How to Make Your Asphalt Driveway Last Longer

asphalt driveway

Are you planning for a new driveway?

Driveways are essential to make your home look complete. They are convenient places to park your car and avoid ruining your lawn. However, they can sometimes be pretty expensive.

Asphalt driveways are alternatives to the standard concrete driveway. An asphalt driveway is affordable and looks great, too. They don’t take long to install and are just as useful as concrete driveways.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits and how to maintain your asphalt driveway.

What is an Asphalt Driveway?

Asphalt is a black, liquid-like substance that solidifies in cooler temperatures. It’s often mixed with stone and sand to form a strong mixture that is suitable for paving. Paving is the process of laying a surface, such as a road or a walkway. 

Asphalt is commonly used for roads, walkways, driveways, and more because it’s affordable and durable.

Pros and Cons

Asphalt can be a great investment for those that don’t want to break the bank, but there are some things about it that should be noted. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Flexible

Asphalt is a very flexible material. It has the ability to become a liquid substance at high temperatures, meaning it’s made from a less stiff material. It’s a lot less prone to cracking than concrete.

  • Affordable

One of the main reasons people opt for asphalt in their new driveway is because of its affordability. The materials for asphalt pavement are inexpensive, and asphalt itself is mass-produced from petroleum.

  • Quick to Set

Because of asphalt’s nature, it is a very quick pavement to set. Asphalt pavement hardens as it cools, so it becomes a solid very quickly. However, this can be a con for pavement workers.

  • Quick to Fix

While asphalt a lot more flexible than concrete, it can still be cracked. However, asphalt is something that can be fixed quickly. Homeowners can buy their own asphalt driveway repair kits to fill in cracks.

  • Aesthetic

Some people choose to get asphalt driveways simply because of its appearance. Asphalt driveways provide a sleek black look that makes a home look unique.

Cons

  • Doesn’t Add Much Value

While asphalt driveways look good, they also don’t add much value to a home. This is because home buyers think of asphalt as a quick-fix to a driveway rather than a permanent solution.

  • Can be Uneven

Because asphalt cools quickly, it can be difficult to ensure that it is perfect. This doesn’t mean it won’t be “even” in your eyes. It simply means that there can be slight elevations around the edges, but this won’t cause you any problems.

  • Prone to Plants

Asphalts flexibility sometimes allows for certain plants to sprout through them. Weeds can force their way through the pavement, but it isn’t common. This usually only happens in areas that are cracked.

  • Can be Sticky in Warm Weather

Another downside to asphalt is that it can be sticky when it gets too hot. This can be annoying when it comes to driving and walking on the pavement because some asphalt can stick to your tires and shoes.

How to Care for a New Asphalt Driveway

When getting a brand new asphalt driveway, you should be sure that you are taking some precautions to increase its lifespan.

When your driveway is freshly paved, it’s advised to let it rest for a couple of days to ensure that it’s solid enough for the weight of a vehicle. You will be able to walk on it shortly after it’s paved.

Depending on where you live, the seasons can affect your blacktop. As the temperature rises, your driveway will become a lot softer, so avoid using objects that will concentrate weight into one area because this can cause holes.

If you have to use something heavy, such as a car jack, use a piece of plywood to rest it on. This will evenly distribute the weight. 

One thing you can do when it’s too hot outside is run cool water on your driveway. The lower temperature will make your blacktop temporarily toughen up.

Treatment Methods

If you need to repair your driveway, we recommend consulting one of our professionals to see what can be done.

However, if you’re in desperate need of a quick fix, there are some treatment methods you can employ. These are not permanent solutions, just temporary treatments:

How to Remove Oil Stains from Asphalt Driveway

Oil can degrade asphalt if it isn’t removed from your asphalt. A classic way to remove an oil stain is by using WD-40. You can spray it on the stain and let it remain there for about 30 minutes to an hour.

You can spray it with a hose afterward. If the stain is still there, try the process again. 

Baking soda can also be used to lift the stain. Simply dump a large amount on the stain and wet it a bit. After that, scrub the area down with a brush until the stain loosens up. Spray it with a hose and repeat the process if it’s still there.

How to Fix Crumbling Asphalt Driveway

Crumbling asphalt usually occurs when a car drives off the side of a driveway. Because of the lack of support, the asphalt cracks due to the weight. 

When your asphalt starts to crumble, you should remove all of the loose pieces. After that, you can use a filler to fill in the spot.

How to Fix Cracks in Asphalt Driveway

Cracks can occur when heavy objects fall onto the asphalt. These are more common in winter because the asphalt is a lot stiffer. Just like a crumbling asphalt, cracks can be filled with a filling solution.

Get a New Driveway with Us

Asphalt driveways provide consumers with an aesthetic and affordable alternative to concrete driveways. They are durable and flexible enough to avoid most damage, so you’re not “taking the cheap way out.”

If you’d like to get an asphalt driveway, feel free to contact us at 757-296-2108. We’ll be happy to provide you with more information.

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