3 Recommendations To Help Ensure Your Asphalt Driveway Lasts As Long As Possible

There are many areas in the structure of your asphalt-paved driveway that help it remain a durable and long-lasting surface, and they all help make your asphalt driveway great. Here are some tips to help you install and maintain your asphalt to make sure it remains a supportive and flexible pavement for your vehicles.

Install a Strong Base Foundation

As you prepare the site for your asphalt's foundation, you should consider the climate and the type of soil upon your site to install an appropriate layer of compacted gravel. Although your asphalt's top layer is a flexible material, it needs a supportive gravel base that will provide for proper moisture drainage and prevent freeze-thaw damage from winter's low temperatures.

When moisture becomes trapped in any soil or sand that has been installed below your layer of asphalt, it causes the material to erode, causing collapsing of the asphalt layer. Moisture in this layer can also freeze during winter to cause heave damage of the top asphalt layer.

For this reason, angular gravel compacted to form a solid layer is the best type of sub base material for your asphalt. An improper installation using the wrong material can cause pattern cracking over the surface of your asphalt. Talk to a professional contractor to install the appropriate sub base.

Add a Supportive Edging

The edges of your asphalt driveway need to be installed using the appropriate support edging or materials to make sure the asphalt's edges don't crack and crumble apart. During installation, the asphalt's edges can be sloped off at a 45 degree angle down toward the surrounding soil. Next, back fill gravel up against the edges and onto the slope to provide support to the edging and prevent cracking.

You may also choose to pour concrete curbing along the edges of the asphalt, as concrete is a durable and non-flexible material and will be immovable against the asphalt. Paving stones or bricks can also be set into the soil and installed as your asphalt's edging.

Apply a Protective Surface Coating

After your asphalt driveway has been installed and begins to age, you may notice the surface of the pavement will begin to dry out, lighten in color, and form cracks over its surface. This aging is due to sun oxidation and the tar emulsion within the mixture losing its moisture and flexibility. Depending on the climate in your area and if your weather has extreme temperature changes, your asphalt may oxidize and dry out more quickly than in a climate with more moderate temperatures through the year.

Repairing this natural aging process on your asphalt is an easy maintenance that begins by patching any cracks with an asphalt filler compound. Then, apply a sealcoating onto the surface to seal the asphalt's surface and any patches. This tar emulsion sealcoating treatment also restores the pavement's flexibility and waterproof barrier. You can hire a professional asphalt company, like R Williams Paving LLC, to install this sealcoating layer every few years, as needed.