Asphalt driveways are hard surfaces. However, hard as they may be, weathering and deterioration will eventually take their toll. These surfaces are exposed to elements 24/7. Harsh sunlight, winter snow, or excessive rain can all have the worst effects. Quality driveway companies and contractors will always take into account local weather conditions, soil situation, and all other factors.
When maintained properly, a good asphalt driveway should last more than two decades. However, property owners will need to ensure some maintenance in order for that to happen. Also, driveways that don’t get maintained properly, see a much shorter lifespan. So, here are some of the top signs that should guide you to call your driveway contractor for maintenance quickly:
1: Saggy or Indenting Surface
Asphalt pavements are laid on top of the existing soil and ground. Also, soil conditions may change due to various reasons going forward. Excessive moisture in the soil underneath should be dealt with at the time of installation. Also, many factors can change the soil condition afterward.
If your asphalt driveway has indentations on the surface, it is a sign of soil displacement underneath. Or, it can be due to the pavement expanding as well. In both cases, proper maintenance will be required to correct the condition of your driveway.
When left unchecked, the driveway can sink even more. It will cause surface cracks and total loss of structural integrity. So, make sure to give your asphalt contractor a call and schedule a maintenance visit quickly when you see this.
2: Cracks Appearing on Your Asphalt Driveway
Does your asphalt driveway have cracks in it? Are cracks only starting to appear? If they are only starting to form, it is the best time to get them fixed. Asphalt cracks are caused by underlying issues. The adhesive layers coming apart will cause cracks in the driveway.
When left unchecked, asphalt driveway cracks can expand quite quickly. You will not ever realize before those cracks stretch the whole length of the driveway. Proper cracks filling is required to bind the surface up together again.
Driveway crack filling is a relatively inexpensive fix. Asphalt contractors will pour the hot mix with heavy adhesive content to do the job. It will extend the life of your driveway making it live a safer, longer life. Don’t delay, act fast.
3: Potholes Forming on the Surface
There can be many reasons for potholes forming on an asphalt driveway surface. One of the most common ones is pooling water on the surface. Pooling water can get into the adhesive layers making them come apart. Good chunks of materials will get removed by vehicles driving over.
When formed, potholes give further pathways to water moving it deep into the adhesive layers. This is where things start coming apart. Good paving installations should be able to keep potholes away for longer periods of time.
Also, regular aging can cause potholes to form rather quickly. Leaking oils from cars and engines can be a very big contributing factor as well. However, if you see potholes forming, make sure to get professional filling to stop the damage in its tracks.
4: Lose Debris Coming Off the Surface
For one reason or another, loose debris can start to come off your asphalt surface. Adhesive layers breaking apart or pooling water are some of the biggest reasons. Especially, rainwater is salty and can break apart the surface making rocks come off of the surface.
Usually, a good seal coating is a good way to bind up the surface. However, if the problem is deep, you need professional fixes for the job. A thin layer of hot mix might be suggested by your asphalt driveway contractor to make things better.
Also, loose debris coming off the surface can give way to cracks or potholes. These are some of the earliest signs that should encourage you to call professional help rather quickly.
5: Water Pooling Up on the Surface Anywhere
Water is arguably the biggest enemy of your asphalt pavements. The other one is direct sunlight. But, in most cases, you cannot do much about direct sunlight. Pooling water on the other hand can be dealt with in different ways depending on the reason.
Often, after heavy rain, leaves or foreign materials can block the water runoffs. This will make the water stay on the pavement without letting it escape. Most of it will be soaked into the adhesive layers. This is where water can cause the adhesive to lose its binding power.
So, make sure to survey your driveway after a pour-down. Unclog the water runoffs where you can. In some cases, you will need professional help to clear the water runoff.
A Fresh Sealcoat Helps the Driveway Last Longer
Along with all these driveway maintenance tips, make sure to schedule a fresh seal coat regularly. Usually, a new seal coat every 2-4 years is a good time window. However, in some areas where it snows a lot or the summers are too hot, seal coating every year can be a good practice. In the seal coat process, a thin layer of adhesives is poured on top of the pavement.
This layer binds everything together and makes the driveway last much longer. Also, seal coating is an inexpensive solution to prolong the life of your pavement. It will keep other more expensive fixes and repairs away making the driveway last more than two decades.
It is easy to think about your asphalt pavements as very durable constructions. That is true for the most part. However, elements will take their toll in the long run. Make sure to clean your driveway properly and keep all the water runoff gullies clear at all times.
Also, seal coating is a good way to bind up the loose surface. If you see any surface indentations, cracks, potholes, or loose debris coming off, it is time to call a professional driveway contractor for repairs. Timely repairs will save a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run.