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2 Tips for Repairing & Preventing Damage on Your Asphalt Driveway

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Your asphalt driveway is an investment you want to last for many years. To accomplish this, here are two tips to help you when repairing and preventing damage to your asphalt driveway.

Prepare & Clean the Asphalt Damage for Repairs

If you are completing your own asphalt damage, such as with cracks or potholes, be sure to remove any debris, vegetation growth, and large chunks of broken asphalt from inside the cracks or holes.

With a shovel, chop any vegetation growth from inside asphalt potholes, or use a chisel, wire brush, or the end of a screwdriver to clean vegetation from inside cracks. Use a hammer and chisel to break off any jagged chunks from inside potholes. Then, it can be helpful to use a concrete saw with a diamond blade to cut clean edges to the sides of any potholes before applying any patching materials. The pothole should have clean and straight sides for you to make a successful repair.

Next, use a shop vacuum to suck out any small particles from inside the crack or pothole pothole. If you don't have access to a shop vacuum, you can also use your garden hose with a sprayer attachment to clean out the inside of the damage. This provides a clean surface for the patch material to adhere better and prevent the asphalt patch from breaking apart and failing.

If using a water hose to clean the asphalt damage, be sure to let it dry thoroughly before patching any cracks or holes. For this reason, using a water hose as a method to clean your asphalt damage may only be a good option during the heat of summer when the moisture will thoroughly dry out. 

Seal Your Driveway Periodically

To keep your asphalt driveway's surface in good condition and prevent it from drying out, you should seal it with a protective coating as often as needed.

The materials that make up your asphalt are aggregate rocks or gravel and petroleum-based binders that hold the gravel together. When the petroleum-based adhesive materials in the asphalt dry out from the effects of sun and weather, the surface will form cracks and begin to break apart. Water gets down into the cracks and expand the cracks during freeze-thaw cycles in your climate's weather. As this widens the cracks, more and more water gets inside them, freezing and widening their openings and causing more pronounced damage. 

The weather in your area and the amount of vehicles that drive over the surface of your asphalt will determine how often you should apply a new layer of protective seal coating. Contact a local asphalt company to get a recommendation for the frequency of sealing your asphalt.

Use these tips to keep your asphalt well-maintained. Learn more by contacting services like Salem Paving.