When we look at our asphalt driveway, it is quite likely that it’s in a rather rough shape. In this situation, we should know what to do. It is important to decide what kind of repair works that would immediately do the trick. As an example, a badly damaged driveway may need to be resurfaced. If the problem is serious enough, the driveway may need to be completely ripped up and we should re-done everything from scratch. It’s better to get a second opinion and ask contractors on what solution that would best. In general, maintenance is still a good medicine. No asphalt driveway can be black and remain smooth forever. When maintaining the driveway, we should make sure that it’s properly sealed.

Damages on the driveway surface can be caused by heat, constant sunlight exposure, oil, gasoline and salt deposits. Eventually, water will seep into small cracks, making damages more serious. If there are plenty of small cracks and signs of wear, it is the time for a proper resurfacing job. This method is appropriate if more than half the surface of the driveway is worn out and cracked. Asphalt will eventually get harder and brittle, causing cracks to develop more easily. Due to frequent freeze-thaw cycles, a hairline crack could become an inch wide. If cracks are not repaired immediately, deterioration could go deeper into the base layers, requiring us to rip out everything and replace the driveway completely.

Cracks on the driveway can be repaired and filled when the base layer is still in good condition. In general, if a crack is found to go from an end to another end, it is likely that the base layer or the foundation is already damaged. The root problem could be far below the surface and we need to perform a complete overhaul. Even if the driveway is resurfaced with hot mix asphalt, it is possible that the crack will re-emerge on the same spot. Replacing the whole driveway is also needed if we suddenly have depressions in the middle of the driveway. It means that there has been a mini collapse under the driveway, probably because the soil under the driveway hasn’t been completely packed.

If the driveway is maintained properly, it should be able to last for up to 25 years. Heavy loads and extreme weather conditions, such as flooding and extreme heat could put a burden on the driveway. These factors could cause premature failure and wear. Reputable contractors should be able to calculate materials carefully before they start the job. When working with a contractor, we should make sure that the person is bonded, adequately insured and registered. It is also a good thing if the contactor is a member of local trade association, especially the one related to asphalt paving industry.