Wed, Oct. 23

Ask the Contractor: Regular asphalt repair and maintenance

Sandy Griffis, YCCA Executive Director

Sandy Griffis, YCCA Executive Director

We have an asphalt driveway that seems to be losing is "luster". The home is 10 years old, what can we do to put a "new face" on the driveway? Ed, Williamson Valley.

Unfortunately, asphalt driveways don't remain smooth and black forever. The forces of nature do their best to break down the surface, creating cracks and potholes and grass and weeds can work their way through the developing cracks. What should you do? Will some easy repair work add to the longevity? Should the driveway be resurfaced or does the entire drive need to be removed and replace? If you have these questions, it is recommended that you reach out to Specialty Paving & Grading at (928) 777-8411 or Eyemark, LLC. (928) 237-0404.

With that being said, regular asphalt driveway repair and maintenance will continue to maintain your driveway for many years of driving surface enjoyment and more importantly save you money on asphalt replacement. Asphalt driveways should have periodic maintenance every 3-5 years. Besides making your driveway more appealing, the real reason for maintenance is to avoid repair costs, and keeping your asphalt driveway in good condition is simply to keep the water from penetrating the cracks, which will eventually find its way under the pavement, then freeze, busting up the pavement and then creating soft spots that turn into pot holes.

Many homeowners have found themselves faced with needed repairs for their asphalt driveway, especially if the driveway has not been regularly maintained. I say like people, asphalt when not taken care of appropriately can age less than gracefully.

Asphalt ages because the binder in the asphalt dries out which is normally caused by the lack of maintenance (sealing), overall wear and tear, poor drainage etc. It is beneficial to maintain the asphalt while it is still in fair or good condition by sealing regularly to prevent it from turning into a much larger repair, such as replacing the entire driveway.

You will see on many roads and driveways what looks like artistic design and coloring outside the box. This is asphalt crack repair and it is one of the most important maintenance practices to be done. There are two main reasons for repairing cracks:

1) To prevent water intrusion through the crack into the underlying pavement base which will undermine the asphalt causing severe cracking or heaving due to freeze thaw cycles.

2) To prevent foreign material from entering the crack and causing more damage as the pavement expands and contracts with changes in temperature.

If your driveway has potholes repair needs to be addressed to prevent further deterioration. If not addressed in a timely manner water can pass into the subgrade and cause more damage to the pavement especially during freezing temperatures. Again, professional preparation is critical for a successful pothole repair.

Once the condition of your asphalt area has been recognized, the appropriately licensed contractor can establish a solution tailored to what meets the needs of correction for the asphalted area.

If you have a question about a home improvement project or need a specific contractor or want to know about hiring licensed contractors, Call Sandy, Executive Director at Yavapai County Contractors Association - 928-778-0040. Don't Start Without YCCA!

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