Protecting your asphalt from deterioration from weather and weed growth can be a constant battle as a homeowner. Here is some insight to help you protect and repair damage that can occur over the center and edges of your asphalt driveway.
When the edges of your asphalt pavement have been installed properly, it will slope downward and taper off into the edging soil. If your asphalt was not installed properly, this edge may begin to crack and break apart, especially when vegetation grows against the edge. Then, when an occasional vehicle drives off the side of the asphalt, this can put excess pressure on the asphalt's edge and crack it off in pieces.
There are several methods you can add to the edging of your asphalt to protect its edges from deterioration. First, you can installing edging stones or bricks to provide support to the edge of the asphalt. Be sure you dig out the soil where you will install the stones or bricks so that they abut the asphalt on the same elevation to create a smooth transition from asphalt to paving stones. You can also install a covering of gravel to provide a supportive surface for the asphalt's edge.
When vegetation begins to grow up the side of the asphalt, it is important to remove it before it begins to damage the edges of the pavement. Pull the entire plants and roots, or you can kill them by pouring boiling water upon them. Some weed killers can contain acids that will damage your asphalt, so be careful what chemical you use to kill weeds growing here. Spread a thick layer of corn gluten meal over the soil next to the asphalt edges. Corn gluten meal will prevent new weed seeds from growing in the soil without any asphalt-damaging effects.
Cracks through the center of your paved driveway's surface are also a problem with your asphalt's integrity. As small cracks form, they can grow larger from freeze-thaw cycles and from the drying out effects of the sun. Dirt and debris can settle in the cracks along with weed seeds, which germinate and grow up through the cracks in the pavement. When not repaired, these cracks can become larger and spread into potholes.
Remove any vegetation from these types of center cracks, using an asphalt crack cleaning tool or the end of a screw driver. Next, clean out any debris and broken chunks from the asphalt crack so you can repair and patch it. For small cracks, use a liquid asphalt filler, which comes in a tube similar to caulk. Fill larger cracks with a cold patch filler, using a trowel to scoop and press it into the crack.
Once you have any cracks repaired, it is important to seal your asphalt with a sealcoat application. This protective tar emulsion coating restores the asphalt's moisture and fills small cracks and crevices. Talk to a professional asphalt paving company about this service.