Maintenance Tips – Asphalt

Sun and heat, snow and cold – the weather in Northeast Ohio will take a toll on your asphalt, drying it out and causing cracks. Salt, deicers and automotive leaks can add to the damage. The key to extending the life of your asphalt surface is regular and timely maintenance. Small cracks left to expand will allow moisture to seep in and compromise the paving, ultimately leading to depressions, holes and crumbling asphalt. Don’t wait! When you see your black asphalt driveway or parking lot begin to take on a gray color, it’s time to put the following maintenance tips into practice.

1. Apply a quality asphalt sealer regularly – Sealant is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your asphalt. A coal tar asphalt sealer applied every 2 to 3 years, depending on age, weather, traffic and weight, renews the surface and protects against stains and cracking. Sealant is easily sprayed or squeegeed over the surface and dries in about four hours.

2. Keep your driveway clean – Oil, gas, transmission fluid, automotive debris and deicers can break down asphalt and cause premature cracking. Sweep and hose off your driveway regularly and periodically scrub away stains with a detergent and water mixture.

3. Repair cracks immediately – While regular sealing is sufficient to address hairline cracks, anything bigger should be repaired with quality crack filler. Cold pour for 1/2 inch or smaller, and hot pour for larger cracks are relatively easy to use and effective at preventing cracks from becoming larger and more costly to repair. Pour your crack fill into cracks, smooth out and let dry for about an hour. Follow up with sealant over the whole surface.

4. Patch larger cracks or potholes – It’s a bit more work, but larger cracks and holes can be repaired with a cold asphalt patch and the appropriate tamping equipment. Use a vibrating plate if possible to tamp the patch, and always follow with sealant.

Ask our professionals about appropriate maintenance schedules and procedures for making repairs.

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