No fears. This isn’t a story about some poor duckling that survived a horrific event only to grow up and become the envy of the pond. It’s about our driveway. But no one wants to read about a driveway so I had to catch your interest somehow! Can you blame me?
Our driveway has been a source of distress since moving into our house. First, it’s huge, starting at one side of our property and gently circling to the other. At either end are iron gates. One is padlocked; the other has a recently installed solar gate opener.
We’d always believed that our driveway had been poorly asphalted and had been deteriorating for years. It had large patches with no asphalt, just gravel and dirt. With each rain storm, more of our driveway washed away. Construction across the street, in the past year, had irresponsibly and radically re-routed water runoff to our property, exacerbating the situation.
The arrogant local municipal utility district had not only built a street and failed to provide a way to capture and divert the runoff water, but allowed their silt-filled water retention pond to overflow, rundown a culvert, into a pipe then stream across the street and washout everything in it’s path − our gravel walkways, decorative rocks, plants, and driveway.
Once Rich solved the water runoff problem by working with the county and utility district to construct a ditch that routed the runoff water into the creek behind our house, he investigated repaving our driveway.
After a few phone calls, he chose a family-run company called Poor Paul’s Paving. They came out within the day and used a small bobcat to prepare our driveway for asphalting. They also informed Rich that our driveway had never been paved. It was composed of gravel and tar that had been flattened to form a drivable surface.
Needing to use the bobcat to lay the asphalt, they left it overnight at our house. No sooner had they driven away, Rich put on his work clothes and was outside using the bobcat to do additional work, like burying a water pipe under the driveway to attach a water hose. He also smoothed out an area by the garage, which we’d used to park our motor home and cars. We decided to pave this area instead of leaving it gravel.
A few days later, the Poor Paul crew − four brothers, their father and a niece − showed up. They also brought a paving machine and steamroller. An hour later, a truck showed up with the steaming asphalt, which was loaded into the back of the paving machine. Working quickly, the asphalt is laid down and somewhat smoothed by the paving machine. The brothers, on either side of the driveway, used shovels to build up and form the edges of the driveway.
The asphalt is super hot and we were told that if you accidentally touch or fall in the asphalt, you will instantly get a third-degree burn. After an area is asphalted, the steamroller goes over it several times. Everything is done very quickly.
Because of the size of our driveway and the thickness in which they laid down the asphalt, we needed three trucks full of asphalt. After they were done, and for an extra price, they sprinkled and "brushed in" fine cement powder so the driveway is now medium grey cement, instead of heat-absorbing black asphalt.
Our house with its new "cement" driveway looks amazing! Click on the pictures below to see the difference. A duckling driveway really did turn into a graceful swan.