Having a paved driveway is one of the best ways to increase your property’s overall value. For many Americans, this comes in the form of an asphalt driveway. We all know how beautiful a freshly installed asphalt driveway is. That sleek, shiny black surface provides for a smooth entrance to your home for you and any visitors you have. However, a driveway cannot maintain itself. Below are a few steps that will help ensure your asphalt driveway lasts at least 30 years.
- Seal Your Driveway
Sealing your driveway is one of the best ways to ensure it lasts. Why? Driveway sealant provides a much needed waterproof barrier, as well as sun and oxygen repellent. You may not know this but water is your driveway’s worst enemy. It erodes your driveway from above, as well as from the sides and below. In addition to that, the sun dries out your driveway, leaving it brittle while oxygen corrodes the asphalt. Preventing water from seeping into your driveway is your number one goal when you apply a sealant. The general rule of thumb when it comes to sealing your driveway is that, when the individual paving stone colors are apparent, you should reseal. That being said, you should wait at least 6 months before sealing a newly paved or repaired asphalt driveway. This allows it adequate time to cure.
- Repair Your Driveway
If you notice cracks in your driveway, you should repair them as soon as possible. Why? Allowing cracks to worsen means you increase the likelihood of water damage, organic growth, and infestation. Small cracks are much easier to repair than larger ones or potholes. As stated previously, water is your driveway’s biggest enemy. If water is allowed to seep into the ground beneath your driveway, it can severely damage the foundation. This can create an uneven surface from beneath your driveway, resulting in further cracking and damages. Furthermore, once the winter comes back, freezing water under your driveway is a disaster waiting to happen. As water freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts. This leaves voids beneath your driveway and creates frost heaves. Prevent further extensive damages, and make repairs to your driveway while they are still small and manageable.
- Hire a Professional When Needed
If you already have a badly cracking or uneven asphalt driveway, it may be time to call the professionals. Depending on the state of your driveway, repairs may be beyond the means of a typical Do-It-Yourself-er. Alligator cracks, for example, are an intricate web of cracks that resemble alligator skin. These cracks are beyond simple repairs. (Using crack filler for alligator cracking will just lead to further damages. The extensive use of crack filler will be unable to prevent further damages and will likely stick to tires as they drive over. This can result in chunks of your driveway being ripped off as the tire drives over.) Extensive cracking is usually indicative of foundation issues. Call a professional!