced contractor knows that there is typically less class a gravel needed to get a solid foundation. This can help reduce costs associated with paving. Homeowners, in this area also should know their driveways will typically last a long time. However, it needs to be noted that compaction is still very important, you can have all kinds of rock for your base however if it’s not well compacted the driveway will settle over time, this settling may be uneven causing low spots in your driveway. No matter where you live you need at least 98% compaction on your driveway.

Extra Work Is Required In Some Areas

Some neighbourhoods in Coal Harbour, and Sackville are built on clay. Clay when dry is extremely solid and can provide just as much support as a gravel base. However, the minute clay becomes wet it gets soft, squishy and provides very poor support for your paved driveway. In these areas a well constructed driveway base becomes much more important. When we quote a driveway paving job in these known areas we plan for more than standard base construction. In a typical driveway the base requirements are 6 inches of class a gravel. However, in Sackville and Coal harbour we typically plan for at least 10 inches of base gravel. This is where choosing an experienced contractor will ensure you end up with a quality job.

Experence Is Key

Being able to identify potential base issues before we start to dig allows us to avoid unexpected surprises and provide accurate quotes for our customers. However, in the event we start to dig up a driveway and find poor soil conditions we will always consult the client to discuss improving the sub base conditions. A little extra base rock in some cases can extend a driveways life by 5 years or more.


Learn More about the Asphalt Paving Process