Although asphalt pavement is an economical, durable product, most property owners will eventually find themselves pondering the best options for maintaining their pavement. If you have questions, keep reading to learn about common asphalt pavement dilemmas.
Driveway Sealing & Paving Dilemmas – How to Tell When Sealcoating Is Needed
The purpose of having asphalt sealcoating applied is to provide continuous protection for your asphalt pavement, so the best method is to have it applied at regularly scheduled intervals. How frequently you will need to have sealcoating reapplied will depend on factors such as the volume of traffic your pavement receives. Most parking lots need fresh sealcoating every 18 to 24 months, while a homeowner may only need to have a driveway sealed every 36 to 48 months. One sure sign that your asphalt pavement is in dire need of sealcoating a color that has faded from rich black to dingy gray.
Why Cracks Should Be Repaired Prior to Sealcoating
Although it can fill tiny surface imperfections, driveway sealing is not a crack filler. If not repaired, the crack will remain and grow larger, giving water easy access to the foundation that supports the pavement. The foundation’s stability can be compromised, leading to costly repairs.
Asphalt Maintenance During Winter Months
Many people assume that no asphalt maintenance can be performed during the winter months. However, it may be possible to use infrared technology to repair potholes and cracks even if temperatures are less than ideal. If the need is critical, it may also be possible to find an isolated day or two when sealcoating can be applied. It is better to have all such work performed before cold weather arrives, though.
Closing the Area for Maintenance or Repairs
The area will need to be closed to traffic while the work is being performed and until the asphalt or sealant has dried thoroughly. Depending on the temperature, expect to have the area closed until at least the following morning for driveway sealcoating and for at least 24 hours if you are having fresh asphalt applied.
Difference in Lifespan Between Maintained Asphalt Pavement and Neglected Asphalt Pavement
Some people wonder whether it is more cost-effective to forego maintenance and repairs on asphalt pavement and simply replace it when it deteriorates. It is not. Preventive maintenance can more than double the life of your asphalt pavement. Neglected asphalt pavement can require complete replacement in as little as eight years, but properly maintained pavement can last up to 30 years. Furthermore, if the pavement is riddled with potholes or cracks, you risk being held liable if injuries or vehicle damage occurs on your property.
The Problem With Automotive Fluids
Asphalt professionals recommend that gas, oil and other automotive fluids be removed promptly. These fluids are petroleum distillates — and so is asphalt. After having coexisted happily for millions of years, all petroleum-based products will attempt to recombine when they come into contact with each other. This will result in soft, easily damaged asphalt pavement that will deteriorate quickly.
Why Drainage Matters
Whether the water comes from rain or melted snow, you want it to leave your asphalt pavement as quickly as possible. Standing water has additional time to find a way to penetrate the pavement and destabilize the foundation. Water that cannot flow freely into storm drains or catch basins can back up under the edges of the pavement. You should ensure that you have a sufficient number of drains and have them cleaned annually. You might also consider having asphalt curbing installed to help channel water and prevent runoff from the surrounding terrain.
Why Estimates Often Vary by Contractor
If you ask 10 different contractors for a quote, you are liable to receive 10 different prices. The variances may be due to the distance from the contractor’s place of business to your site; a contractor who must transport his crew and equipment 50 miles must charge more than one who is only a mile from your site. Many times, though, the variances are because the contractors are not quoting identical services and materials. For example, one contractor might be quoting two coats of sealant while another is quoting three coats. You want to verify that you are comparing apples to apples before reaching a decision.
Why Contractors Want to Visit Your Site Before Offering a Firm Quote
You might think that it would be easy for a contractor to provide you with a firm quote over the phone. However, there are many variables that cannot be identified without a visit to your site. For example, some sites require extensive work before sealcoating can be applied; the pavement may have numerous cracks with grass growing in them or have multiple areas that will require hand application.
When Routine Maintenance Is Not Enough
It is true that your asphalt pavement will require replacement eventually, but be sure to consider your options first. For example, if you have several areas of alligator cracking, it might be more economical to remove and replace the pavement only in those areas. It may also be possible to apply an asphalt overlay to all or part of your pavement. Consult a reputable contractor to learn all of your options before you commit to replacing your entire asphalt pavement.
Driveway Sealing Call Frank provides driveway and commercial sealcoating for customers in the cities of Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, Weston and all counties in New Haven and Fairfield, CT. We offer sealcoating, parking lot striping, infrared pothole repairs, crack filling, power washing, asphalt curbing and many other services, including preventive maintenance plans. We take pride in delivering exceptional work at reasonable rates. If you would like to request a free estimate, you can submit the online form or call 1-800-DRIVEWAY or (203) 378-0080.