How Long Should an Asphalt Driveway Last?

July 5, 2021

As an asphalt contractor in Prince William County, VA, one of the most common questions we receive from clients for whom we do asphalt work is how long they can expect their new driveway to last.

There isn’t a simple overarching answer here—the lifespan you can get from your asphalt will depend heavily on the location in which it’s installed and how well you stay on top of its maintenance. In general, you can expect to get 20 to 30 years out of asphalt, but that assumes you’re taking good care of it and prioritizing regular resealing.

In addition, the amount of time the driveway lasts may well depend on what you’re willing to live with. Some small cracks here and there might not be a big deal, but everyone will have their own limits as to what they’re willing to put up with aesthetically in their driveway.

Keeping your driveway well maintained

If the trick to extending the lifespan of your asphalt driveway for as long as possible is staying on top of maintenance, then it’s important to know exactly what those maintenance practices should include.

The simplest maintenance task you can perform is cleaning the driveway regularly—at least a couple times a year, and more often if you know it tends to get covered with debris or dirt. You can use a stiff broom to sweep up loose debris and dirt, and if there are some stubborn spots, consider using a hose on a strong jet spray to loosen up additional debris that is still left behind.

Every three to five years you should sealcoat the asphalt’s surface. Sealcoating is crucial to extending the life of your asphalt pavement because it provides a protective barrier against the elements to which it is constantly exposed. The sealant helps to keep water from getting under the surface of the asphalt, and protects against debris like dirt, bird droppings, oil and other possible contaminants.

When you see cracks or holes starting to form in your asphalt, you should repair them as soon as possible. If they’re small enough, you may be able to get away with using sealant to repair them. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase an asphalt repair material from your local hardware store. These patching materials are typically easy to apply in small areas, so long as you follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging.

If your driveway’s cracks are holes are so extensive that it no longer makes sense for you to try to patch them yourself, you may be getting to the point where you’ll need to consider a full replacement. In such a case, have a professional come out to your property first to inspect the asphalt and determine if remediation is worthwhile. This could also depend on the estimated age of the asphalt pavement.

Want to know more about how you can extend the life of your asphalt driveway in Prince William County, VA? Contact Paveco Inc. and we’ll be happy to help!

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