Record snow falls and freezing temperatures marked many parts of the country this past year. Now that your asphalt driveway is beginning to shed it's frozen covering, you may be alarmed to see damage. Fortunately, asphalt can withstand a lot of wear and tear while only requiring a repair, as opposed to a full replacement. This will definitely save you money. Understanding the types of damage you are likely to encounter can help you determine the best way to repair the asphalt.
Dips and divots
The cause of dips and divots is usually settling, which can be made worse by a high water table due to snow melt combined with the freeze and thaw cycles that disturb soil near the surface. While these dips may not look too bad right now, water will collect in them. This in turn leads to the asphalt degrading and potholes forming.
An asphalt patch is the best way to fix a low spot. While there are cold asphalt patches you can apply yourself, these do not integrate into the existing asphalt. This means you will be patching the asphalt again and again each year.
Instead, opt for a professional hot asphalt patch. The contractor will heat the driveway to the same temperature as the heated asphalt patching material. This way, when the patch is applied, it will integrate into the existing asphalt, creating a much more durable repair.
Cracks, whether long deep crevices or the spiderweb of surface cracks known alligatoring, are typically caused by heavy loads on top of asphalt that is exposed to harsh climate conditions, such as seen in winter. These cracks deepen and expand over time, resulting in potholes, crumbling pavement, and a bumpy driveway.
A few cracks can generally be repaired with a hot asphalt patch once all loose materials and sediment is removed from the crack. Alligatoring requires more work, though, since it can indicate damage to the base material beneath the driveway.
Your contractor will cut out the portion of the asphalt that is affected, then they will repack the base. After the base material is repaired, fresh hot asphalt is applied.
Surface wear, whether it's discoloration or fine superficial cracks and missing divots, is caused by a variety of factors. Ice melting salts, the abrasion from snow removal blades, and the rigors of winter conditions all lead to this wear.
Fortunately, you don't need a new drive, just a new top coat. Sealcoating is when a paving contractor "paints on" a thin layer of asphalt over the old layer. The result is a driveway that looks and performs like new.
Further, sealcoating helps protect the driveway from future damage. You may want to consider it following any repair work you have done this summer.
For more information, contact a contractor, such as Mariotti Site Development Co Inc, who offers asphalt paving services.