Asphalt is an attractive dark pavement for your residence that is flexible and can withstand many types of weather conditions. But be sure you take care of it so it can last as long as possible. With the following information, you can more successfully maintain and repair your asphalt pavement from common damage.
Clean Your Pavement
Cleaning your pavement is an essential part that many homeowners skip or are not aware of. Since asphalt is going to be outside, it is naturally going to get dirty and dusty, which is true. However, you want to keep it relatively clean by sweeping it to remove debris and trash. The more dirt that collects in the cracks of your asphalt, the more likely you will have vegetation start to grow in the cracks. And dirt absorbs moisture, which further causes damage when the moisture expands in the crack to widen and further deteriorate your asphalt.
You should also keep an eye out for drips that may occur from vehicles. Asphalt is made from petroleum products, so when it comes into contact with vehicle fuel, brake fluids, oil, and grease, these fluids will soften the asphalt's binders and cause it to erode. So an oil spot from your vehicle will soften the surface of the asphalt and work its way down through the asphalt's thickness, loosening the aggregate and leaving you with a hole in your pavement.
When you discover asphalt stains from your vehicle, wash them to remove the stain using an asphalt degreaser cleaning solution, a long-handled broom, and your garden hose. First, use cat litter to absorb any surface fluid, then clean and rinse the pavement to wash the fluids all the way from your pavement. Don't just rinse the vehicle fluid onto another spot because it can further erode your pavement in the new spot.
Repair Asphalt Damage
Whether your asphalt has sustained damage from vegetation growth in a dirt-filled crack or from vehicle fluid damage, you need to make sure it is repaired properly so it does not degrade further. Address cracks on your pavement by cleaning them out of debris and vegetation, then apply a crack filler or cold pack filler. For more extreme area cracking, it is best to hire a professional crew for asphalt patching and to assess the damage and determine if there is an underlying foundation problem so it can be fully repaired.
Sometimes vehicle damage to your asphalt will need to be removed to be fully restored. Cut around the area of damage and remove the asphalt, then replace it with a new layer of compacted angular gravel and a new layer of hot mix asphalt.