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How Long Does An Asphalt Driveway Last?By admin
Monday, 9 September 2019
When deciding to replace your driveway, or build a new one, you will take many factors into account. These will include the cost of the project, how long the project will take, how the driveway will look and crucially, how long the driveway will last.
Asphalt has a reputation for not lasting as long as some other driveway materials – but is this the case?
Is asphalt a good choice if you want a long lasting driveway, or should you choose a different material such as resin bound for the longevity your driveway deserves? It’s time to find out…
Why Choose Asphalt?
Asphalt is a mixture of bitumen and aggregate that is either heated or cold mixed and poured onto a prepared sub-base. This base will usually be stones for drainage or it can sometimes be used directly over your current concrete driveway.
Asphalt is known for its fast results and quiet surface, which is why it is used for roadway surfaces.
Asphalt driveways have long been popular as a relatively low cost option that provides a reasonable result. It is around the same cost as a gravel driveway and yet it is lower maintenance and is more convenient.
The material is also completely recyclable. In fact, your driveway could be recycled material and when you decide to change your driveway, the asphalt can be pulled up and reused elsewhere.
Asphalt can offer a nice looking driveway, but in terms of colour, you have once choice – black. The finish is almost always the same and the colour can sometimes be affected by sunlight causing it to fade.
This can be prevented by using a sealant – but this is known to prevent water from seeping through the surface. The porous nature of asphalt is one of its positives as it means no standing water, moss growth or ice patches.
While all of these are great reasons for choosing asphalt, the longevity of the product has often been called into question. So what is the true story?
How Long Does An Asphalt Driveway Last?
It has been stated that an asphalt surface can last between 12 and 35 years. You will know from road surfaces however, that potholes and cracks are commonplace and occur within just a few short years of the surface being laid.
So the material is not always perfect. However, there are a number of things that can be done to maximise the number of years the surface will last, including the following:
● Ensure your contractor is choosing the very best materials. In most cases the best bet is to choose a contractor that makes their own asphalt rather than buying it from another supplier. This way they will be more willing to stand by their product and will have more pride in the production process. They will also be unable to blame any issues on the manufacturer. Bear in mind that recycled ashpalt can be used in the manufacturing of the product and it should not affect the final result – but the supplier should tell you if this is the case.
● Has the installation been carried out correctly? This starts with the preparation of the sub-base. The area needs to be properly levelled and graded, the right depth of base should be dug and the right materials laid over the earth to encourage drainage. If the base is not prepared correctly your asphalt driveway could end up with dips and undulations that can lead to cracks. If the driveway is graded towards your home you could even end up with damage to the inside of your house from water – not to mention damage to the driveway.
● Asphalt needs to be correctly cured in order to last for the longest time possible. After your driveway has been poured, you should wait around 72 hours before you drive, walk or park on the surface. If you fail to do this, the surface can become dented or scarred, leading to cracks. Even after this time, the driveway will need as long as one year before it hardens fully – depending on the weather. During these initial months you should avoid using things like car jacks on the surface or driving and parking in one spot.
● If you are especially worried about the condition of your driveway, you can seal asphalt with a specialist sealer. This might be the case if you live in an area where harsh weather is frequent including frosts, snow and rain. Moisture is the number one cause of crumbling asphalt, so protecting the surface can be a good idea. You should, however, make sure that moisture can make its way to the garden or borders to prevent standing water. Always wait from 6 to 12 months for the asphalt to properly cure before you seal and reapply every 2-3 years.
● To ensure the longevity of your asphalt driveway, you should carry out regular maintenance. This includes filling and repairing cracks as they appear, to prevent them becoming worse due to the freeze and thaw cycle. You can buy patch kits to help you with this process. You should also avoid laying down rubber from your tyres onto the surface, or letting oil drip from your car.
As you can see, it is possible to enjoy a long life from your asphalt surface, but it will take perfect construction, ongoing maintenance, and a high level degree of care. However, you should give this to all home improvement work to ensure you get the very best value for money.
In fact, a resin bound driveway can last upwards of 30 years – although they are a new product, so no one knows for sure just how long they will last
Resin Bound Surfacing: The Ideal Alternative To Asphalt
Resin bound drives use a mixture of resin and stone aggregate to provide a seamless driveway surface that is strong and incredibly durable.
Resin bound driveways are fast becoming one of the most popular driveway surface choices in the UK and beyond, simply due to their attractiveness, their ease of laying and the longevity of the product.
In fact, a resin bound driveway can last upwards of 30 years – although they are a new product, so no one knows for sure just how long they will last.
A resin bound driveway has a number of qualities that place it ahead of other driveway choices:
● It comes in a variety of colours due to the way that your stone of choice is mixed into the resin. You can opt for white through to black stones and even have the product dyed to your specification.
● It is a thick material that is trowelled into place and tamped down. It is laid by hand to ensure evenness and is therefore strong and more likely to adhere correctly. It is also laid in one go so there are no seams or cracks.
● It is a flexible material that can withstand heavy loads and being driven over many times.
● The edges of the driveway are framed so that they are not affected by crumbling at the edges – a common issue with asphalt.
● The surface is porous so that water can seep through it. This means that it will not be affected by the freeze and thaw cycle and will not suffer from standing water.
● A resin bound driveway does not need maintenance, beyond the occasional jet wash.
No matter which type of driveway you choose, you want it to last at least as long as your investment takes to recoup. If your asphalt driveway starts crumbling within a few short years, you will more than likely regret your decision.
By opting for resin bound material, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that these concerns are no more, and you can look forward to 30 years or more of a worry free driveway. Simply call 0800 1700 636, or click the button below to get started today!
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