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Crushed Asphalt Driveway Maintenance: Top Tips For A Flawless FinishBy admin
Monday, 9 September 2019
Improving the look and feel of your driveway is probably one of the most expensive and time consuming projects you can undertake for your home. In most cases, the front of your home will be dug up, the ground prepared, and the surface laid.
Then you need to do all the landscaping as well. So, with all this expense and time, you really need to be sure you are choosing a surface that looks great, stays within budget, and lasts for the foreseeable future.
Crushed asphalt is a popular option that requires regular maintenance to stay looking good. Here we detail how to make sure your crushed asphalt driveway stays looking its very best-whatever the weather...
What Is Crushed Asphalt?
One of the best things about asphalt is that it is 100% recyclable. The same surfaces that you see on driveways, pathways, roads and in carparks, can be lifted, ground up into aggregate-sized pieces, and then relaid.
Asphalt is generally small stones that have been mixed with bitumen in a ratio that is suitable for how the surface will be used. It is pressed into the prepared sub-base and rolled flat. It can be used as a hot mix or a cold mix.
Asphalt lasts around 10-15 years, after which time it may start to crumble and fade. At this point, some contractors will dig up the surface, grind it up, and then use it as new asphalt for a crushed asphalt driveway.
A crushed asphalt driveway may not last as long as the original and is often used as temporary roadway surface.
Crushed asphalt has the look of a crushed gravel driveway, but with the additional strength of asphalt.
It is a cross between the two, and therefore you can expect that the surface will resemble gravel rather than having the smooth, polished look of the standard asphalt surface.
Although an affordable option, the quality of crushed asphalt can vary considerably due to inconsistencies in materials.
Is Crushed Asphalt A Good Option?
● Crushed asphalt is a cheaper driveway option that many other surfaces you might choose. Because it uses far fewer raw materials and the way it is laid is not labour intensive, it can be very affordable.
● Being a recyclable product, crushed asphalt is environmentally friendly. Asphalt will not biodegrade, so it is essential that it is reused wherever possible. This does make it a good option if you want to ensure as little waste as possible.
● Because crushed asphalt still contains the original bitumen (tar), is is sticky, and therefore binds quite easily together when compacted correctly. In some cases, additional material may need to be added.
● A crushed asphalt surface is permeable, and will allow water to pass through its surface. This is perfect for preventing pooling water, standing water and cracks caused by the freeze and thaw cycle.
● You may find that the colour of your crushed asphalt driveway will vary due to the colour of the original aggregate and the general wear and tear of the original surface. You may also find that it will start to lighten over time due to the exposure to the sunlight.
● Crushed asphalt can vary enormously when it comes to quality. Because it is a mixture of recycled material from many sources, it is impossible to know where the materials came from, what aggregate was used, what the mixture of bitumen was and how the surface was used - or even how long it was used before being pulled up. These can all affect how well your driveway performs.
Sprinkling the surface with additional crushed stone prevents the tar becoming tacky in warm weather
Looking After Your Crushed Asphalt Driveway
While your crushed asphalt driveway will have saved you a considerable sum on the initial costs, you do need to factor in the ongoing maintenance that will be needed to keep it looking good for the long term.
In most cases, this driveway type is considered to be semi-permanent, as it will last only a few years. But with good maintenance, you may find it lasts far longer than expected.
One of the most common issues with crushed asphalt driveways is potholes where some of the material has worn away, leaving a hole.
This is often caused by water entering a small crack, freezing and expanding, causing the crack to become larger. As you drive over it, the edges crumble more and more, and the pothole becomes far larger.
A temporary fix is to add additional crushed stone to the hole and to compact it as much as possible. Try not to move material from another place on the driveway - use fresh crushed asphalt.
Ensuring that your driveway has good drainage is the first step towards preventing cracks and holes. This should have been taken care of when the driveway was first laid, by adding a layer of stone to encourage water to drain away.
If this didn't happen, or certain spots seem to suffer with poor drainage, you might need to lift that section, add stone to the sub-layer, and replace the asphalt.
Most crushed asphalt driveways will suffer from loose stones. This is just the nature of the product. You may find, however, that these stones end up in your lawn, being brought into the house, or even embedded in your car tyres.
An edging material around the driveway may help to prevent this. But regular brushing of the edges will keep the stone where it should be.
One of the main issues with crushed asphalt is that the tar or bitumen within the mixture can leach to the surface. This is especially the case in warm weather. This can be brought into your home on your shoes, and can be tracked into the roadway on your tyres.
There is very little you can do to avoid this, other than sprinkling the surface with additional crushed stone to try to absorb it.
Avoid unscrupulous contractors like the plague; always check credentials on independent review sites, such as Trustpilot.
Crushed Asphalt: A Warning
We are all aware of unscrupulous driveway contractors who come knocking at your door and offer a fresh new driveway at a super cheap price.
In almost every case they are using crushed asphalt rather than fresh new asphalt. This is the cheapest driveway option and therefore best for them to make a good profit.
They will not warn you that this is a temporary solution, and you may be disappointed when the surface starts to crumble alarmingly quickly.
You also have no idea where the asphalt came from, how it was used, and what foreign material may have been added to make it go further. Driveway contractors of this type are to be avoided.
Resin Bound Driveways: The Long-term Surfacing Solution
A resin bound driveway can be compared to a crushed asphalt driveway as it is prepared in a similar way. Aggregate is mixed with resin to the produce a mixture that is pressed into your prepared sub base. But this is where the similarities end.
Resin bound surfacing has a shelf life of 30 years and will not crumble or crack in this time. It is a permeable surface that allows water to freely pass through and therefore will not have potholes or cracks that get larger.
You can also choose the quality of the material by specifying the exact aggregate you would like to use.
But perhaps the main reason why resin bound is a good driveway option is the quality of the contractor.
You know that you are getting an experienced driveway contractor when you choose a company that specialises in resin bound. It costs more, but it is maintenance free and will last many times longer. That makes the investment more than worthwhile.
Crushed asphalt driveway requiring untenable upkeep? Resin bound surfacing is incredibly easy to maintain, providing a highly preferable alternative. Take the first step to creating a maintenance-free driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!
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