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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW IS FAIRFAX ASPHALT DIFFERENT FROM ITS COMPETITORS?

We are a second generation family-owned and operated paving company serving the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis including Anoka, Ramsey, Elk River, Rogers, Otsego, St. Michael, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center & Champlin. We have been in business for over 50 years. Our customers love us - find out why!

WHAT'S THE FAIRFAX GUARANTEE?

Our standard guarantee for new driveway installation is 5 years. You won't find fine print hidden in our contract. If you feel like you have an integrity problem with your driveway, give us a call and we will meet with you to discuss the issue and come up with a solution to satisfy the concern.

HOW LONG CAN I EXPECT MY BEAUTIFUL NEW DRIVEWAY TO LAST?

With proper construction, we have seen our installed driveways last from 20-35 years. The life expectancy of your driveway can vary greatly depending on the soil it is built on and general homeowner maintenance.

WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF REPLACING MY DRIVEWAY LOOK LIKE?

The first day the Fairfax crew comes out to tear out the existing driveway. We then install the Recycled Class #5 base. We let the base settle for approx one week. In situations where the subsoil is soft or extra saturated we prefer to let it set an extra 1-2 weeks. During this time you can drive and park on the driveway as normal. When the driveway is done settling we will come back to install the asphalt, after that we recommend keeping as much traffic off the driveway as possible for 2-3 days and not parking on the driveway for approximately one week. 

HOW MUCH BASE DO I NEED AND WHAT TYPE DO YOU USE?

Sandy soil - 4-5" of compacted base is recommended. 

Clay soil - 6-8" of compacted base is recommended. 

We use a recycled base called class #5; it's a mixture of recycled asphalt and recycled concrete. The recycled parts are crushed to create a 3/4" gravel base. 

HOW THICK SHOULD THE ASPHALT BE AFTER IT IS COMPACTED?

The Minnesota Builders Association recommends 2 - 2 1/2" of well compacted asphalt for a residential driveway. Any less than that may not withstand daily traffic. If you prefer more than that, it should be done in 2 layers to obtain proper asphalt density.

ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN THE KINDS OF ASPHALT USED FOR DRIVEWAYS? WHAT IS RECOMMENDED?

For most residential driveways a finer aggregate mix is usually preferred consisting of 1/2" or smaller bituminous mix design for a smoother looking finish. For driveways with higher traffic or heavier vehicles, like and RV or boat, we recommend using a courser mix consisting of 3/4" rock mixture. This mix will still have a smooth texture, however, it will appear rockier and will withstand the traffic much better.

WILL MY ASPHALT DRIVEWAY CRACK?

Yes. It is inevitable. When the ground freezes and thaws it causes expansion and contraction, the ground movement will cause surfaces to crack. Asphalt cracking IS NOT a sign of an improperly installed driveway.

WHEN WILL MY ASPHALT CRACK?

We live in Minnesota and some winters can be and will be harder on your asphalt driveway. Anytime during those cold winter months, the ground freezes and when it thaws it causes the ground to shift. Which will cause the surface to move and cause asphalt cracking.

IS BACKING UP THE EDGES OF MY NEW  DRIVEWAY IMPORTANT?

Yes, make sure your edges are backed up as they are the weakest part of an asphalt driveway. Make sure your yard is the same height as the driveway. Protect those edges.

WHAT CAUSES ASPHALT CRACKING?

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CARE FOR MY NEW ASPHALT DRIVEWAY? 

Edges not being backed up properly, freezing and thawing in the winter months, pressure from everyday driving, utility lines underneath your driveway, tree roots. 

Clean your driveway with a stiff broom to remove all debris when needed, rinse with water. Also spills (automotive chemicals such as gas, oil, transmission fluid, coolant) may happen and when they do clean the area with a mild detergent and rinse with water. Cracking will happen and when it does make sure you fill them before winter. 

WHAT DO I DO IF MY ASPHALT CRACKS?

WHAT CAN CAUSE MARKS OR PUNCTURES ON MY DRIVEWAY?

Get the cracks filled before winter! Hire a reputable maintenance contractor, or go to a box store (such as Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes) and purchase a gallon jug of driveway asphalt crack filler; this is a relatively simple DIY project. Filling cracks will help prevent moisture from getting underneath which can cause further damage. 

Tires, sharp objects (such as kickstands, ladders, ramps, and jacks). All of which can happen on an asphalt driveway espectially during hot weather. To avoid or minimize avoid constant or heavy loads to the surface.