Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Basics

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Basics

An asphalt pavement is the most common material leading into your home. That’s why when you install an asphalt driveway, it’s best to hire a trusted local professional in Minneapolis, MN. However, once the professional is no longer working on the asphalt, it’s still up to the homeowner to be vigilant about maintenance issues with the driveway. With constant use, every day of the year, it’s obvious why a driveway can quickly become damaged. But without proper maintenance, asphalt is at even more risk to damage. Use this maintenance checklist to help you extend the life of your asphalt driveway for years to come.

Visual Inspection

The most important part of  repairing and maintaining asphalt pavement is to know where the damage is. That’s why it’s a good idea to walk up and down the length of your driveway every six months, closely inspecting for blemishes. Keep an eye out for cracks, brittle edges and loose gravel, as these are all signs that your asphalt pavement may be in need of some repairs.


Cracks can be fixed in a multitude of ways. Smaller cracks can be repaired using a caulk gun with an asphalt emulsified caulk. Numerous small cracks should not be repaired using caulk as that damage would need to be checked by a professional. Multiple and large cracks can be repaired professionally using a routing and sealing method. This technique involves removing the asphalt down to the aggregate through the length of the crack and replacing it with a sand/asphalt mix.

Applying a Rejuvenator

A rejuvenator can be a reasonably priced solution applied by many asphalt companies. The rejuvenator’s job is to re-strengthen the bond between loosening layers of asphalt and the underlying substrate. Hardened asphalt shrinks away from the underlayment and forms cracks in the asphalts surface as water penetrates below. A rejuvenator softens asphalt enough to help keep a strong bond to the substrate. It can also help to increase skid resistance, especially in the wet and icy conditions of Minneapolis, MN.

Slurry Seal

Many times, when peeling and cracking become too much for a driveway to sustain before total replacement is needed, a slurry seal can be used to extend the life of the driveway. A slurry seal is a mixture of fine aggregates, asphalt emissions and water. The asphalt must be cleaned thoroughly before the seal is applied. A tack coat of wet asphalt emission is applied immediately before the slurry seal is installed to ensure that a proper bond is made. 

Surface Treatment

Once driveways accumulate a series of cracks or other distresses that can be difficult to seal, it’s time to have a surface treatment applied to the asphalt. A surface treatment consists of a tack coat of asphalt followed by graded asphalt with crushed aggregates. Typically it comes in two layers of each, however, it can be applied in one for less damaged asphalt and tighter budgets. Immediately prior to installation, a rubber tire roller should be used to pack layers to prevent future gravel displacement problems.

Asphalt Driveway Fall Maintenance Tips & Checklist

Fall is the best season for asphalt driveway maintenance because it arrives before winter, which is a time when major freezing and thawing occurs. Both freezing and thawing wreak havoc on asphalt driveways in Minneapolis, MN.   

Fall going into winter is a common time of freezing and thawing as temperatures fluctuate between above and below freezing temperatures. Water and moisture will seep into cracks and other openings. Once it freezes, the water turns into ice and expands, which will cause cracking and damage in asphalt driveways in Minneapolis, MN. As winter progresses and the snow starts to fall, these openings collect more and more moisture, eventually leading to more damage.  



Pressure Washing  

Consistent pressure washing of your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN can remove debris and dirt from the surface. This keeps the debris from collecting and causing further erosion or fading in pits, cracks, holes and other vulnerable spots.  

Inspections & Evaluations 

A quick asphalt driveway inspection in fall can determine if your asphalt driveway requires any maintenance. An evaluation of the surface of your driveway or parking lot can also indicate how much water is pooling in certain areas, and how to fix this to prevent further damage.  

Water pooling is caused both by damage and natural wear-and-tear on asphalt driveways. Poor construction can also cause pooling because an asphalt driveway that is improperly built can create issues with water drainage.  

Unfortunately, if a drainage issue arises as a result of poor construction, it may be necessary to completely replace your asphalt driveway to fully fix the problem.  

The best time to perform an evaluation for water pooling is immediately after it rains. This is when water is most likely to pool and accurately reflect any damage or drainage issues.  

Crack Repair/Patching 

Fall is a time when the weather is favorable to you and your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN. It is the best time to perform repairs on cracks in your asphalt driveway. The summer causes cracks to become smaller and come back together due to the hot weather. However, during the winter months, these cracks expand again. Crack repair during fall avoids these adverse weather conditions and becomes conducive to the longevity and overall health of your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN.  

Sealcoating Asphalt Driveways  

Sealcoating is a simple way to maintain the integrity of your asphalt driveway’s surface. As the name suggests, sealcoating ‘seals’ the top of asphalt, forming an impermeable layer to protect from water damage.

The Value of Paving Your Driveway

The appearance of a driveway is just as important to the curb appeal of a home as any sort of exterior landscaping feature. Cracked or stained driveways in Minneapolis, MN will offer a worse impression of a home even if the lawns are maintained well and the outside of the home has been redone. Therefore it is very important that the right surface is installed.

Concrete Driveways

The biggest problem with concrete driveways is that the mixture is under a large amount of pressure as it cures and this can cause cracks. If not for the expansion joints, strips of material that can accept expanding and contracting pressures, a concrete slab will crack or completely break off and shatter. These joints are placed at three to four foot intervals on the driveway. However, even when taking precautions nature can take over. A build up of water can displace the pad resulting in shifting or breaking. In colder areas of the country, such as Minneapolis, MN, the freeze-thaw cycle can accelerate these problems.

The other two most popular paving materials are concrete paving stones and asphalt. Paving stones come in a variety of colors and patterns. This material has the freedom to move with variations in temperatures. However, repeated use or parking on this type of a surface can cause damage. 

Asphalt Paving

An alternative to concrete and paving stones, asphalt is easier to install and is much more resistant to weather extremes than almost any other surface in Minneapolis, MN. There are two main types of asphalt.

Hot Mix Asphalt: This type of surface is best for cold climates as we have in Minneapolis, MN. It has more flexibility than concrete and will hold its shape better than paving stones. Hot mix asphalt is made up of stone and sand drenched with liquid asphalt cement. Both the sand and gravel is heated prior to being put into the mixture with the hot asphalt cement. The mixture then is delivered to the site while it is hot for easier application and curing. 

Chip Seal: Another asphalt product gaining popularity is the chip seal method. It is similar to the hot mix except that a portion of the asphalt cement is substituted with hot water. This water will evaporate once the mixture is applied so that the driveway material will dry harder. Then the surface of the still-hot asphalt pad is coated with gravel that is pressed into the surface. This makes a harder driveway surface and one that better resists against extreme weather. 

Base: As with concrete and paving stones asphalt paving needs a strong base. This means that the surface has to have any obstructions that could rise up and cause breaks in the surface removed. Tree roots, rocks and rotting wood have to be taken out and filled before the base can be placed. This substrata is compacted with a power roller and then a gravel base is spread out across the base.

Restoring Old Pavement

Sometimes an old driveway is structurally intact but looks bad from staining and cracking. There are sealants designed to re-coat the pavement but make sure to seal the cracks with asphalt cement before applying a sealant.


Keeping Your Asphalt Paving Strong in the Summer Heat

Summer is here, and you’re thinking about asphalt paving in Minneapolis, MN. This process is a wise choice if you need a new driveway or an excellent material for a parking lot, but the heat from the summer season can be a significant obstacle for this powerful paving option.

You will need to take steps to ensure that your paving is in the best shape possible this summer. The following maintenance tips help to protect the surface of your pavement and make sure that your pavement has longevity in Minneapolis, MN.

1. Inspecting Your Pavement First

The first step is to inspect your asphalt as much as possible before you start performing any new paving. This includes checking your asphalt for damage, including cracks and bubbles. Damage can quickly spread across your parking lot or driveway and create issues that are difficult to overcome.

Don’t be afraid to perform a thorough and slow inspection. As you inspect, make sure that you pay attention to small signs of damage. These are often harder to spot than more significant problems but can turn into much bigger issues quickly. 

This whole process should take about 1-2 hours depending on the size of your pavement in Minneapolis, MN. 

2.  Consistently Clean Your Pavement

Dirt and other substances can easily affect your asphalt paving. For example, some driveways and parking lots in Minneapolis, MN may end up getting affected by mold, mildew, etc. that can be spread across your pavement and cause damage if not properly maintained. 

For example, mold may work its way in between cracks and cause them to widen those cracks on your pavement as the growth expands. Doing this at least once every week or two will ensure that you get the best results. The cleaning process should include scrubbing and other types of methods to ensure that the pavement in Minneapolis, MN is cleaned as effectively as possible. 

3. Filling and Sealing Any Cracks

Cracks are very common with pavement and can become a bigger issue if you let them spread. This issue is one that can quickly sneak up on you if you aren’t careful about properly repairing cracks as they develop on the surface of your driveway. 

You should seal any cracks that you notice in your asphalt pavement to be sure that they aren’t too severe. You can either repair these cracks yourself or contact a professional in Minneapolis, MN to make sure that your pavement is extremely durable against the summer heat.

Just as importantly, you should sealcoat your asphalt as well. Adding a sealcoat to your driveway every 2-3 years will ensure that it retains its strength under various weather conditions. 

Getting the Help That You Need

As you can see, maintenance on your asphalt is simpler than you may have originally thought. However, you may still want to hire a professional, such as LSC Construction, to do some of this work for you to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible during the hottest summer months in Minneapolis, MN. 


Why Summer Is The Best Time For Asphalt Paving

Summer is the perfect season to pave an asphalt driveway or parking lot in Minneapolis, MN. Summertime offers great conditions for refreshing the parking lot of your business. The warm weather, extended hours of sunlight and high overnight temperatures provide the best environment for the asphalt to cure quickly. This makes June, July and August some of the busiest months for asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN. 

Here are just a few of the factors that make summer the perfect season for hiring asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN. 

  • Hot and sunny: While you may not enjoy the heat, the warm temperatures are perfect for asphalt paving. Pavement sealer best cures with the help of the warm and sunny conditions common during the summer. The precipitation from colder seasons will slow down the cure time exponentially. 
  • Longer workday: The extended daylight hours give contractors more time to get the job done. This means the entire project will be completed in fewer workdays, which reduces the inconvenience to you and your customers.
  • Cost effective: The longer days make it much easier for asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN to group multiple jobs into one day. This allows the customer to benefit directly from the savings. The high volume of work means you get the best price during summer. Once the summer ends, contractors will likely be much stricter on prices, as they will need the regular income during the slow season. 

3 Solutions to Prevent Spring Rain Effects on Asphalt

There’s a reason why experienced asphalt paving professionals in Minneapolis, MN recommend preventative maintenance for asphalt. If you are able to take the steps needed to protect your pavement then some spring rain shouldn’t cause many issues. However, if you haven’t completed general maintenance then it is very possible that cracks, depressions and potholes could end up causing some serious spring damage.

If your pavement has cracks, it becomes vulnerable to the elements, specifically water. Eventually, water will slowly erode your unprotected asphalt and weaken the supportive layers of your pavement in Minneapolis, MN. Some solutions to resolve this problem are below: 


The sealcoating process adds a thin liquid layer over a paved surface to shield it from damage caused by UV rays, rain, snow and fluids from vehicles. Sealcoating is a very sound way of preventing cracks from forming and extends the life of your pavement. 

It is typically recommended that you get a sealcoating application once every 2-3 years to protect your asphalt structure in Minneapolis, MN. 


Planning for proper water drainage is an important step during the process of installing asphalt in Minneapolis, MN. When constructing parking lots and driveways, contractors must plan on making the most out of grassy areas and inlets where water can be directed using slopes and asphalt curbing.

Pavement Maintenance

Standing water and rainfall can’t exploit weaknesses in your pavement if there aren’t any. Small cracks are much easier and less expensive to manage and repair than large cracks so it’s best to get them taken care of right away.

How To Change Gravel Surface Into Asphalt Pavement In 5 Easy Steps


If you have experienced problems with gravel then switching to asphalt
pavement is the right choice. Converting your gravel driveway or parking lot
into asphalt pavement is a very clear process.

Step 1: Water Runoff Evaluation

Your experienced asphalt-paving contractor in Minneapolis, MN should
carefully examine the installation site and determine the grade that will be
needed for standard water runoff. Water is one of the biggest dangers to
asphalt pavement and managing it must be considered before any asphalt
paving installation.

Step 2: Foundation Installation
After the necessary standards for water runoff has been examined, the
foundation of your asphalt pavement will be laid. The foundation in
Minneapolis, MN is essential for two reasons:
● It provides a solid surface to support the asphalt pavement.
● It provides weathered barrier that will reduce winter damage caused
by cycles of freezing, thawing, and water damage.

The minimum thickness of the sub-base for most asphalt parking lots in
Minneapolis, MN is approximately 4 inches. The thickness of the sub-base is
usually determined by what the asphalt pavement surface’s use will be. A
normal driveway or parking lot for car and SUV traffic usually requires 4-6
inches of foundation. If your parking lot or driveway will be used by heavy
equipment like trailers or trucks, a deeper base is recommended.

How to Tell When It’s Time To Repave

Your parking lot needs to be up to safety standards, but it also needs to look presentable and be compliant with state and local ordinances. The checklist below will help you determine if your parking lot needs to be repaved. 

  1. Does Your Parking Lot Hold Water?
    Water management is crucial to extending the lifespan of your pavement in Minneapolis, MN. Drainage issues can lead to damage and expensive repairs. Water flowing over and around your parking lot can also erode the soil below your parking lot. The lack of support will cause pavement to cave and crack. That’s why it’s incredibly important that your parking lot is properly designed with adequate drainage. 
  2. Is Your Parking Lot Cracked?
    If you’re looking at a cracked and faded parking lot, that is a good indication that you will need to repave. Wear and tear will inevitably erode the integrity of any asphalt structure after a long enough time. Thankfully, there are several preventative measures that will help seal the cracks in your parking lot, like cracksealing and sealcoating.
  3. Does Your Parking Lot Have a Good Gravel Base?
    The gravel sub-base below your parking lot in Minneapolis, MN is the foundation that prevents your pavement from buckling under the weight and strain of multiple vehicles.
  4. Is There Smooth Transition With Existing Pavement?
    Another way you can determine whether you need to repave your parking lot is if the transition between your parking lot and existing pavement is uneven. Your parking lot should integrate smoothly with existing pavement that has been refurbished. 

Winter Asphalt Maintenance Advice

Asphalt can make any driveway or parking lot look exceptionally nice, but it is also a costly investment.  Because of this investment, proper maintenance is required for longer lasting asphalt surfaces.  Follow the advice of professional commercial asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN for the best results.

Carefully & Quickly Remove Snow

Any form of water, whether it be snow or ice, can be damaging to asphalt surfaces.  After a fresh snowfall, be sure to promptly remove snow from asphalt surfaces to avoid cracks or potholes from forming.  Take care to remove snow properly as not carefully removing snow can cause damage.  Plastic shovels are recommended over metal shovels for removing snow because metal shovels can hurt an asphalt surface.  If you choose to have outside personnel remove snow from driveways or parking lots, be sure they are professionals who know how to treat asphalt surfaces.  Should you accidentally damage asphalt surfaces while removing snow or notice and damage after a heavy snowfall, contact LSC Construction Services for asphalt repair in Minneapolis, MN.

Fill Cracks and Apply Sealcoating

Water can fill even the tiniest crack.  The freezing cold winter can cause any water that gets into existing cracks to freeze.  Freezing water expands and can cause small cracks to become even larger cracks or possible potholes.  Before the cold of winter hits, fill any noticeable cracks and patch potholes to prevent further damage.  Not addressing these issues before winter could lead to costly repairs later on.  This necessary asphalt maintenance in Minneapolis, MN ensures your asphalt can withstand the winter weather.  Sealcoating in Minneapolis, MN before winter also adds an extra layer of protection. 

Use Safe Deicing Materials

Water isn’t the only thing that can harm asphalt surfaces.  Rock salt, a common deicing agent, is also damaging to porous asphalt surfaces.  Instead, opt for potassium chloride as a de-icing agent that won’t affect your asphalt surfaces.  There are other possible deicing options as well that won’t cause damage.  Know what you are using and be sure it is safe to use on asphalt surfaces.

Yearly asphalt maintenance is best to keep your asphalt surfaces in great shape in every season.  If it’s time to prepare your asphalt surfaces for winter, a professional commercial asphalt paving company in Minneapolis, MN can help.  For all your asphalt needs or for more information about asphalt paving in Minneapolis, MN, contact LSC Construction.

Pre-Winter Pavement Maintenance

Winter brings about cold, wet weather, which can be your pavement’s worst enemy.  This type of weather can lead to cracks or holes in the asphalt which will deteriorate over time.  But preventative maintenance is the best way to prep your pavement for winter to prevent damage.  It is recommended that homeowners schedule preventative asphalt maintenance in Minneapolis, MN before the cold, wet, and wind set in.  Make these maintenance repairs before winter to ensure your asphalt can withstand the upcoming winter months.

Patch Potholes

Any preexisting potholes are likely to get worse when winter weather rolls in.  Snow and potholes do not go together as snow can further damage asphalt surfaces, especially if there are potholes present. Asphalt repair in Minneapolis, MN is essential for patching potholes before it can lead to more expensive repairs.  Patch potholes now and save money on costly future repairs.

Pave Parking

Paving parking lots now, during the fall when temperatures are mild, keeps the cold from causing existing small cracks or holes to get bigger or wider.  Once the winter weather sets in, it’s more than likely too late to do anything in the way of asphalt repairs.  If you have been holding off on making repairs, now is the time.  Leaving it to chance will most likely lead to damage that will require costly repairs later on.  LSC Construction provides commercial asphalt paving in Minneapolis, MN so you can get a head start on addressing parking lot concerns before it becomes a problem that causes customer complaints.

Invest in Sealcoating

One of the first defenses against cracking and damage to asphalt surfaces is sealcoating.  A protective layer across the top of the asphalt surface goes a long way in providing necessary protection from the cold temperatures and wet weather.  Sealcoating in Minneapolis, MN can protect against the freeze-thaw cycle that often occurs in winter when water seeps into cracks, freezes, and causes cracks to expand.  Sealcoating also protects your asphalt surface from spills and keeps parking lots looking shiny and new. A commercial asphalt paving contractor in Minneapolis, MN will apply a layer of sealcoating to your asphalt surfaces for pre-winter maintenance that will keep parking lots and asphalt surfaces looking great and functioning optimally all season long.

If you are wanting to schedule pre-winter maintenance for your asphalt surfaces, LSC Construction can help.  Call to schedule your maintenance before it’s too late.