On this blog we talk a lot about how to maintain your driveway and asphalt surfaces. And for good reason! It’s what we’re all about! But what if you don’t? What if you neglect your driveway, leave it to fend for itself out in the weather. Who cares right? What could happen? Well, let’s take a look at that shall we?
What Happens When You Don’t Maintain Your Driveway
Deterioration. That’s what happens. Over time the materials in your asphalt driveway become affected by the weather, the sun, and any chemicals that might find their way onto the asphalt.
When you don’t maintain your driveway the first thing that batters it’s stability is the sunlight, air, and time.
Sunlight and Air
You might think so long as your weather is sunny you have nothing to worry about. That’s wrong! Sunlight helps activate oxidation, the process by which the material in the asphalt, specifically, the glue, is exposed to oxygen and sunlight causing the binding materials to dry out and become brittle. Where once the surface was flexible, the asphalt stiffens, losing it’s malleability, and it begins to ravel and crack.
This is a problem, but you could repair it here and be safe. But for some reason you’re sworn to not maintain your driveway. Then comes water.
Whether in the form of rain water, snow melting, or any other type. Water is going to hit your raveled and cracked asphalt and cause a world of hurt. As we’ve discussed before, when water gets into your asphalt potholes are sure to follow. The water works its way into the asphalt, washes away the base underneath and causes further cracks, break downs, and eventually total collapse. In just one particularly wet season your dry and cracked asphalt is now covered with divots.
In the spots where the raveling and cracking hasn’t happened you might feel safe to park on. Too bad the gas and oils that frequently drip out from under vehicles is enough to soften and damage asphalt. Then you’re fighting another front for water to fight its way into the asphalt.
It’s important to note, sometimes asphalt can deteriorate for reasons beyond the usual, expected wear and tear. Asphalt can be installed improperly, leading to failures in the surface. It may have been over or under compacted. The temperature of the asphalt may have been incorrect when it was first applied. The base may have been insufficient or improperly compacted. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure any asphalt you have paved is done by a reputable, skilled company like Sunrise Asphalt!
The truth of the matter is no asphalt is exempt from this kind of deterioration, no matter how well it was built at the beginning. After a couple years, the asphalt will gray, become brittle and crack, letting water in and continuing the damage making larger cracks and potholes, damaging the base and more. This is why maintenance is absolutely critical to keeping your asphalt strong.
So take care of your driveway and stay on top of your upkeep! You don’t just let your car sit outside and endure the weather? You wash it, you put new tires on when they get low or bald. Proper maintenance is crucial in keeping your asphalt in tip top shape, so it can serve you tip top performance! A great first step? Sealcoating!