How Spring Rain Showers Affect Your Asphalt Driveway
Rainy days and Mondays may get you down, but you’ll be more than a little “blue” when you see the damaging effects of spring rain on your asphalt driveway if you aren’t prepared. If you haven’t completed regular general maintenance, small cracks, depressions, and potholes could cause some serious spring damage. Here are the causes of water damage and what experienced asphalt driveway professionals recommend for preventative asphalt maintenance.
Causes of asphalt water damage
You may think that excessive heat or cold are the biggest culprits causing damage to your driveway and other asphalt surfaces; but in reality, the main perpetrator wreaking havoc on your asphalt surfaces is water—water damage from rain, snow, washing the car, etc. Every time your driveway gets wet, water can enter the asphalt through cracks and cause significant damage. While it may not be visible, this damage can still be extensive and, if untreated over time, can result in potholes and other forms of serious damage requiring costly repairs. Additionally, areas of pooling or standing water, specifically with large driveways, can also cause damage to the asphalt.
Steps to ensure proper maintenance
The key to maintaining your asphalt driveway is investing in a consistent maintenance program. Steps to consider in your maintenance, repair, and repaving program include: sealcoating, proper drainage, and filling cracks as they develop. Ignoring any of these leads to bigger problems which creates more work and costs more money.
Sealcoating can protect your asphalt from water penetration. It involves adding a thin liquid layer over a paved surface to protect it from damage caused by UV rays, rain, snow, and vehicle fluids. Sealcoating is a great way to prevent cracks from forming and extends the life of your pavement. Choose a professional paving contractor who uses high-grade asphalt sealer which best prevents damage caused by rain. If you have a new, unsealed driveway, it should be fine for a few years; but you’ll want to apply asphalt sealer to the surface in the 3rd or 4th year, and then continue to do so every 3-5 years. This will help to prevent water from seeping beneath the porous surface and causing deep cracks in the asphalt. If this regular sealcoating does not take place and deep cracks form, you are likely to end up replacing the asphalt completely.
Planning for proper water drainage is a very important step during the asphalt installation process. Make sure your paving contractor makes the most out of grassy areas and inlets where water can be directed using slopes and asphalt curbing.
Standing water and rainfall can’t exploit weaknesses in your pavement if there aren’t any. Small cracks are easier and more inexpensive to manage and repair than large cracks so it’s best to get them taken care of right away.
Properly protecting your driveway from the water damage of April showers can save you money, ensure safety on your property, and extend the lifespan of your driveway. For answers to your asphalt paving and sealcoating questions in South Central PA, contact John Parichuk Paving, LLC, today.