Installing a tarmac driveway is a common choice for many homeowners in the Midlands, owing to its durability and aesthetic appeal. When done correctly, a tarmac driveway can seamlessly blend with any landscape design, raising the value of the property. Here is a step-by-step guide on laying a tarmac driveway in the Midlands.
The first step in laying a tarmac driveway is careful planning. This involves deciding the location and dimensions of the driveway, contouring the driveway’s layout, and making sure it aligns with the local council’s rules and regulations around driveways. Doing some research in this stage could save homeowners from potential legal issues later.
Once you have a plan, the next step is ground preparation. This step involves clearing the area where the driveway will be laid. It may require removing grass, weeds, rocks, tree roots and other debris. The ground will then be levelled and compacted to create a sturdy base for the tarmac. In the Midlands, where the soil can often be clay-heavy, it is essential to make sure the ground is drained effectively to prevent water logging.
After preparing the area, create the sub-base layer. This step involves laying and compacting hardcore or crushed stone. These materials act as the foundation of the driveway, providing the strength and stability the tarmac needs to withstand heavy loads. The sub-base is typically 10 to 15 centimetres thick, depending on the expected traffic.
Next, a binder course is laid down. This middle layer, made up of bigger aggregates, acts as the transition between the stone sub-base and the finer tarmac top layer. Some experts may recommend a membrane layer at this stage to prevent weed growth, although this is optional.
Now you’re ready for the tarmac. Heat the tarmac until it becomes liquid, then pour it evenly onto the binder layer. Professionals usually apply the tarmac in two layers: a base layer about 5cm thick, and a thinner surface layer which provides the decorative finish. These two layers together form the wearing course.
While the tarmac is still warm, it needs to be compacted using a heavy roller. This helps to press the material into the binder course, improving the bond between the different layers. Care should be taken not to over-compact as this can cause surface cracking.
Once the tarmac has been laid, it needs time to set and harden. This typically takes a few days, but can be influenced by the weather. Particularly in the unpredictable climate of the Midlands, timings may have to be adjusted to accommodate any weather changes. No vehicle should drive on the new tarmac until it has hardened fully – this usually takes around 7 to 10 days.
The final touch in installing a tarmac driveway is the edging. This may be created from bricks, pavers, or another durable material. Not only does it make the driveway aesthetically appealing, but it also contains the tarmac, preventing it from spreading and forming a clean delineation between the driveway and other areas.
Safety is paramount at every stage of laying a tarmac driveway. Always wear appropriate protective clothing, and consider engaging professionals who are experienced in working with tarmac, particularly for larger driveways.
In conclusion, constructing a tarmac driveway in the Midlands involves a number of carefully calculated steps: from planning and tarmac driveway midlands ground preparation to laying down the sub-base, binder courses, and tarmac layers, including compacting and finalising the edging. Remember, however, that while the process may be straightforward, it’s essential to focus on details and quality materials to ensure a perfectly finished, durable driveway that adds value to your home.