A new asphalt driveway provides years of curb appeal and a smooth driving surface. Many homeowners also enjoy the dark, black color of freshly poured asphalt. However, asphalt fades over time—and it’s also susceptible to damage from heat, water, and heavy equipment. Proper maintenance goes a long way in preserving asphalt driveways for years to come.
Want to learn more about how to maintain your asphalt driveway? If so, check out answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
What Is an Asphalt Driveway?
Asphalt is comprised of an aggregate of sand, stone, and cement. Once the material is mixed, it creates a high-quality and durable adhesive that is then heated, poured onto your driveway’s surface, and cooled. After it is finished curing, asphalt creates a strong and definitive foundation for your driveway.
What Are the Characteristics of an Asphalt Driveway?
Some of the quick, key features of asphalt to keep in mind while you maintain your asphalt driveway include:
- Asphalt driveways can last for over 30 years
- With consistent upkeep, you can avoid expensive asphalt driveway maintenance projects
- Asphalt repairs are easier to conduct and less expensive than repairing or replacing concrete
- Asphalt is made of a softer material than concrete, which makes it deteriorate at a faster rate
- To get creative, you can now mix asphalt with coloring so it can be sealed with a tint
- Occasional resurfacing and resealing is recommended every 3 to 5 years
How Long Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?
Asphalt driveways can last 10 to 20 years, depending on a wide range of factors, such as installation quality, climate, and frequency of use. Proper maintenance is the key to a long-lasting driveway.
How Much Does Maintaining an Asphalt Driveway Cost?
The cost of asphalt driveway maintenance can genuinely depend on the level of severity of the repair. For example, a basic repair can cost as little as $300 to complete. On the other hand, larger projects, such as resurfacing an asphalt driveway, can cost around $4,700.
How Can You Protect Your Asphalt Driveway?
Strong UV rays from the sun, freeze-thaw cycles in the winter, and deicing products spell trouble for most driveways. Asphalt is porous by nature, which makes it vulnerable to erosion, cracking, and potholes. Preventative maintenance is the best way to protect driveways from deterioration. Here are four ways you can protect your asphalt driveway.
Repair Driveway Cracks
Small cracks go unnoticed unless you keep a close watch. Cracks start as surface damage, but over time they widen and split to expose the subsurface. When water penetrates the sublayers, it erodes the asphalt’s foundation. Ultimately, if you don’t repair cracks with a reliable crack filler, the foundation crumbles, and a pothole forms. Learn how to repair and fill asphalt driveway cracks when they’re 1/8” to 1/2” wide.
Sealcoat Your Driveway
Sealcoating is the process of applying a protective liquid product to your asphalt pavement. The rich, dark product fills crevices and small cracks. At the same time, it seals the surface and protects against water and heat. So, when should you seal your driveway? Follow these simple steps to sealcoat your driveway every three to five years to slow down natural wear and maintain a new blacktop appearance.
Regularly Clean Your Driveway
Just as you clean surfaces inside your home, clean your driveway to remove dirt and debris. Oil stains are common in summer and autumn. You may be refilling your car or lawnmower and accidentally spill oil on the driveway. Learn how to clean your asphalt driveway with these driveway oil stain removal tips.
If you live in a climate that experiences snowfall, you may choose to apply deicing products to keep your driveway safe in slippery conditions. Don’t allow deicing salt to build up. Salt breaks down the aggregate and damages the integrity of the pavement. Instead, power wash or remove deicing salt when temperatures warm up.
Prioritize Winter Driveway Maintenance
Driveways sustain the most damage during winter months. Asphalt is brittle in winter, making it vulnerable to heavy car tires and hand-powered snowplows. A metal shovel may help you remove snow efficiently but be careful not to chip or gouge the driveway with its sharp edge. Consider a plastic shovel or a metal shovel with a rubber blade. It helps get the job done without etching marks or cracks in the asphalt.
Why Should I Consider an Asphalt Driveway
For those looking for a more inexpensive alternative to concrete, asphalt can be considered a perfect option. An asphalt driveway is also preferred in colder weather conditions because warmer climates can make asphalt soften, resulting in it sticking to shoes and car tires if not properly taken care of.
On the other hand, asphalt driveways are not recommended for busy families that would bring heavy foot and vehicle traffic. Since asphalt has a shorter lifespan than concrete, it might be more beneficial to invest in a concrete driveway that is guaranteed to last approximately 20 years longer than an asphalt driveway would.
So, overall, if you are wanting a cost-effective solution in an area with cooler temperatures, maintaining an asphalt driveway is recommended over concrete.
What Products Can Be Used to Maintain My Asphalt Driveway?
At UNIQUE Paving Materials, we supply a variety of pavement repair and preservation materials in order to maintain your asphalt driveway. Some of those products include the following:
- UPM® Cold Mix
- KOLD-FLO® Pourable Crack Filler
- INTEGRA-SEAL® Rejuvenating Asphalt Sealer
- MICROMIX® Mini Cold Mix
- SPM™ Asphalt Products
- UNIQUE® Asphalt Resurfacer
To learn about our pavement repair products used to maintain your asphalt driveway, feel free to contact our team directly or visit the individual product pages.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Asphalt Driveway Maintenance
Have any additional questions about maintaining an asphalt driveway? If so, contact our team of experts today. We look forward to assisting with your asphalt maintenance for years to come!