Everyday Care for Asphalt Driveways

Many homes throughout Australia have asphalt driveways. It is the most common material people prefer for constructing their driveways. At the same time, many also struggle to maintain the said asphalt driveways.

The care instructions are rather straightforward, yet people fail to understand the necessity of regular maintenance. A lack of proper care can manifest in cracks, corrosion, puddles, or surface depression. These are not only ugly but can also become safety hazards.

Thus, homeowners should put more effort into the maintenance of their asphalt driveways. This small guide will share some useful tips. Try them consistently, and see the results yourself.

The Aging of Asphalt

Since installation, your asphalt driveway goes through a meticulous process of curing. It does not happen overnight, but it takes months to fully cure. Hence, you must pay a great deal of attention to your driveway during the first one hundred days.

Later, you can relax a little with only basic care. Because asphalt is oil-based, its curing span is extensive. So, here’s some essential care you need to do in the first three and a half months.

First 3 to 5 daysDon’t drive or park on the driveway
Up to the 14th dayDon’t park your vehicle on the driveway.   If necessary, do it only during the coolest periods of the day.
Next 100 daysAvoid parking your vehicle on the driveway during the hottest days or hours.   Don’t turn the wheel when your car isn’t in motion. It can cause wheel treads or grooves.   If you need to park recreational vehicles such as campers for extended periods, place plywood pieces under the tires. It dispenses the tire weight.

Remember that curing stops when the climate turns cold. So, if you are laying new asphalt during the fall months, the curing stops mid-way and resumes from the last frost in the Spring season.

Care for a Fully-cured Asphalt Driveway

What people mistake most about asphalt driveways is that no care is necessary after the first hundred days. But the truth is far from it.

Your driveway needs some maintenance at every point of its existence. So, you must make it a priority. Here are a few pointers to note down.

1.   Visual Inspections

Every maintenance starts with a basic visual examination, whether plumbing or driveway. Preferably, inspect your driveway every winter and summer. Such seasonal inspection will enable you to identify any need for repairs as soon as possible.

Doing this will prompt you to make repairs timely, preventing any additional damage to your driveway. In turn, it puts only a slight strain on your finances.

2.   Filling and Repairing Cracks

Asphalt driveways are prone to cracking, which is unsightly and dangerous. Based on the severity, cracks in asphalt can weaken the structural integrity of a driveway. So, repair them when they are simple hairline cracks.

In most cases, you can repair hairline cracks with asphalt sealer. But for extensive crack, you need a different approach. You clean, fill, and then seal them. Any home improvement or hardware stores will have these asphalt sealers — get a high-quality one.

3.   Re-apply a Quality Asphalt Seal

Asphalt sealers are helpful in more ways than repairing cracks. For starters, it maintains visual appearance and integrity while slowing down the deterioration process.

Typically, it is advised to apply sealer every two to five years. But this may change depending on your location, climate, and usage. More importantly, the sealer should be only applied after your driveway is fully cured.

4.   Don’t Let Water Stand

Water is an enemy of asphalt. So, if you don’t address any water issues near the driveway, you may end up with expensive driveway repairs.

One of the useful ideas to prevent this is grading the driveway away from your home. It controls water from pooling around the edges.

5.   Look After Your Driveway Edges

Edges are the weakest areas of your driveway because they have the least support. That is why they crack and crumble often. To avoid this, you must make sure not to drive on the edges.

Besides this, you can also build up soil near the sides of your driveway, which is one inch lower than the asphalt. It enables efficient water drainage and sod growth. When the grass grows, your driveway’s edges receive the necessary support while enhancing its appearance.

Final Thoughts

Maintenance of asphalt driveways should not be overlooked. Otherwise, the deterioration of it will be rapid, leading to expensive re-installations or repairs. Worse, it could even become a safety hazard.

So, whether to follow the discussed pointers or not is all in your hands. Just stick to a maintenance routine twice a year, and you can see a significant improvement in the durability and integrity of your driveway.

If you have follow-up questions regarding your asphalt driveway, you can take them up with Roadseal Civil. Famous for asphalt car park construction and driveways, they are one of the best service providers in this industry.

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