Asphalt is a popular choice for surfacing driveways, as it compares with concrete in many ways but comes at a lower cost and is often more durable. It's also able to expand safely with changing temperatures, making it great at resisting the effects of different weather.
It's not invincible, however, and over time, asphalt sometimes develops cracks. If they're left, these cracks can cause you all sorts of problems, including water damage, weed growth and a driveway that doesn't look as good as it should.
Although the cracks can be repaired, it's better to try and prevent them happening in the first place, so here are some tips to help you protect your asphalt driveway from cracking.
Keep it clean
Being situated outdoors and used for vehicles, there's obviously no way you're ever going to keep your driveway spotless. But you should still try and keep it free from dirt and debris with weekly cleans. Take particular care to remove oil, as it can quickly lead to serious cracking if it's left to sit.
Keep it dry
Over time, standing water will weaken your asphalt, leading to cracks forming. If there are any smaller existing cracks, it will also make them much worse. This happens because the water seeps through to the layer beneath the asphalt, causing it to shift. If there's heavy rainfall, it's a good idea to give your driveway a quick mopping over to clear some of the water from it.
Seal it at the right times
Applying an appropriate sealant is one of the best ways to protect asphalt from damage and stop cracks forming. However, you have to get it just right.
Never apply sealant to brand-new asphalt, as it can cause damage. Instead, wait until at least three months have passed before sealing it, but don't wait any longer than six months.
After that, you should re-apply sealant every one to three years, but don't do it any more often than annually because it can cause the asphalt to become weak, and may seep through to the drainage layer beneath.
Deal with cracks quickly
Asphalt cracks can be repaired, and it's a good idea to do so as soon as you notice them. Doing so prevents them from getting steadily worse and may minimise how much repair work is needed. After fixing a crack, make sure you apply sealant to the area to protect it and smooth it out again.
Hello! My name is Richard and this is my new blog. On this blog, I hope to pass on some useful information about how to work with contractors. I recently decided that I wanted to give my property a complete overhaul. I wanted to have a new roof installed, the interior remodelled and the driveway repaired. I asked around and I put together a great team of contractors who could all work together to get the job done. However, that isn't to say there wasn't the occasion challenge during such a big project. I learnt a lot from the experience and I am really pleased with the work that the contractors carried out.