Why Is Maintenance Of My Asphalt (Blacktop) Driveway So Important?
Your asphalt driveway represents a substantial investment. A properly maintained driveway reflects your pride and commitment to maintaining an attractive home and property. It also makes economic sense to maintain your driveway. With a systematic program of pavement maintenance, including crack filling and periodic sealcoating, your asphalt driveway can last over 25 years. Sealing your driveway with the proper sealer gives your driveway that "like new appearance," enhancing curb appeal as well as increasing property value.
How Is An Asphalt (Blacktop) Driveway Constructed?
An asphalt driveway consists of a soil sub-base, a layer of stone, and approximately 2 inches of hot
mix asphalt (blacktop).
What Is Asphalt Hot Mix Made Of?
Asphalt hot mix, commonly referred to as blacktop, consists of an asphalt binder mixed with a specifically graded aggregate or rock. The asphalt binder is a tar-like residue that is a by-product of the oil refining process. The asphalt binder is heated to over 300 degrees Fahrenheit and then mixed with rock to produce hot mix. The hot mix is then laid and compacted and allowed to cool, resulting in a blacktop surface suitable for traffic.
What Causes Asphalt To Deteriorate?
Oxidation and water penetration are the leading causes of asphalt pavement failure. The sun's ultraviolet rays break down the asphalt binder that holds the pavement together. Moisture that is allowed to enter cracks in pavement will erode the base, causing potholes and general pavement breakup. Moisture also penetrates the pores of the pavement causing further erosion as well as freeze-thaw damage.
How Do I Protect And Maintain My Blacktop Driveway?
A systematic program of filling cracks with a suitable crack filling material and applying pavement sealer will greatly extend the service life of your driveway. Crack filling will help prevent water intrusion into the cracks, avoiding erosion of the pavement base materials. Applying pavement sealer will protect the asphalt from oxidation and moisture intrusion into the pores. The rich, black color of pavement sealer beautifies your driveway providing a "like new" appearance. This black color also helps to melt snow and ice faster than a non-sealed driveway.
Sealed Vs. Unsealed
A systematic program of pavement
maintenance will more than double
the life of your asphalt driveway!