As a material, asphalt is known for its longevity. That doesn’t mean it will last forever, but it does mean property owners who use and maintain their parking lots or driveways properly can expect to get many years of use from them before they need to be replaced. Read on to find out about the top ways to extend the lifespan of any asphalt surface.
Heavy vehicles like garbage and delivery trucks can take their toll on any type of pavement, including asphalt. While there’s no avoiding receiving the occasional delivery or welcoming waste management professionals to the site to collect the garbage, it’s best to keep their presence to a minimum. Try moving garbage containers or dumpsters closer to the roadway and scheduling multiple deliveries through the same company to minimize how many heavy loads are introduced to the pavement.
Fix Drainage Problems
Drainage problems are one of the primary causes of premature asphalt failures. When the water reaches the base beneath the pavement, it’s just a matter of time before potholes appear. Any time that property owners see standing water on their asphalt driveways or parking lots, they should call a paving contractor to see what can be done about the problem. Paying to have a drain inlet or underdrain installed once is much more affordable than replacing asphalt pavement over and over due to water damage.
Sweeping or blowing parking lots and driveways does more than just keep them looking debris-free. It also gives property owners a good chance to evaluate the condition of their pavement and identify minor issues before they become major headaches. Plus, removing the debris from small cracks can stop them from spreading any faster than they already are. Commercial property owners with large lots can hire sweeping companies to perform this essential maintenance task, while homeowners often use leaf blowers.
Fill Cracks Quickly
Cracks in an asphalt surface offer water an easy entry point. During a serious storm, it can wash through the cracks and into the base remarkably fast, causing all kinds of damage. Property owners may be able to fill the occasional small crack themselves, but it’s best to hire professional paving contractors for large or numerous cracks.
Sealcoat the Surface
Sealcoating offers maximum protection against the elements, including not just water, but also oxygen and UV rays. Most experts recommend having asphalt surfaces seal coated at least once every two years. It’s easy to tell when it’s time to schedule an appointment because the asphalt will start to turn gray as it oxidizes. Regularly sealcoating the asphalt will also keep it looking fresh and new.
Clean Up Vehicle Fluids
Petroleum-based automotive fluids will corrode the asphalt’s sealcoat if they’re allowed to sit for too long. When serious leaks or spills occur, try to take action as soon as possible. Start by putting down an absorbent material to soak up the excess fluid, then use an asphalt degreaser to clean the surface.
The Bottom Line
Asphalt pavement looks great in both residential and commercial applications, but it requires some maintenance. Following the tips above is the best way to prevent damage and keep the surface looking its best for as long as possible.