The life expectancy of an asphalt surface can be very different from one locale to another. The weather plays a large part in it but also the care of the surface is a large factor. If you take care of it, the life expectancy will increase but what does taking care of it entail? How do you stretch the life of your asphalt surface and save yourself the money of a repaving job down the road? Here are some details that might help.
Cleaning The Surface
Asphalt is a durable surface and when it is put down right, it will last for many years but it can have some problems. Over time it can crack and buckle especially in areas that have a lot of hot temperatures. While there is not much you can do to stop that in the heat, you can patch the cracks as soon as you see them. Cracks in the surface of the asphalt will allow water to seep under the pavement and begin to erode the soil supporting the surface. Once that happens, the asphalt is going to start sinking and become very uneven. Dealing the cracks is an important step to help slow or stop that process.
Sealing The Surface
Whether you are dealing with hot or cold climates, there are benefits to sealcoating the paved surface. Sealcoating can protect the paved surface from damage all year round but it has to be done right and should be down in the fall, before the cold weather, and in the spring, before the hot weather. Make sure the asphalt if clean and clear of sand, dirt, gravel, or other contaminants before sealing it so that sealcoating can properly adhere to the surface. For small areas, you can but seal coat and do it yourself and for larger areas, you can hire a contractor to sealcoat it for you.
Repairing Damaged Asphalt
If the asphalt id damaged, it can be patched or repaired in small amounts. If the damage is extensive, you may not be able to repair it without removing it and replacing the pavement in the damaged area. For small holes, coldpatch can be placed in holds and compacted until the repair is level with the original service. Keep in mind that repairs tend to sink over time so you may have to add more patch to the hole as time goes on. Coldpatch is basically asphalt that is able to be placed in the holes and cracks without heating but it is intended to make small repairs so using it to fix large potholes or extensive damage is never a good idea. Hire a contractor to deal with these larger jobs and the repair will last many years.