3-Step Maintenance To Keep Your Asphalt Paved Area In Good Condition

Posted on: 26 October 2017

Your asphalt driveway provides your home with an attractive appearance, a solid surface for your vehicles, and keeps down dust and mud. Asphalt is a different type of paving than concrete and it is important you complete specific maintenance and take care of repairs for it to last many years before it needs to be replaced. Here are three main steps for keeping your asphalt clean, in good repair and protected from regular wear and weather conditions.

Keep it Clean

Asphalt pavement is on the receiving end of a lot of different dirt, debris, and damage from corrosive fluids. Because your asphalt is made from a mixture of aggregate and tar emulsion, it is petroleum based and can become damaged by many types of vehicle fluids that are also petroleum based.

When a vehicle has a leak of oil, brake fluid, or you spill gasoline onto your asphalt driveway, the fluids will immediately begin to soften and erode the asphalt's binding components. This causes the binders to wear away and the aggregate to become soft and unravel, leaving holes and pits in the asphalt. In fact, a gasoline spill can eat through three inches of asphalt in as little as 48 hours.

If you encounter a gasoline or other type of vehicle fluid spill on your asphalt, you should rinse it off the asphalt immediately, and clean the surface using an asphalt cleaner. If you don't clean it quickly enough, you may need to remove the patch of asphalt and replace it with new asphalt, as it will have already begun to permanently damage the area of paving.

Repair Damage

When damage occurs on your asphalt's surface, repairing it as soon as possible prevents further erosion, deterioration, and cracks from growing larger. If the damage to your asphalt is from gasoline or other vehicle fluids, you may need to cut the area of damage from the asphalt, using a circular saw with a masonry blade. Then, patch the hole with new hot mix asphalt or bagged cold patch mixture.

If you have a large number of repairs, it may be smart to hire a professional asphalt crew to complete the repairs with a load of hot mix asphalt. Otherwise, you can buy bagged cold patch mixture at most home improvement stores.

Repairing cracks is equally important to stop the asphalt's crumbling to prevent pothole formation. Clean out the interior of the crack with a pressure washer or broom to remove dirt, debris, and any loose chunks of asphalt. If there is vegetation growing within the crack, use a weed killer to stop its growth, then remove the vegetation with the tip of a screwdriver or a garden trowel.

To fill larger cracks, use an asphalt cold patch, pressing it into the crack with a trowel to overfill it slightly and compressing it with a hand tamp. To fill smaller cracks, use a liquid asphalt filler, which settles within the crack with the help of gravity. Fill the crack until the filler is level with the surrounding surfaces. Make sure you let the fillers cure completely according to their product's instructions before you apply a sealcoating.

Protect it With Sealing

Once all the repairs have been completed on your asphalt, you may choose to seal your asphalt with a protective tar emulsion seacoating. This restores moisture and flexibility to the asphalt and protects it with a waterproof barrier. It is recommended to sealcoat your asphalt every few years or as it is needed. You will know when your asphalt needs to be sealcoated, as it will begin to fade in color and crack as it dries out from the sun and weather.

You can expect to sealcoat your asphalt more often if the weather in your area varies from extreme hot in the summer to freezing temperatures in the winter. Talk to a local sealcoating asphalt company, such as Lakeridge Paving Company, to schedule this type of sealing on your asphalt pavement.