Asphalt is a popular choice of paving material used in the construction of residential and commercial driveways because it is long-lasting. This material comprises a mixture of aggregates, such as gravel and crushed stone or concrete, cohesively held together with a binder, such as bitumen. While asphalt paved surfaces are durable, they do require proper care to remain in good working condition.
Let's take a look at some maintenance tips that can be followed to ensure the longevity of asphalt driveways.
While an asphalt driveway may seem invulnerable to the outdoor environment, winter conditions and extreme temperature fluctuations can cause it to rapidly turn into an eyesore. During the hot months, the extreme heat of the sun desiccates the asphalt surface. Soon after, a network of small cracks known as hairline cracks form on the surface of the driveway. If the road is subjected to heavy loading and constant freeze-thaw cycles, the small cracks will become larger over time, forming large cracks commonly referred to as alligator cracks.
To prevent the cracking from causing extensive damage to the driveway, crack filling will need to be done. For example, potholes will most likely develop on the driveway if the severity of cracking increases. Crack filling involves cleaning cracks and patching them up with a crack filler, which is specially modified for use in asphalt driveways.
Sealcoating involves applying a sealing product or compound onto the surface of asphalt so as to provide the driveway with an extra layer of protection against the elements. This surface treatment is based upon the premise that asphalt deterioration starts when the surface of the driveway is left unprotected from the elements. The first sealcoating job on a newly laid asphalt driveway should be done after the asphalt has been allowed adequate time to cure properly. This helps ensure that the sealing compound adheres well on the surface of the asphalt. In addition, resealing is necessary whenever repairs have been made on the driveway. This helps restore the surface protection system and prevents premature deterioration of the asphalt once repair work is completed. Those responsible for sealcoating should be sure to use sealing products recommended for asphalt driveways.
With the right maintenance, asphalt driveway installations can provide property owners with years and years of reliable service life. Therefore, be sure to take proper care of your asphalt driveway if you decide to invest in one at some point in the future.