When winter takes its final breath, when the snow and the ice have all melted away — everything surrounding your home is in full view and that includes your driveway. You park on it, play basketball or hockey on it or maybe it serves as the stage for your teenager’s garage band. Regardless what you use it for, it’s definitely not something to leave unattended and periodic maintenance is a must.
Hairline cracks are common as a driveway ages and weather takes its toll. Cracks will continue spreading, widening, and deepening, which can lead to bigger problems down the road. Dirt and water will work their way into the cracks and when the water freezes and expands, causing the cracks to grow. Those cracks need to be cleaned to remove any dirt and debris and then filled with a hot sealer, applied professionally.
If the top layer of your driveway is failing, it’s because of either an inferior asphalt installation or an excessive use of sealers. You can solve this problem by removing the crack-filled asphalt, re-compact the aggregate, and fill in the area with new material. Applying an overlay over the entire driveway will ensure that the new addition blends in for a consistent surface.
Buckling or a wavy asphalt can be caused by loose ground or frost heave in the spring. Another possible cause could be driving very heavy vehicles or machinery on the driveway, which can cause the asphalt to buckle or develop ruts. You can fix this by replacing or patching the damaged area then apply an overlay to the entire driveway so the surface matches.
Over time, wear and tear from rain, sun, and vehicle traffic can deteriorate a driveway’s surface — causing your asphalt to lose its jet-black appearance and turn grey. If left untreated, the surface can become brittle and more susceptible to cracking. When exposed to oxygen and then hardens and turns grey, plays a role in the fading. Fix by filling any cracks and then apply a seal coat, which you need to do every 3 to 7 years anyway.
If your driveway is sinking near your garage, check to see if your downspouts are channelling rainwater to the area, washing away the soil or aggregate. It could also be because the ground around the house is settling or the base was not compacted properly.
If you have crumbling edges, it may have been too thin along the edges when the asphalt was laid down or it might have extended beyond the aggregate base. Although the crumbling edges are ugly, it affect the structure of the main driveway but installing brick or another material as an edging alongside the driveway will help to keep the edges from breaking off.