Have you noticed the cracks in your driveway growing larger lately? Are you finding yourself navigating puddles of water or tripping hazards when you walk onto your driveway to get the mail? It’s a good idea to pay attention to these signs because they may mean that it’s time to resurface your driveway.
We all like to hope that our driveways will last forever and that we’ll never have to do a full driveway replacement, but the reality is that they are all subject to wear and tear over time and will eventually need some attention. If your driveway is over 10-15 years old, it may be time to take an honest look at its condition and determine if it needs some maintenance work.
Over time, your driveway will start to experience surface distress. Surface distress is caused by a variety of factors including hot and cold weather, drainage issues, and fatigue from the weight of cars rolling over and parking on driveways each day. While we already know why asphalt is the best driveway paving option, here are a few issues to look for that may indicate that driveway resurfacing is the best option for you.
One telltale sign that your driveway is beginning to show its age is the appearance of water pooling. This is a symptom of poor drainage, which is often caused by depressions forming on the asphalt’s surface. A properly installed driveway will be sloped to prevent standing water from accumulating on the surface.
These pools of water aren’t just an annoyance to walk through on rainy days, but they can also quicken your driveway’s overall deterioration. If that water infiltrates below the top layer of asphalt, it can damage your foundation.
One of the most obvious signs that your driveway is beginning to suffer wear and tear is the appearance of cracks in its surface. Cracks can appear along or across the length of your driveway and may often be a sign of a failing foundation or excessive surface wear.
Cracks allow water to seep below the surface of your driveway and can cause displacement to your foundation as it expands and contracts with changing seasonal temperatures.
If the cracks progress into a series of overlapping fissures known as “alligator cracks,” the problem probably can’t be fixed with patches and will require a full resurfacing.
Potholes in the street are annoyances that can do some severe damage to vehicle tires and suspensions, but they can also appear in deteriorating driveways. When cracks aren’t repaired, they can deepen and widen, creating gaps that chip away and lose surface area, eventually forming potholes.
When potholes fill with water, they accelerate the damage to your driveway’s foundation. As that water seeps further underground, it creates tripping hazards as well as problems for your vehicle as it bounces over them each day.
Crumbling edges signify that your driveway’s structure is beginning to erode and may need extensive repairs if not addressed. Driveway edges are most susceptible to water infiltration and tend to weaken and break off of the asphalt surface.
Crumbling edges could also be a sign that your driveway’s top layer is too thin or has been damaged by vehicles rolling over it. These are all indicators that it may be time to think about resurfacing your driveway.
Have you ever wondered why you find bits of stone and gravel on your aging driveway along with chipping and loosening of the surface? Asphalt is composed of a binder (tar) and aggregate (gravel) that tend to loosen and separate due to wear and weathering over time, which we call raveling.
Much like crumbling, raveling typically occurs in small sections at first, but if left untreated, it can spread out and affect large areas of your driveway. Once this happens, driveway resurfacing may be the only way to get the surface looking attractive and functional once again.
AGE OF ASPHALT
As within most parts of your home and property, high-traffic, high-use areas will eventually wear out and need to be fixed or replaced, including driveways. Most asphalt driveways have an expected lifespan of 15-20 years, and just like that creaky floorboard or leaky roof, they will eventually need to have some maintenance performed.
Our driveways take a lot of abuse:
Multiple tons of vehicles rolling across them each day
Extreme heat in the summer and freezing weather in the winter
Punishing rain and hail
Daily UV radiation exposure
Leaky chemicals from your household or vehicles
If your driveway is nearing the end of its life, patching may no longer be an effective method of repairing your property and may be a mere band-aid when a full asphalt driveway repair may be necessary. We suggest getting a free estimate from our experienced paving contractors to best determine your needs.
This information has been provided by Lyons and Hohl Paving, which has been providing excellent, dependable commercial and residential paving solutions in Lancaster, Berks, Chester, and Montgomery counties in PA for over 30 years. We welcome all opportunities to find solutions for our customers’ needs, large and small. For more information, see https://www.lyonshohlpaving.com/