If you want to maximize the life of your asphalt driveway, you need to be able to diagnose the early warning signs of serious structural failure. Recognizing these warning signs early will allow you to invest in repairs before the damage becomes too severe.
One of the most troubling warning signs you can spot in your driveway is cracking. Handling cracks properly can make the difference between saving your asphalt and having to remove your driveway and start fresh.
Identify the Origin
As soon as you spot a crack in your driveway, you should follow the crack to its point of origin. Identifying where the cracks are coming from can help you better determine why your asphalt driveway has sustained some damage.
Many cracks are caused by improper drainage that causes water to pool beneath the surface of the asphalt in the base material. The pooling water weakens the structural integrity of the base material and allows the asphalt to sag, creating cracks. A paving contractor can use a crack's point of origin to make the necessary repairs.
Invest in Spot Repairs
Resurfacing your entire driveway can be costly. You can extend the life of your existing asphalt surface by choosing to invest in spot repairs as soon as you see any cracks forming in your driveway.
Spot repairs help to shore up the weak areas created by alligator or longitudinal cracks so that the cracks don't continue to spread. Your paving contractor can help you determine when it's time to stop investing in spot repairs and start saving for a full resurfacing service.
Replacement Damaged Sections
When cracks can no longer be patched, you should consider investing in a partial replacement for your driveway. You can have a paving contractor remove only the section of the driveway that has been affected by cracks. A new piece of asphalt can be poured in place of the removed pieces, restoring the structural integrity of your driveway.
Replacing damaged sections could cause your driveway to have a patchwork appearance due to uneven wear, but it can help extend the life of your existing asphalt until you have saved up for a full sealant or replacement.
Cracks are the most common type of damage seen in residential asphalt driveways. Work with a reputable paving contractor to monitor cracks carefully so that you can better manage the structural integrity of your asphalt surface in the future.