Having a new asphalt driveway adds both beauty and value to your property. However, the lifespan of your driveway depends on several factors, including the freeze/thaw cycles and the type of soil underneath the base stone. In regions where the freeze/thaw cycle is not as much of a concern, the life expectancy of your driveway can be considerably longer. In this blog post, we will explore some key strategies to increase the lifespan of your new asphalt driveway.
1. Proper Installation
First and foremost, ensure that your asphalt driveway is installed correctly. This means hiring a professional and reputable paving contractor who has experience in driveway installations. The installation process should involve proper excavation and compaction of the soil, as well as the use of suitable base materials. A well-installed driveway will have a strong foundation, which is essential for longevity.
2. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the lifespan of your asphalt driveway. This includes routine cleaning, filling cracks, and sealing the surface. Cleaning your driveway removes debris, such as leaves and dirt, which can deteriorate the asphalt over time. Additionally, filling cracks promptly prevents water from penetrating the surface and causing further damage. Lastly, sealing the driveway every few years provides an extra layer of protection against the elements and helps maintain its appearance.
3. Effective Drainage
Proper drainage is essential for preserving the integrity of your asphalt driveway. Water is a major adversary to asphalt, especially during freeze/thaw cycles. If water is allowed to pool on the surface or seep into cracks, it can weaken the structure and lead to cracking or potholes. To enhance drainage, ensure that your driveway has proper slopes, ditches, or drains to direct water away from the surface. Regularly inspect these drainage features to ensure they remain unobstructed and functioning effectively.
4. Avoid Heavy Loads and Sharp Objects
To prolong the lifespan of your asphalt driveway, it is essential to avoid placing heavy loads on its surface. Heavy vehicles such as large trucks or recreational vehicles can cause unnecessary stress and damage to the pavement. Similarly, avoid parking or driving on the edges of the driveway, as this can weaken the structure. Additionally, be mindful of sharp objects such as snow shovels or metal-edged tools that can scratch or gouge the surface. Taking these precautions will help maintain the integrity of your driveway.
5. Avoid Deicing Chemicals
While it may be tempting to use deicing chemicals to remove ice or snow from your driveway, these substances can be detrimental to the lifespan of your asphalt. Chemicals like rock salt or calcium chloride can accelerate the deterioration of the pavement, leading to cracks and potholes. Instead, opt for alternative methods such as using a non-corrosive ice melt or using physical methods like shoveling or snow blowing. By avoiding deicing chemicals, you can significantly increase the lifespan of your driveway.
Increasing the lifespan of your new asphalt driveway requires proper installation, regular maintenance, effective drainage, and avoiding heavy loads and harmful substances. By following these strategies, you can ensure that your driveway remains durable and aesthetically pleasing for many years to come. Remember, prevention is key, so invest the time and effort in maintaining your driveway to avoid costly repairs or premature replacement.