Known for its durability and strength, asphalt is a preferred paving material for roads, pathways and driveways. It has an average lifespan ranging between 15 to 20 years. There are many factors that can affect its longevity such as the quality of the installation, its usage, maintenance, and the climate.
Harsh weather conditions, extreme temperatures, heavy traffic, and ineffective drainage system can result in cracks and potholes. Usually, asphalt degradation proceeds gradually. It begins with minor cracks then to potholes, and if not corrected, it can lead to permanent damage of the driveway. Since its degradation happens very slowly, you have ample time to reverse it.
Take note that installing a new asphalt driveway is costlier than implementing proper maintenance. Hence, regular maintenance and timely repairs are vital to fully maximize the investment you put into your driveway.
While repairing an asphalt driveway, there are five essential things to keep in mind.
Thoroughly inspect the driveway
Pay close attention to minor cracks and holes in the driveway. Water can seep into these very fine fissures. When winter comes, the water trapped into the cracks becomes frozen, permanently damaging its continuity. If you notice small holes or cracks, immediately patch up the cracks. Repairing the cracks while they are still small can help prevent bigger cracks from escalating and worsening.
Remove and replace
If any part of the driveway becomes damaged or shows up pooling, it is recommended that you remove the damaged part and replace it entirely, instead of patching it up. While doing minor repairs may seem cheaper, it is often futile and a complete waste of money especially if the damage covers a wide space.
Furthermore, installing a new asphalt surface ensures the integrity of the driveway. This should keep the driveway more durable and capable of withstanding harsh climate and temperatures.
When replacing a certain area, cut out the entire section including the subgrade. Asphalt repair experts at ABC Paving & Sealcoating remind DIY-ers to employ proper subgrade pre-installation and stabilization procedures. Once the subgrade is stable, you may then apply asphalt material. Allow sufficient time for the paving material to cure before using the driveway.
Add another layer
Consider overlay if filling the cracks and holes or re-installing a new driveway are not possible. In these scenarios, adding an extra layer over your existing driveway might be a viable option. Aside from retaining the beauty and durability of your driveway, it should also delay costly asphalt repair by several years. An overlay extends the lifespan of your driveway. So, you get additional years before the asphalt will have to be completely replaced.
Fill up the gaps
Over time and due to water damage, the edges of the asphalt driveway may become separated from its surrounding structures such as sidewalks, gutters, posts, walls, and other edges. These gaps make the asphalt more vulnerable to water damage. Hence, the gaps should be considered a major hazard to your driveway. They need to be addressed immediately and repaired using appropriate asphalt repair techniques.
Sealcoat your driveway
Once potholes and cracks have been completely addressed, you need to seal the asphalt surface with sealcoat. This layer provides protection from water and UV damage. It improves durability and prevents ruts and cracks. However, sealcoat should be applied only after the cracks have been solved. If the pavement has more serious subgrade or base issues, sealcoating it won’t help; it needs re-paving.
The next time you undertake asphalt driveway repair, make sure to follow these tips to make your driveway last longer. If you are unsure about how and where to start the repair process, it is recommended that you consult a professional asphalt repair specialist. These paving experts can help you know more about the appropriate repair methods and materials applicable to your driveway.