The paved surfaces in your yard and garden, from your main driveway to patios, walkways and other types of hardscaping, provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing surface to the exterior of your home. However, like all surfaces and materials that are exposed to the weather, your paved surfaces can begin to crack, degrade, and otherwise become physically damaged over time. Understanding what the most common causes of paving damage are can help you take steps to prevent them from happening, and to recognize early signs of damage so that you can either repair or repave the surface as needed.
One of the most common reasons why a paved surface may buckle or otherwise become damaged is because of root growth breaking to the surface, forcing your paving materials upwards. Even if the roots don't make it to the top, their movement underneath your paved surface can alter the support for the top level, making an uneven surface or other forms of structural damage and shifting more likely. While tree removal will be effective at reducing the amount of root damage that your paved surfaces suffer from, a less drastic and more affordable solution is to install a root barrier system underground around the edges of your paved surfaces, allowing your hardscaping and plant life to exist in harmony.
In areas that have heavy winters, the salt used to prevent ice buildup on your driveway and other pathways in your yard can collect and concentrate moisture, making it easier to seep into the paving material underneath. This moisture can then reform into ice within the material, expanding and causing cracks to develop (or worsen, if they already exist). Instead of making use of ice or other chemical deicing products to clear your paved surfaces, lay down gravel, sand, cat litter, or another non-melting agent that is designed to increase the amount of traction that you have on the ice and snow without actually making it melt.
Sunlight exposure can cause structural damage to your asphalt and other types of paving materials, since the UV radiation included in the sun's rays can dry out the surface of the material, making it brittle and generally more prone to cracking and other forms of damage. UV exposure is easy to identify, as it will cause the color to begin to bleach out of your paved surface. Asphalt is particularly susceptible and will begin to take on a grayish hue as it is continuously exposed to the sun's rays.
For more information, contact a business such as AAA Paving and Sealing.