The average lifespan of an asphalt driveway is about 20 to 30 years. However, factors such as poor drainage, improper installation, lack of maintenance, and normal wear and tear can reduce the service life of your driveway.
Admittedly, asphalt repair or replacement can be a significant investment, and many driveway owners tend to wait until a crack becomes a gaping pothole. However, early repairs and preventative maintenance can make your driveway safer and mitigate the need for a costly overhaul.
Here are several repairs that can prevent complete deterioration of your driveway, thereby saving you money.
Repair potholes as soon as they appear on your driveway. Potholes result from the structural weakening of asphalt.
Pothole repair involves removal of the weak asphalt and compacting new dense-graded hot mix asphalt into the affected area.
Deeper potholes may require placing two layers of asphalt to ensure stability and to prevent water from seeping through the new material. Contractors use advanced techniques, such as spray-injection patching, for large driveways with multiple potholes.
Asphalt rutting looks like depressions that follow the same lines as tires. Ruts result when the asphalt material or the substrate material underneath the asphalt deforms.
Ruts may form more quickly on your driveway if your original contractor used a substandard asphalt mix or didn't compact the fresh, hot asphalt sufficiently.
Deep ruts in a driveway are particularly hazardous, as they can lead to vehicle hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning, occurs when water accumulates between the driveway surface and the tires of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to slip in spite of the driver deploying steering and braking controls.
Repairing ruts typically involves leveling and overlaying the surface with a new mix of asphalt material to eliminate the depressions.
Cracks are such a common occurrence on asphalt surfaces that driveway owners underestimate these flaws. Factors, such as improper installation, excessive load, and asphalt shrinkage, can lead to the formation of cracks on the driveway.
Small cracks can widen or elongate fast, leading to a complete structural breakdown of the asphalt and underlying substrate, which can necessitate costly replacement of the driveway.
Raveling occurs when the top asphalt layer disintegrates and exposes the underlying surface, which then also begins to disintegrate.
Poor asphalt mix design can prevent asphalt from bonding with the underlying substrate. The gap between the asphalt and the substrate then accumulates water and dust, resulting in the asphalt surface completely separating from the underlying surface.
Inadequate compaction, heavy traffic, and cold weather can also exacerbate the process of driveway raveling. Raveling, like rutting, can encourage vehicle aquaplaning.
Early repair typically entails removing only the raveled section of the driveway and patching. Extensive raveling may require removing the entire pavement to apply a new asphalt overlay.
Bleeding occurs when asphalt seeps up through the top coat of the driveway, resulting in a layer of sticky asphalt on the driveway surface. Improper compaction, excessive traffic, extremely hot weather, and using the wrong type of binder when mixing the asphalt material can all result in driveway bleeding.
Bleeding may seem like a mere nuisance, but failing to treat the problem early can cause the top coat to pull away from the asphalt, resulting in large sections of the driveway deteriorating. Early treatment can prevent peeling and increase the lifespan of the driveway.
Asphalt driveways are robust, fast, and cost-effective to construct, and can last a long time. When your driveway requires repairs, be sure to find a contractor with experience in building asphalt surfaces.
At Able Hauling & Excavating, we have the equipment and the experience to complete your residential and commercial driveway construction project. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services.