How To Maintain Your Asphalt Driveway To Prolong Its Life

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If you had a new asphalt driveway installed recently, you probably love its dark color and smooth surface. You can tell by looking at other driveways that the beauty of a new drive doesn't last forever. Exposure to the sun, rain, heavy vehicles, and temperature extremes causes fading and cracking. Wear and tear is inevitable, but with proper maintenance, you can keep your driveway looking nice and extend its life. Here are some things you can hire a contractor to do or that you can do yourself.

Close Up Cracks

Filling in cracks in asphalt is easy when the cracks are small. You can buy filler at a hardware store in pails or in squeeze bottles with a tip. To fill in small cracks, all you have to do is place the tip in the crack and squeeze the filler into it. Be sure to clean dirt and weeds out of the crack first and scrape off the top after you insert the filler so the top is level when the repair dries. This keeps water from draining into the soil under the driveway, and it also holds the crack together so it doesn't expand. When the crack is larger, you'll need to apply filler with a putty knife or some other instrument since more filler is required.

Fill In Holes

You should fill in potholes when they are small because they will expand over time. A hole is the perfect shape for collecting rain that then seeps into the soil below your driveway. This can cause the soil to shift slightly and cause further cracking. If the hole is all the way to the soil, you may want to fill it in with gravel before you pour in the patch material. If the hole isn't very deep, you can simply fill it with asphalt patch material and level off the top. Wait until the patch is completely dry before driving over it so it has time to properly cure.

Apply A Sealcoat

Besides keeping up with repairs when they are needed, putting on a sealcoat every few years is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your driveway. You can hire a contractor to put on the coating by spraying it on or pouring it on and spreading it around with a squeegee. You can also buy the material yourself and apply the coating if you are good with home improvement skills. A sealcoat creates a waterproof barrier on the top of your driveway so it is protected from rain. It also protects against UV damage. Rain, sun, and everyday use will wear down the sealcoat over time, but the asphalt will be protected in the process. You'll need to apply a new sealcoat every few years if you want to get a long life out of your driveway. One benefit of getting a new sealcoat is that it restores the color of your driveway so stains and faded areas are eliminated.

These simple maintenance tasks will prolong the life of your driveway and keep it looking nice so it enhances your property. Most importantly, these tasks are not expensive and they can save you from having to pay for costly repairs that could have been avoided with proper maintenance. For additional information and advice on asphalt maintenance, contact a company like City Wide Services.