Your driveway is one of the most used exterior features of your home. Not only does it need to support vehicles, but it also stands up to foot traffic, the weather and temperature shifts. Asphalt driveways are expected to last up to 30 years once installed. Sealing your driveway every one to three years can help ensure yours lasts at least that long with minimal damages and repairs. Regardless of how you care for your driveway, what are four things slowly destroying your driveway? Let’s find out.
Water is actually your driveways number one enemy. When water pools on the surface of your driveway, it erodes it. Removing snow and ice is important to ensure winter water does not sink below the surface of your driveway or seep into cracks. The best way to repel surface water on your driveway is to seal it. Sealant provides a waterproof barrier that acts as the first line of defense for almost all issues your driveway may have to deal with. In addition to surface water, water that pools in areas surrounding your driveway can be equally as devastating. This water is likely to seep into the ground beneath your driveway and cause serious issues. Make sure the areas around your driveway drain properly.
- UV Rays & Oxidation
Your driveway, although hard to the touch, is actually flexible. This flexibility is extremely important when it comes to handling heavy loads and temperature changes. UV rays from the sun, however, can destroy this flexibility through an oxidation process. As they over dry and oxidize your driveway, the asphalt will begin to crumble and crack apart. How do you prevent this? Sealant. In addition to providing a waterproof barrier, sealing your driveway also adds a UV repellant coat that can decrease oxidation.
- Freezing & Thawing Cycles
When temperatures plummet, water expands. Any water that has seeped into cracks, crevices, or the foundation layer is likely to cause the most damage during freeze and thaw cycles. Frost heaves, a reaction created by water freezing in patches beneath the surface of your driveway, can cause upheavals and uneven asphalt levels. This causes cracking, pot holes, and may even lead to the need for complete reconstruction.
- Vehicle Use
Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. From motorcycles to large delivery trucks, every vehicle has the potential to damage your driveway. However, the most likely culprit of vehicle-related damages is one that is regularly parked or sitting in the same position day after day. Whether it is a vehicle that is simply sitting, or one you use and return to the same spot every night, standing vehicles are potential driveway degraders. To avoid this, vary your parking.