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.
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.
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.
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.