Asphalt has been used for thousands of years in a variety of applications and is today the most common material for public highways and roads. A dark, resilient material, asphalt now covers more than 94 percent of the paved roads in the United States. On a smaller scale, asphalt is used as a surface for driveways and parking lots, walking and biking paths, runways, and athletic courts where a smooth, durable surface is required. Paving professionals install asphalt at homes and businesses for roughly $2–$5 per square foot. Specialized applications, such as athletic courts, generally cost more. Companies, such as California Asphalt Professionals in Morgan Hill, California, that have experience working with asphalt and other paving and hardscape materials and can provide advice on what is required for any given project.
Sealing an asphalt surface is recommended to extend its life. After the asphalt is laid, it’s necessary to wait at least six months for it to fully harden and for the oils to evaporate, says Joe Jones, owner of California Asphalt Professionals. Jones’ sends a crew back to job sites after six months to add a seal coating to asphalt surfaces for an additional 20 cents per square foot. Jones recommends that customers seal asphalt surfaces every three to five years for maximum durability.
Professionally installed, well-maintained asphalt surfaces can last 20 years before they require repair or resurfacing. The ground below the surface almost always shifts a bit, and sometimes tree roots can cause unevenness or cracks. In parking lots, heavier vehicles can cause wear and tear. When an asphalt surface is uneven or has developed cracks, divots or minor potholes, California Asphalt Professionals can resurface the asphalt expanse by putting down a layer of Petromat and installing a new two-inch layer of asphalt for about $2.50 per square foot. If there is excessive damage, it may be necessary to remove the asphalt and redo it completely.
Professionals can lay asphalt as a base for an athletic court. Costs are typically higher than for standard asphalt, depending on the type of court, whether it needs special materials on the surface and whether the area must be leveled completely, as in the case of tennis courts.
California Asphalt Professionals has installed many tennis courts and typically charges $5.50 per square foot for the asphalt and surface preparation. A regulation doubles tennis court measures 36x78 feet. A singles court is the same length but only 27 feet wide. To have asphalt laid for a doubles court costs more than $15,000—plus the cost of line painting, the net, fencing, etc.
Full basketball courts are quite large—94x50 feet according to the National Basketball Association—most homeowners opt for a half court and goal (hoop, basket and backboard). California Asphalt Professionals installs basketball courts for $3.50 per square foot or about $8,225 for a half court, not including striping and the goal. A goal mounted to an existing vertical surface, such as the side of a building, costs $250–$500. A pole-mounted goal generally costs at least twice that much and may require inspectors to check for below-ground utilities before the hole is dug for the pole’s base.
California Asphalt Professionals uses the same asphalt mix and preparation for commercial parking lots and residential driveways at a cost of $5 per square foot, which includes removal of existing paving and preparing the surface. Striping costs extra, and this pricing is based on the number of parking stalls, how much paint and how much signage, such as for spots reserved for people with handicapped placards.