Your home's driveway is an investment in both the appearance and the usability of your house. Prompt repairs help protect this investment, so it's important to know the signs that your driveway is due for some maintenance.
1. Color Fading
As asphalt ages, its rich black color fades to a bland gray. The cause is weathering and UV damage wearing down the bitumen that makes up a major part of the asphalt surface. The fading and discoloration can happen gradually and affect the entire surface, or it may only affect small areas and cause a patchy appearance on the asphalt. Not only is the fading unattractive, but it also means the asphalt is breaking down and becoming more prone to other damages, like cracking.
2. Visible Aggregate
Along with fading, bitumen loss from weathering also exposes more of the stone aggregate that is mixed in with the asphalt. As the aggregate becomes exposed, it can begin to break free. The result is a driveway that seems to be crumbling apart from the top down. Often, resurfacing with a fresh layer of asphalt is all that is needed to repair the damage.
3. Plant Incursion
Plants should never take root in your driveway. A small crack with a few blades of grass in it may not seem like a big deal today, but within a few weeks to months, those roots are going to force that crack apart and make it larger. Eventually, a pothole may even form. Remove any plants that take root in your drive and have the crack repaired promptly to prevent further damage.
4. Cracks and Holes
Small cracks and holes in the driveway trap water. When cold temperatures arrive, that water freezes and expands. This breaks apart the asphalt, leading to larger cracks and full potholes. These types of damages are completely repairable in the early stages before the crack or hole reaches deep into the base material beneath the driveway. Once damage affects the base, though, repair is no longer an option and you must instead replace the driveway.
5. Extensive Staining
Stains are of least concern when it comes to the integrity of your driveway, but they are unsightly none the less. Stains most often are a result of leaking fluids from vehicles that park on the drive, but moisture can lead to algae or mildew stains as well. Power washing will usually remove the stains, but you should follow it up with a sealcoating. The sealcoating creates a barrier that prevents future stains from occurring.
Contact an asphalt paving company for more help with your driveway repairs and maintenance.