Four Signs That You Need A New Asphalt Driveway

One reason why asphalt driveways are so popular is because of their longevity. An asphalt drive can last decades, even a lifetime, with periodic maintenance and repairs. Eventually, though, the drive will need to be replaced. The following are a few signs that it is time to replace, rather than repair, your asphalt drive.

1. Failed Driveway Base

A failing base can't be fixed from the surface down. The entire driveway must be torn up so that a secure base can be rebuilt from the ground up. A major sign of base failure is when an area sinks down, resulting in an uneven surface, standing water, and recurring potholes. Although you can apply patches, these are just short term fixes since the damage will quickly reappear unless the base itself is replaced. In severe cases, parts of the driveway may actually collapse inward or develop uneven cracks that make the drive impossible to use.

2. Extensive Alligator Cracking

Alligator cracks are a web-like pattern of cracks that resemble alligator skin. A few cracks can typically be patched with no problem, but extensive alligator cracking means that the sub-base and the paving are both failing. Paving over the top of the asphalt only solves the cosmetic issue, but it won't solve the problem that is leading to the alligator cracking. The best course of action is to have a new driveway installed.

3. Erosion Difficulties

Erosion can destroy the best-built driveway. Poor drainage beneath or around your driveway eats away at the soil along the edges and underneath the base. You may notice that the edges begin to crumble or that the drive seems to be sinking unevenly. If you catch the problem early enough, an asphalt contractor can sometimes install drainage to solve the problem. If the erosion is already extensive, though, you may need to install a new driveway.

4. Raveling and Granule Loss

Raveling is the term used to describe granule loss. Asphalt is composed of aggregate stones mixed in with tar. Aging and weathering can cause these aggregate stones to loosen from the tar, much as though the asphalt surface is "unraveling." In severe cases, the drive will appear to more of a gravel driveway as opposed to a nicely paved one. Sealing the driveway regularly helps prevent raveling, but you will need a new drive if the process has already become severe.

Contact an asphalt paving contractor service such as New England Paving for more help with your driveway issues.