Tips For A Strong, Well-Maintained Asphalt Driveway
After you invest in an asphalt driveway, you want it to last as long as possible. Your asphalt driveway can last an average of 20 to 30 years, with the right foundation and regular maintenance. Here are tips to make your asphalt driveway strong and keep it in good condition.
Install a Good Driveway Base
If you are installing a new asphalt driveway in your yard, having a good foundation can help it to last for many years. If you live in an area that is wet or marshy, you should install a layer of geo-textile fabric over the soil. This fabric is to prevent the soil from moving into the layer of gravel that is placed over the soil. When the soil combines with the gravel layer above it, the gravel loses its stability and can allow movement to happen within the asphalt on top, creating cracking in the asphalt.
Then, an eight to ten-inch layer of crushed and compacted gravel over the fabric will help provide the stable foundation for your asphalt. The gravel will become more stable if you layer it in two sections. Lay the first three to four inches of gravel and compact it together. Then, spread the rest of the gravel to complete the layer, compacting it together well.
Make sure you pour and compact the gravel so it is 12 inches wider than your asphalt driveway will be. This extra 6-inch section of gravel on both sides of the driveway will give your asphalt extra stability on its edges. The extra stability will help prevent the edges of the driveway crumbling under the pressure created by vehicle tires.
After the gravel has been spread and compacted together, you can pour your new driveway, smooth, and compact it. When you have the right base of gravel, you only need a two-inch layer of asphalt for a strong surface. Adding extra inches of thickness to the layer of asphalt will not make your driveway last longer. Maintaining the surface of your asphalt with seal coating over the next years will ensure your asphalt driveway lasts up to 30 years.
Seal Your Driveway
You won't need to worry about seal coating your driveway until the original black asphalt becomes worn off and you can see the gravel mix in the asphalt. Then, after you seal coat your asphalt, you won't need to re-coat the surface until the previous seal coat has worn off the gravel.
It is recommended you seal coat your driveway every three to five years. A new layer of asphalt takes at least 90 days to cure and harden, but it can take up to six to nine months to fully cure. Then, if you apply seal coat too early, the coal and tar-based sealer will cover the asphalt's flexible hydrocarbon oils, making your asphalt become rigid and prone to cracking prematurely.
If you have made any pothole repairs with cold mix patch repair, you should wait at least 30 days before sealing your asphalt. Most cold patch asphalt products take up to 30 days to fully cure and harden. Covering them with sealer before they are fully cured will seal off the new patch from the air that is necessary for the patch materials to harden.
To prepare your asphalt for seal coating, first clean all debris and weeds from the surface of the asphalt. Clean up any oil spots with an asphalt degreaser cleaner, or with a scrub brush, dish detergent, and water, then spray the surface clean with water.
Plan to seal coat your asphalt when the weather is dry and the temperature is set to be above 45 degrees F for several days after you have applied the seal coat.
Use these instructions and tips to help keep your asphalt lasting a long time. Click here to read more.