FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q?

Why should I choose Heartland Asphalt to pave my driveway or parking lot?

A.

Heartland Asphalt, Inc. is a locally owned and operated company based in Mason City. We have been providing high quality asphalt services to north central Iowa since 1991. We manufacture our own asphalt and are staffed by experienced and well trained asphalt paving crews. We provide paving services for highways, city streets, commercial properties, and residential driveways. Like our motto says “Driveways to Highways!” we do it all!

Q?

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Asphalt Driveway?

A.

That's a great question! Click here for a more detailed explanation of the cost to install an asphalt driveway, or click here to schedule a free estimate.

Q?

How long will a new asphalt driveway or parking lot last?

A.

With a properly installed asphalt surface, using good product, customers can expect the asphalt surface to last 30 or more years. With proper maintenance, many projects can last 40 to 50 years.

Q?

What is an overlay and is it appropriate for my needs?

A.

On some occasions, it is possible to apply a new layer of asphalt over an old layer. A qualified asphalt paving professional will need to inspect the site to make that determination. Unfortunately, overlays are often done on pavement surfaces that should be repaired or replaced entirely. At Heartland Asphalt, we will only overlay when we are sure that option the best choice for customer and the integrity and durability of the surface

Q?

How Thick Should an Asphalt Driveway Be?

A.

Asphalt driveway thickness depends on the soil that’s being paved on and the types of vehicles that will be using it. For light-weight vehicles like cars, SUVS and pickups, a 3” compacted hot mix asphalt (HMA) mat over 6” of base rock will be fine. For heavy vehicles like semis, tractors, dump trucks, etc, we would recommend at least 6”-10” HMA mat over 6-8” of base rock.  All of this work can be done in a 1- 2 day period, depending on the driveway size. When it comes down to it, your asphalt driveway is only as good as the subgrade beneath it!

Q?

How Wide Should an Asphalt Driveway Be?

A.

Well, that depends on who you ask! If you’re speaking to a “fly-by-night” contractor who has no vested interest into the long-term life of your asphalt driveway, they’ll tell you 8 feet is ok. If you’re speaking to a reputable contractor, like Heartland Asphalt, between 10 and 12 feet is the recommended width.

Q?

What is the typical procedure for installing a driveway or parking lot?

A.

One crew prepares the base to make sure the sub-grade drains properly, plus is built to the required specifications to support the anticipated load bearing needs. A second crew arrives with the paving equipment and product. Asphalt is placed in one, two, or 3 layers, depending on the required specifications.

Q?

How long should I stay off the new asphalt?

A.

Normally, 24-hours is all that is required to use your new asphalt surface. In very warm weather, we recommend staying off the fresh asphalt for 1 - 2 days, as the surface cools.

Q?

Why do I see roller marks on my surface?

A.

A critical aspect of producing a long-lasting job is the achievement of the proper compaction of your surface. 90% compaction is ideal. Sometimes the rollers leave 'streaks' or marks on the drive. These are temporary and will become less noticeable over several months.

Q?

Do you offer a warranty on your work?

A.

Yes we have a 2-year warranty on our work.

Q?

How do I maintain my asphalt to keep it looking good for years to come?

A.

There are many things you can do to keep your asphalt paving looking great. Killing weeds along the edges, treating any oil or gas spills, filling any open cracks, and keeping the pavement sealed will greatly extend the life of any asphalt surface.

Q?

When should I sealcoat my new drive?

A.

This is generally a function of the amount of direct sunlight and traffic that an area gets. As a rule of thumb, a surface should not need sealcoating more than every three or four years. Once a driveway has been sealcoated too many times, it becomes very smooth and slick when it rains.

Q?

My car left tire scuffmarks. Are they permanent?

A.

Tire scuffmarks are caused when you turn your car's steering wheel while the car is stationary. If it is a hot day and the asphalt has not completely cured, the surface will get a blemish like grinding your heel into a soft substance. Over time, most of this will become less noticeable.

Q?

What is the difference between resurfacing and sealcoating my drive?

A.

The main difference is that resurfacing/ rehabilitation is a structural repair that will extend the useful life of your asphalt surface. It entails the patching (if necessary) and resurfacing of the entire surface with a new overlay of 1 ½" to 3" of hot mix asphalt (HMA). Sealcoating is not a structural repair and may be likened to painting your house. The sealcoat protects and extends the life of your asphalt, but does nothing to correct structural flaws. Sealcoating, accordingly, is substantially less expensive than resurfacing your drive.

Q?

Why shouldn’t I pave my driveway during the colder winter months?

A.

When asphalt is mixed at the plant, it is super-heated to in excess of 325° F. By the time it is put in a truck, shipped to the job site and installed on your project, it should still be a minimum of 250° to allow it to be properly compacted. Ambient air temperature and the temperature of the ground both play a significant role in how long the asphalt is 'workable' and can be properly compacted. This can range from several hours on a hot summer day to 10 minutes on a chilly fall morning.

Q?

What should I do to help prevent the edges of my driveway from cracking?

A.

The edges or 'shoulders' of your drive are one of the most vulnerable areas of the drive. If you put a lot of weight on the edge (say by driving your car or lawn mower right to the edge), there is the possibility that the edge will crack or break off if it is not properly supported. We try to help the situation by creating a 'beveled edge' on the side of the drive with a 45° angle to defuse the pressure. You can help by installing seeded topsoil against the finished height of the asphalt once the job is completed.

Q?

Our car is leaking oil on the asphalt and it is causing it to deteriorate. Why is this happening?

A.

Asphalt is a petroleum based product and oils, gasoline and brake fluids act like a solvent, causing the surface to soften and become more susceptible to damage.

Q?

I am concerned about the aesthetics of patching my drive. Will it look OK?

A.

This is one of the trickiest questions we get. And the answer is 'it depends'! Once we patch part of your drive, it will be a black area in the midst of your existing graying surface. If your driveway has been sealcoated previously, the new asphalt will also have a more porous texture. This does not bother some people, as they know that they are protecting the investment that they have in their driveway. Others see it as an eyesore and have the whole driveway resurfaced or sealcoated after the patching is completed.

Q?

Can I put an asphalt surface over my old concrete drive?

A.

Yes. This can be done if the concrete has not deteriorated too much, but there is a caveat. Concrete has expansion joints and when the concrete 'moves' with the freeze-thaw cycle of Iowa’s climate, it will eventually reflect up through the asphalt and crack.  The alternative is to excavate the entire concrete drive and rebuild an asphalt drive from the base up, but this can be an expensive proposition.