Asphalt is one of the most popular materials for driveways and parking lot paving. Its softness, durability, and appearance make this pavement type the number one choice for home and business owners in the United States.
Asphalt driveways can last for 20 years before you need to repave them. However, without proper maintenance, they may not survive more than two. Asphalt repaving can be expensive. Doing it every two years can take a serious toll on your budget.
That’s why it’s imperative to learn all you can about increasing your asphalt pavement’s lifespan.
1. Sealcoat Your Asphalt Regularly
Asphalt sealcoating is a highly efficient way to keep your pavement in top shape for years. Depending on the wear and tear, you may need to reseal the asphalt every one to three years.
According to Florida asphalt paving experts from ABC Paving, proper sealcoating protects asphalt from weather elements, moisture, and chemicals. It prevents the pavement from cracking and potholes from occurring.
Even the tiniest hairline crack can let water in and ruin the entire asphalt pavement. That’s why sealing is an important part of asphalt maintenance. As a bonus, sealing creates a black finish, which makes the asphalt look more appealing
2. Make Frequent Inspections
Your asphalt’s paving worst enemy is water. Even the smallest crack can allow water to seep through. Once it’s under the pavement, water will start damaging the asphalt from inside.
Temperature fluctuations will cause it to freeze and thaw, thus expanding and contracting the pavement. Eventually, a small crack could turn into a pothole, leading to costly repairs, or worse, repaving.
By inspecting your asphalt driveway regularly, you can discover small cracks and repair them on the spot. In some cases, you can do it on your own, without asking for professional assistance.
If you aren’t sure you can repair the crack without asphalt repair specialists, don’t start any work. You can worsen the pavement’s condition.
3. Repair Your Asphalt Timely
The best time for asphalt repair is fall or spring. Depending on the climate you live in, winters could mean freezing temperatures and snow. Meanwhile, summers could be extremely hot.
Prepare your asphalt for cold winters and hot summers in advance. Inspect it for damages. Clean and sealcoat the surface. Patch even the smallest cracks. While asphalt is flexible and doesn’t crack under extreme temperatures, any water that stays under the pavement could lead to serious damages, reducing its lifespan substantially.
4. Clean the Asphalt Regularly
Even though asphalt is durable, it may be damaged by chemicals and contaminants that stay on its surface for a long time. Meanwhile, heavy snow could cause the material to deteriorate quicker than you wish.
Cleaning the pavement involves:
- Remove dry leaves and debris so they don’t cover up any cracks
- Shovel snow so there is no standing water on the pavement.
- Powerwash the surface with dish soap to remove stains.
Ideally, you should inspect your asphalt pavement once a week and clean it if necessary. Such an approach can extend the driveway’s lifespan substantially.
5. Secure the Edges
Edges are the most vulnerable part of the asphalt pavement. If you don’t take care of them properly, the entire pavement may give out in under a year.
One of the best ways to secure the edges is landscaping. By adding new topsoil to level out the driveway on the edges, you make sure they don’t start deteriorating. You can also secure the edges with rocks or stones.
Before edges are properly hidden, avoid driving over them. Putting pressure on the edges could cause the pavement to start crumbling.
Asphalt pavement can serve you for decades, but only as long as you invest a little time and money in proper care. Make sure to inspect the pavement regularly, repair damages timely, and keep the asphalt clean.
While you can do the majority of asphalt maintenance on your own, you may miss important issues. By setting up regular maintenance schedule with a contractor, you can get a professional opinion about your pavement. Consider arranging a professional inspection at least once a year.