An asphalt driveway is going to last anywhere from 12-20 years, depending on how well it is taken care of and a number of other conditions. If your driveway is exposed to hot sunlight or weather extremes, it will last on the lower end of the life expectancy. When your driveway is used frequently, this will also break down the asphalt faster. With good maintenance, sealcoating, and crack repair, you can improve the longevity of your asphalt driveway so that you don't have to replace the driveway too early. When you take care of cracks and potholes in your driveway early, you can avoid major repairs for a number of years.
Sealcoating and Your Asphalt Driveway
Your asphalt driveway should be carefully cleaned and sealcoated about every three years for optimal longevity. Removing oil stains and dirt from your driveway will help protect the integrity of the asphalt. Sealcoating adds an additional layer of protection for your asphalt driveway, but it is not beneficial to sealcoat every year. Talk to your asphalt paving specialist about your choices when it comes to sealcoating to see if it's time to add this layer to your driveway.
Crack Repair and Driveway Longevity
Cracks in your driveway are a sign that the integrity of the asphalt is breaking down. There are times when the cracks are due to a shift in the ground below. If you find cracks, they should be repaired right away. Water can get down through the cracks, and if the weather is cold enough, create ice below your driveway that can ruin it completely. Cracks more than an inch or two wide often mean that your driveway will need to be replaced. If you allow grass and plant life to grow in the crack, it can widen the crack even further.
Cleaning Your Asphalt Driveway
If you use chemicals on your driveway to melt ice or you discover an oil spill, it's important to clean the surface of your asphalt periodically. Chemicals and oil can break down your asphalt, creating the need for a new driveway faster than necessary. Spray down your driveway when you notice that it is dirty and give it a good sweep if possible. Avoid using a high pressure cleaning system if you aren't familiar with the use, as you can damage your driveway this way.
Asphalt paving services will help you maintain your driveway, and will suggest a new driveway when one is necessary.
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