Keeping your asphalt pavement from oxidizing, cracking, and drying out is one of the biggest battles you will have to face to keep your asphalt lasting as long as possible. Snow, ice, and the sun all contribute to the aging effects of your asphalt's surface. Here are three tips to help prevent your asphalt's from deteriorating from damaging cracks:
Finish the Edges
If the edges of your asphalt pavement are set within the soil and boarder upon loose materials, there are some extra steps you need to take to protect the edges of the pavement from deterioration. First, the edges of the asphalt should be finished off and smoothed during installation to form a 45-degree angle allowing the pavement to taper off. This prevents vehicles from driving over the edge and causing cracks to form.
It is also important to back-fill the edges of the slope in your asphalt with a gravel or soil fill material to make the asphalt level with the edge materials. This provides support and structure to the edges of your pavement and prevents cracking from vehicle pressure.
Finishing off the edges of your asphalt also prevents vegetation from growing at the edges of your asphalt, which can eventually grow up through your asphalt's edges, causing cracking damage.
Apply Sealcoating Regularly
As your asphalt ages, it will be necessary to apply a protective sealcoat emulsion layer on your asphalt's surface. This liquid tar emulsion treatment seals the surface of the asphalt and restores its moisture and flexibility. The sealcoating also protects the asphalt from water as it acts as a waterproof barrier to help stop freeze-thaw and moisture related damage.
Keep an eye on the condition of your asphalt by watching its appearance. When your asphalt's color begins to fade to a light grey and the surface shows signs of drying out and cracking, it is time to hire a new sealcoating application to be installed on your asphalt.
Fill Small Cracks
Between sealcoating applications, you can take some steps to maintain your asphalt's condition and stop crack growth, even if it is too early for a new sealcoating. When new, thin cracks appear, you can seal them with a liquid asphalt filler, which comes in a tube container and can be found at most home improvement stores.
Be sure you clean out the crack thoroughly before filling it by rinsing it with a pressure washer or sweeping it clean with a broom. Then, squeeze the liquid filler into the crack and let it dry completely according to the package's instructions. Contact a paving service for more information and assistance.