How You Can Keep Asphalt Driveways in Peak Condition

If you need to install a new driveway, you'll soon have to make an important decision. Are you going to choose concrete or asphalt?

Asphalt's major selling point is cost. Made from a mixture of bitumen and aggregates, asphalt is around 40 percent cheaper per square metre than concrete, its major competitor. That's why, when families redevelop their driveways or businesses expand their car parking facilities, they will usually pick asphalt as their preferred option. There are other advantages, like the attractive contrast between an asphalt surface and bright green lawns or the speed at which asphalt can be laid. But cost is always the most important factor.

However, when things are cheap, that usually means they are weaker, less long-lasting and lower quality. Is this the case with asphalt drives? In general, yes. Asphalt driveways almost always start to degrade faster than concrete ones.

That doesn't mean customers should always spend more to install more durable concrete surfaces. Instead, by bringing in experts to take care of asphalt surfaces and repairing them before they become unusable, homeowners and businesses can cut costs and keep their driveways in working order. Here are some ways expert contractors can maintain your surfaces, delaying the need to relay your driveway in the future.

Have a Stock of Sealant on Hand to Repair Cracks

Asphalt is always prone to cracking. That's a particularly big problem in areas of Australia with high summer temperatures, which includes most of the country. The good news is that repairing cracks is simple. Driveway repair teams will remove any vegetation from the crack and flush it out using a standard garden hose. Then they will use a pourable crack filler to just over the level of the surface, before smoothing it off with a knife or trowel. If you are vigilant and deal with cracks as they develop, you can easily stop them becoming chronic.

Be Prepared to Fill in Potholes

Cracks aren't the only way that asphalt can become damaged. Potholes are just as common and just as easy to fix when you detect them. To fill in a pothole, repair professionals will square off the edges and fill the resulting cavity with an asphalt repair product. After that, they will tamp the filler down until the surface is firm. If you don't fill the hole properly, the pothole will reappear very quickly, so your contractors should make extra effort to make the repair job as comprehensive as possible.

Add Extra Protection With a Driveway Sealer

When cracks and potholes have been dealt with, your repair team can add an extra layer of protection by applying a driveway sealer to the whole surface. These sealers usually include coal tar and aggregates and apply a thin layer of protection on the upper surface of your drive, restoring its original appearance and guarding against decay. They can be applied in tiny batches by hand or on larger car parks or drives with industrial sealers, depending on the task involved.

These repair options make asphalt a great option for home driveways, business access roads, car parks, storage yards and footpaths alike. With the right repair measures, you can enjoy the cost benefits of asphalt and keep your surfaces in working order for years on end.