As the years go by, your asphalt driveway will become vulnerable to various types of damage. While fading may not be an immediate concern, cracking requires urgent attention. Use this guide to learn why cracks appear in the pavement and how to prevent them from forming in the first place.
How Cracks in Asphalt Develop
Asphalt surfaces—especially if unsealed—are porous, which means rain, melted snow, and even humidity can permeate your driveway over time. Absorption won’t cause cracks right away. However, as the water soaks through the pavement and reaches the sub-layers, it will start to displace the gravel, sand, or other aggregates underneath your driveway. This will eliminate your driveway’s support system, so it is less durable under pressure.
As temperatures fluctuate, they will cause the asphalt to expand and contract. When combined with the drying nature of the sun’s rays and the lack of support from below, your driveway will develop cracks.
How to Prevent Cracking
Not only are cracks unsafe and unsightly, but they can also turn into potholes if left unaddressed. The best way to prevent the need for expensive repairs is to stop rifts from forming at all. To do this, most paving contractors recommend sealcoating the asphalt. After the material has been installed and cured, the contractors will paint on a jet black layer of sealant. This not only preserves the rich color of the asphalt, but it also decreases the porosity of the surface. That way, moisture can’t seep through and kickstart the cracking process.
It’s also important to make sure that your property has enough drainage. If the runoff is being directed onto your driveway, it can pool on the surface and speed up the absorption process. However, by positioning downspouts away from your driveway and directing water straight into sewer drains, you can prevent moisture from lingering. If it snows, use a shovel to clear your driveway before the ice melts.
When local property owners notice cracks in their asphalt driveways, James Young Paving is quick to schedule repairs. This Middletown, NY, company can also provide sealing solutions to prevent cracks from forming again. With over 50 years of experience in the industry, you can feel confident in hiring their licensed, bonded, and insured team. To learn more about their services, visit the website or call (845) 692-6998 to schedule a free estimate.