Well designed and constructed asphalt pavements can provide many years of useful service, if properly maintained. An effective asphalt maintenance program will dramatically increase the useful life of your asphalt pavement, while postponing the need for the considerable expense of reconstruction. Asphalt can be viewed in much the same way as wood. If wood is left untreated, it will be destroyed by elements of weather including sun, oxidation, and water.
A good preventive maintenance program will actually save money in the long run, while providing a surface that is attractive and easy to clean for years to come.
The following are tips that can ensure your asphalt pavement endures the test of time:
Try to have larger vehicles like garbage trucks and delivery trucks access your property only if it is necessary. These heavy vehicles carry a lot of weight and can destroy your pavement in a hurry. Limit their presence on your pavement and you will lessen the amount of load your pavement has to carry. One way to do this is to move your garbage containers closer to the roadway where garbage trucks can access them without having to drive over your pavement. This is an easy fix and one that you can do yourself.
2. Sweeping the asphalt pavement
The first step in maintaining asphalt pavement is regular sweeping. Sweeping removes sand and grit that accumulates on the surface. If it is not removed, this grit will act as an abrasive. Over time it will remove the top stratum of pavement or surface treatment, and permit water intrusion into the pavement structure. Each property should be evaluated individually. But sweeping 2 to 6 times per year is generally recommended.
Fixing drainage problems
Water is the main reason why pavements fail. If water is allowed to reach the base course underneath your pavement and disrupt it, it will not be long until you will need to fix a newly formed pothole. If you have a lot of standing water on your pavement, call a contractor to see what can be done to fix this problem. Installing a drain inlet or under drain could be the needed fix.
If your asphalt pavement has existing cracks, crack filling is necessary. Crack sealing is one of the best early preventive maintenance measures to prolong asphalt life. This is because water can enter these cracks at gallons per minute and all that water will wash away your investment.
Sealcoating seals the surface of your asphalt, protecting it from harmful elements like oxygen, moisture and UV rays which cause your pavement to become oxidized; and also preventing water seepage.
A properly sealcoated surface also looks nice. It has a rich, dark black color compared to oxidized pavement which is gray.
You can purchase and install seal coats yourself but you have to take proper caution because there are many sealcoat materials out there and all of them are not the same. If you are looking at a large area to cover, sealcoating out of buckets may be too labor intensive and contacting a contractor with the equipment to install may be a better option.