Paving For Fun

Solutions To Three Common Asphalt Drive Issues

Your asphalt driveway can last decades, but you want it to look good and stay in good repair. Knowing how to fix the three most common issues will help you achieve these goals.

1. Faded Surface

A faded asphalt surface may just seem unattractive. While that alone is reason enough to remedy the fading, there are other concerns. Asphalt fades as a result of aging and weathering. As the surface weathers, it becomes more porous and prone to moisture absorption. This in turn increases the chances of crack and hole formation, as well as surface crumbling. All of these issues can drastically shorten the life of the asphalt.

The remedy for fading will also prevent more severe damage. Sealcoating uses a combination of an epoxy sealer and asphalt. It's painted over the top of the driveway to refresh the color, cover small stains, and even out discoloration. Even better, it prevents water incursion and all of the problems it can cause.

2. Cracks and Holes

Small cracks will eventually develop on asphalt as it ages. Pot holes can also begin to form, particularly if cracks aren't quickly addressed. The cause is moisture trapped in the paving that then undergoes a freeze-thaw cycle, enabling it to crack apart the asphalt.

It's best to address cracks and holes when they first begin to form, before moisture or plant roots make the damage larger. Cracks can easily be cleaned out and then patched with a flexible asphalt epoxy. The flexibility ensures that the crack doesn't form again. Potholes should be repaired with a hot patch, which will bond seamlessly with the existing asphalt. Patches are visible, but sealcoating can help camouflage them.

3. Crumbling Edges

One major problem on asphalt driveways is crumbling edges. These indicate that there may be an issue with the base, but often the problem won't be severe enough to warrant a full driveway replacement. Driving along the edge of the paving, lawn equipment damaging to the paving, or drainage issues next to the driveway can also cause base crumbling.

If drainage is washing out the base beneath the paving, then perimeter drainage pipes should be installed. Your asphalt service can then cut out the crumbling asphalt, shore up the base, and then install new asphalt. Another option is to line either side of the driveway with a concrete or brick curb to help guard against crumbling.

Contact a residential paving company like Northern Asphalt LLC if you need to refresh your asphalt driveway.