You probably use your driveway every day, so you want to ensure it’s in its best possible condition. That’s why you should consider asphalt if you’re planning to refine your old driveway or install a new one.
If properly installed, this driveway can perform much like its residential concrete counterpart, but at a more affordable cost. Being a petroleum product, asphalt has outstanding flexibility, lower susceptibility to damage, and other vital benefits.
This ten-minute read will take you through the advantages of installing an asphalt driveway and the vital maintenance best practices to help you get the most from it.
Why Should You Consider an Asphalt Driveway?
The following benefits make asphalt one of the most preferred types of private roadways:
Ease of Installation and Maintenance
Ease of installation makes asphalt an outstanding driveway option. Depending on the design and size, professionals can complete the job even in one day. The track can be ready for use in just two days.
A few key maintenance practices will go a long way to ensure your blacktop retains its aesthetics and structural soundness. Fortunately, an asphalt driveway has minimal maintenance requirements.
The track is also robust and durable; hence you should expect fewer repairs. For instance, you must seal it every two to five years to maintain its appearance. The ease of installation and few maintenance requirements make asphalt driveways the best choice if you’re short of time and resources.
Durability and Longevity
Asphalt driveways are built to last. On average, the track can last twelve years, but it can serve you for up to 35 years. Quality construction, maintenance frequency, and weather conditions determine the tarmac’s longevity.
A blacktop pavement is flexible, hence can withstand occasional overloads. The track is also resistant to de-icing salts and the freeze-thaw cycle. In addition, it can melt snow faster during the winter and absorbs the summer heat thanks to its insulation properties and color. Therefore, you can enjoy superior performance in any weather.
The construction’s durability means it’s less susceptible to cracks caused by seasonal weather and temperature fluctuations. Thus, maintenance repairs are easy to complete and inexpensive.
While there exist multiple materials for smaller residential driveways, including pavers, bricks, and concrete, these options would be less economical if you want something large. Asphalt’s proportionate cost diminishes with the increasing driveway size because it takes less time to lay the material and enables seamless equipment movement. Thus, you get value for the investment.
A blacktop track will also cost you less in maintenance and upkeep. Unlike other materials, the pavement isn’t prone to massive stains, cracks, or tire marks. But if you notice any of these, repairs won’t cost much of your time or cash.
In addition, you can minimize repair costs through regular preventative maintenance. Thus, an asphalt driveway can save money in the long run.
Aesthetics and Versatility
A bitumen roadway may not offer the same style and versatility as other materials, but it offers sufficient room for customization. You can create some excellent design features for a stylish and modern finish.
Your options include the following:
- Standard design – This is the typical driveway with a black smoothened surface. It’s pretty affordable and easy to maintain.
- Unique designs and patterns – From intricate geometric outlines to curves, you can choose whatever reflects your style since asphalt allows you to use different textures and colors.
- Color variations – While classic black is the most common color variation, you can use alternatives like reds and browns for a unique look.
- Stamped design – You can imprint a design onto the pavement surface before it dries for extra sophistication, elegance, and excellent traction.
- Curved asphalt driveway – Looking to add visual interest? Curves create exciting design features while softening the driveway’s appearance.
- Circular driveway – This classic look adds a sense of grandeur to your home while enabling quick access.
- Permeable or pervious driveway – This eco-friendly design prevents surface run-off and rainwater from the waterways while offering a broad range of potential benefits.
All these asphalt pavement designs can blend with the natural surroundings and take your home aesthetics to the next level. An excellent roadway style can also increase your home’s value.
Proper Maintenance of Asphalt Driveways
Conserving your driveway’s impeccable design means staying ahead of surface repairs before things go out of hand. Fortunately, regular maintenance can help you avoid costly projects.
These practical tips will help you get the most from your asphalt driveway for the longest time possible:
Cleaning and Removing Stains
Stains accumulate on your driveway every day, creating an unsightly view and weakening the pavement for the long haul. You must clean them as soon as possible before they become even more stubborn. Regular cleaning prevents fungi, reduces weeds, enhances curb appeal, and prevents pollution.
Pressure washing is effective and fast, but here are other reliable methods of removing stubborn, greasy stains:
- Cat litter – Stomp or pat down a layer of cat litter and leave it overnight to absorb the oil. Once done, sweep it up and wash the surface with a hose.
- Coca-Cola – Wipe excess grease, soak the surface overnight with a couple of Coke cans, and then wash off the area the next day.
- Oil stain remover – This easy-to-use product can quickly eliminate oil-based stains. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Replace the damaged section – If the oil is too saturated, the best decision would be to replace the unsightly section with new asphalt.
Filling Cracks and Potholes
Asphalt is durable, robust, and highly resistant. But exposure to extreme conditions and constant use can cause wear and tear. Therefore, you must act immediately when you notice a crack or pothole. Fixing these issues promptly can prevent deterioration, cut costs, limit accidents, and prolong your driveway’s lifespan.
So, how do you correctly fill cracks and potholes in an asphalt driveway? Here are the steps:
- Remove debris and weeds from the cracks
- Apply weed killer to the cleaned cracks
- Fill the shallow cracks
- Fill the deep cracks
- Apply patching compound
- Allow the repaired section to cure
That’s it! You can begin using it once it’s dry.
Sealing and Protecting the Surface
Sealing doesn’t address preexisting issues like potholes or cracks, but it’s a cost-effective approach to minimizing tear and wear. Blacktop driveways deteriorate over time, and the best way to protect yours from automotive traffic and the elements is by sealing. Other benefits of sealing include:
- You’ll save money in the long run
- Your driveway’s lifespan will increase to up to 40 years
- It facilitates ice and snow melt
- Your blacktop’s appearance will improve
Ideally, you should seal your asphalt track every two to five years. But if the color of the stones that form the asphalt begins to come out, it’s time for another maintenance appointment.
It’s also important to check the forecast so that extreme weather or rain doesn’t interrupt the roadway setting. The best conditions for applying asphalt seal coating are warm temperature and average humidity. Once you’re done, allow the space to cure for at least 12 hours.
Consider these options when looking for sealants:
- Oil-based driveway sealers
- Asphalt emulsion sealers
- Fill-and-seal sealants
- Latex acrylic sealers
Avoiding Damage from Heavy Objects
If your blacktop surface is several years old, it’ll likely begin to exhibit signs of deterioration. While this may not indicate a serious problem, you must immediately reach out to your residential asphalt service provider. Asphalt tracks experience the following damages:
- Reflection cracks
- Linear cracks
- Fatigue cracks
- Root cracks
If you’re expecting heavy equipment, construction tools, or other heavy items on your driveway, you should take precautionary steps to avoid the above damages.
Here are the best practices for protecting your asphalt entrance:
- Cover the space with a sheet of plywood
- Place plank boards
- Lay down strong plank boards
- Use wheel stops on the heavy vehicle
- Limit equipment movement with cinder blocks
An Asphalt Driveway Is a Great Decision
You have many reasons to opt for an asphalt driveway. The paving is cheaper than most options, easier to install and maintain, flexible, and allows multiple customizations. It’s also durable and can significantly boost your property’s aesthetics.
The key to enjoying the immense benefits of a tarmac driveway is ensuring it remains pristine through regular maintenance. Fortunately, maintaining this front door track isn’t as complicated as it seems. You can even seek a reputable contractor to help with repairs, overhaul, or maintenance if you lack the time or resources to do it right.
Fortunately you’re on the right site. Reach out to us if you have questions.