Having an asphalt driveway put on your property is a big investment. You will want to do everything you can to protect this investment and prolong the lifespan of the driveway. This quick guide will provide you with some info on what impacts the lifespan of your residential asphalt driveway.
The way your driveway is installed will play a crucial part in the integrity and longevity of the driveway. Using a competent asphalt contractor is the best way to ensure you are receiving a quality installation. When a driveway is not properly installed, you will deal with issues for years to come. This can eventually cost you money and time.
Another thing that can affect the life of your driveway will be the weather conditions in your area. Although asphalt is flexible and durable, extreme weather conditions can affect it. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you may notice that cracks develop in your asphalt. This happens because when the driveway freezes and thaws, tiny cracks will start to develop and then expand over time.
You can take steps to avoid this by using hot mix asphalt at installation. This type of asphalt resists cracks caused by cold temps.
Extremely hot temps can also have a negative effect on your asphalt as well. Hot temps will soften the asphalt and can eventually cause deformation when vehicles drive over it.
Thickness and Usage
The thickness of the driveway at installation is also a huge factor in longevity. An average residential driveway is usually three inches thick, and this is sufficient for passenger vehicles. However, if you make it a habit of driving heavier vehicles over a driveway that was designed for lighter vehicles, you could eventually start to see the damage. Driveways that will accommodate heavier vehicles such as large trucks or campers will need a thickness of four or five inches.
How To Care for Your Driveway
If you want your driveway to last for many years to come, you should pay attention to these care tips.
Allow the driveway to properly cure after installation. A newly poured asphalt driveway will need about 72 hours to properly cure. Nothing should be driven on the driveway during this time. You should also note that an asphalt driveway is actually not fully cured and hardened for about 30 days. During this time you should drive anything heavy on the driveway beyond light passenger vehicles.
You should also watch for vehicle leaks. If oil, coolant, or other chemicals are leaking onto the driveway, it could cause damage.
Consider having your driveway sealed for the best durability. Asphalt naturally has pores. These pores will allow moisture to seep down into the asphalt and it can cause damage. Having the driveway sealed up with prevent this from happening.
Sealing a driveway properly is not always a DIY project. If you want your driveway sealed right, you should reach out to local asphalt contractors in your area. These professionals will be able to seal the driveway properly to ensure years of durability.
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