Whether you're trying to maintain a private road or an asphalt driveway, you may have some concerns regarding the longevity of your investment. Asphalt is designed to last for many decades, but it has to be properly maintained; poorly maintained asphalt may need to be entirely replaced within a decade. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that your private roadway or driveway lasts longer.
Seal Coat Every Few Years
An asphalt seal coat protects it from the elements. You don't need to coat your asphalt annually (unless your road gets a lot of traffic), but you should coat it any time you begin to see damage on the surface, such as small cracks. A seal coat will seal these small cracks so that they don't get worse, in addition to preventing new cracks from occurring. Seal coating also has the benefit of making your roadway or driveway appear clean and new.
Pressure Wash At Least Once a Year
Pressure washing and otherwise cleaning asphalt will remove potentially harmful debris and dirt, ultimately reducing wear. Many people assume that asphalt doesn't need to be washed -- after all, it's just going to get dirty, isn't it? But loose rocks and even other broken asphalt will slowly grind the asphalt down if they are not removed. Liquid leaks, such as oil from vehicles, can also have a detrimental effect; they can heat up the asphalt irregularly, causing cracking and breaking. Make sure you clean up any liquid puddles as they occur.
Fill Holes and Cracks Immediately
Potholes and dents will eventually occur in asphalt, especially if the asphalt is over a decade old. Ideally, you should fill these holes immediately after noticing: otherwise they will get larger and weaken the structural integrity of the asphalt surrounding them. The best time to look for potholes is just after the winter season has ended. Temperature fluctuations, freezing conditions, and weather such as hail all combine to make winter the season that is most damaging to driveways and roadways.
Of course, it isn't all about maintenance. Even with the best of care, asphalt may also begin to degrade due to environmental issues. Highly trafficked areas and areas that experience extreme temperature fluctuations may find themselves in need of asphalt repair more often. An asphalt and roadway construction company like Bituminous Roadways, Inc. can give you tips on ways to make your asphalt last longer even under these difficult conditions.