Have you ever driven through a planned community that was built 10 years ago and noticed that some driveways featuring asphalt pavement still look great while others show obvious signs of wear and tear?

If so, you may have wondered why driveways built at the same time can have such different appearances.

Why do some 10-year-old driveways already need to be replaced while others look almost new? The chances are that the bedraggled ones were neglected, but the ones in excellent condition received preventive asphalt maintenance.

What Is Preventive Maintenance for Asphalt Pavement?

When it comes to asphalt pavementpreventive maintenance is relatively economical, simple, fast and highly effective. Here are the primary preventive maintenance procedures for asphalt pavement.

  • Sealcoating: Sealcoating provides asphalt pavement with protection against UV rays and leaked automotive fluids such as oil and gasoline. UV rays dry your pavement and make it brittle; automotive fluids soften your pavement and make it crumbly. Damages can manifest as cracks or potholes. UV rays are also responsible for asphalt pavement that has lost its dark color, but fresh sealcoating can restore the color. Sealcoating is not permanent, so you will need to have it reapplied periodically.
  • Repairs: Breaks in the pavement let water penetrate to the supporting foundation. The movement of the water can erode the foundation, and when cold weather arrives, the freeze/thaw cycle will make the problem worse. Once the foundation has been damaged, the pavement loses its flexibility. It can develop low spots, cracks, potholes or alligator cracking.
  • Cleaning: Although sealcoating slows their progress, if automotive fluids are not removed, they will eventually eat through the asphalt sealcoat and deteriorate the asphalt pavement. Accumulations of debris tend to collect puddles beneath them, giving water more time to find a way to penetrate beneath the pavement. Removing leaked fluids and debris can help prevent damage to your pavement while improving the area’s appearance.
  • Drainage: Catch basins and drains need to be kept clear so that water can flow freely. If clogged, water can find its way under the edges of the surrounding pavement. Inspect these areas periodically to ensure that they are not blocked.

What Else Can Damage Asphalt Pavement?

  • Trees: Many trees have extensive root systems that grow away from the trunk in a circular pattern. How far these roots will extend depends on the species, but it is not uncommon for a tree that is 30 feet in height to have roots that extend 60 to 90 feet from the trunk. If they grow under the asphalt pavement, it can be forced out of position and cracked.
  • Heavy vehicles: Vehicles that weigh more than the pavement was intended to bear can damage asphalt pavement. Damages can occur whether the vehicles are driving on the pavement or parked on it.
  • Soil: Some soils can be a problem for virtually anything that is built on top of them, including asphalt pavement. For example, clay soil expands when saturated and shrinks when it dries, and this ground movement can destabilize the foundation.

If you need help with your asphalt pavement, contact B&E Coating Services. Our sealcoating contractors offer a complete range of services for asphalt maintenance, including parking lot striping and pavement markings, sealcoatinginfrared asphalt repairs and asphalt crack repairs. We provide customers throughout Michigan with quality workmanship at competitive rates. You can use the online form to request a free quote or call us at (989) 352-7305.