Q: How do I prevent asphalt failure?
A: Regular preventative maintenance will extend the life of your asphalt. Crack filling, sealcoating and asphalt patching are great preventative ways to protect your asphalt driveway or parking lot.
Q: What causes asphalt to fail?
A: The primary cause of failure for asphalt that has been properly installed is water penetration to the asphalt's base. This penetration leads to the oxidation of the base, which causes a drying out of the asphalt's binders. The asphalt then becomes brittle and begins to chip and crack, allowing for more water penetration and further deterioration of the asphalt.
Q: What should be done about cracking asphalt?
A: Ultimately, the size and severity of the crack will determine what needs to be done. Typically, simple crack filling can prevent further damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. Crack filling seals off water from entering the asphalt's base. This form of maintenance is one of the best ways to lengthen the life of your asphalt. The ideal time to fill cracks is in the fall, after the cracks are at their widest.
Q: What should I do about oil spots on my driveway?
A: If left untreated, oil spots can cause damage by slowly eating away the asphalt's binders. Oil spots can be cleaned with a commercial degreaser, brush and water. Be sure to completely rinse off the degreaser from the asphalt.
Q: Can I use ice-melting products on my asphalt?
A: Ice-melting products are fine for using on asphalt. Salt or most other melting agents will not harm your driveway or parking lot. They can, however, cause some staining so just be sure to rinse off the asphalt once temperatures increase.