If you have an asphalt driveway at your home, there is a good chance that at some point it was converted from a gravel driveway. If your home is newer, it may be that asphalt was used from the very beginning. In either case, asphalt improves both the appearance and functionality of your driveway. As opposed to a simple gravel driveway, a driveway covered with asphalt can add value to your home by giving it a more distinct look.
In order to make the driveway last as long as possible, you should keep it properly maintained. Unless you are an avid do-it-yourselfer, you should consider enlisting the help of one of the asphalt driveway contractors like Asphalt Driveway Co. to give you the assurance your driveway is being treated in such a way as to make it last as long as possible.
Maintaining your driveway begins with the application of a good sealcoat. This helps to preserve the integrity of the asphalt for a longer period of time than is possible with asphalt alone. As time goes on, the binder in the asphalt begins to break down due to exposure to hot and cold temperature extremes, as well as the elements like rain, snow and ice. The application of a sealcoat helps to keep the material below the surface intact by resisting the penetration of things like water that can get below the surface and freeze.
Sealcoat also helps to protect the driveway from the heat of the sun. As the black driveway absorbs the sun’s rays, it begins to heat up tremendously, as opposed to the ambient temperature. When this process is repeated day after day, the asphalt binder begins to melt away. What remains can then crack and flake more easily. Over time, this leads to significant deterioration of the driveway.
Over time, driveways can begin to develop cracks. This happens as the material expands and contracts due to huge variations in the temperature. In order to keep these cracks from becoming serious problems, you might want to consider adding some crack sealer to those areas. Doing so seals the cracks in such a way as to repel water. This helps to prevent erosion of the layers below the surface as well as to keep water from penetrating the cracks and freezing in the winter.
Complete driveway replacement is not something you want to do very often. It only makes good sense to maintain your driveway in such a way that it will last as long as possible.