Driveways or parking lots properly paved with asphalt make your home or business stand out from the rest. However, in order to keep your paved surface smooth and looking new, you have to regularly keep up with repairs and maintenance. The asphalt paving experts at Allied Construction have put together a list of frequently asked questions that will help you keep that asphalt paved surface looking nice for many years to come.

Why should I sealcoat my asphalt surface?

Sealcoating asphalt pavement protects the parking lot surface from oxidation and consequent damage from salt, gas, and oil. It also minimizes the need for asphalt repairs by weatherizing the surface, which helps prevent water from being able to seep into the cracks.

If not properly sealed, your pavement will start to degrade and potholes will form. Most asphalt companies suggest you sealcoat your surface two additional times after the initial sealing, spaced six months apart. After the first year has passed, you can seal your pavement surface about every two years.

Sealcoating your driveway is crucial when it comes to preventing your asphalt surface from becoming damaged. Unfortunately, most people neglect this important preventative measure.

How can I clean my asphalt surface?

First, clean out asphalt cracks with a screwdriver or a machine designed to do the job. Any fuel or grease stains need to be cleaned off with a specially formulated degreaser.

Finally, the entire paved surface needs to be cleared of debris, using what works best for you and your budget. Whether it’s a broom, a blower, or a pressure washer; make sure your asphalt is clean and dry.

What can I do about the cracks in my asphalt?

Each year, your driveway or parking lot should be inspected for asphalt cracks. Asphalt cracks will eventually grow larger in size without treatment and create smaller secondary cracks in the process. Sealing cracks in asphalt prevents moisture from degrading the structural components of the surface.

For asphalt cracks that are smaller than a quarter of an inch wide, sealcoat can be used. If the crack is larger than a quarter of an inch, a paving contractor will need to apply a crack sealer. Cracks in your asphalt can be easily treated with the proper sealcoat. Cracks should be cleaned of all debris, including loose asphalt, vegetation, and other foreign objects.

What can I do to prevent or fix potholes?

Potholes occur when water permeates asphalt pavement through cracks in the surface. Combined with wear and tear, the soil beneath the crack will soften, and eventually create a depression. In the Midwest and northern states, asphalt patches applied in winter months typically do not hold up as well because of the cold temperatures. Repairs during the warmer months hold up better because the gravel, sand, and stones hold up better in the heat. Potholes are obviously a problem; however, they can be easily fixed.

When should I replace asphalt pavement?

Over time, even a parking lot that has been well-maintained over the years will eventually deteriorate and need replacement. Asphalt contractors will analyze the entire paved area for the current conditions. A few other factors that need consideration are drainage, traffic load, and any issues caused by the surrounding landscape.

It’s difficult to determine the extent of how long your asphalt paved surface will last. When you see many cracks and potholes, and your asphalt's surface is a dull grey color, you may need to get the entire surface replaced.

We hope that the condition of your driveway or your business’s parking lot is of importance to you and that you will consider our helpful asphalt repair and maintenance checklist when you need assistance. If you have any questions about asphalt repair and maintenance, or are in need of service, contact Allied Construction at (248) 625-9581 today.