If you are considering an asphalt driveway, it only makes sense to ask the question, “How long do they last?” Well, the answer you get may not be as clear-cut as you would like. An asphalt driveway could last anywhere from 12 to 30 years, sometimes even longer. The lifespan of the driveway depends on several factors. Once you understand these factors, you can get a better idea of why the lifespan can vary so much.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE LIFESPAN OF ASPHALT DRIVEWAYS
1. UV LIGHT
The sun is powerful, blasting surfaces with UV radiation that can degrade materials steadily over time. An asphalt driveway is comprised mostly of sand and rocks, all bound together with asphalt cement. While sand and rocks hold up to UV light quite well, asphalt cement will break down over the years under constant exposure.
Sealing your asphalt driveway periodically is one way to protect against UV light. Sealing applies a layer of asphalt cement over the existing driveway to add an extra layer of protection.
Water can be destructive to asphalt, especially when freezing temperatures arrive. If cracks are left unsealed in the driveway, water will penetrate into the driveway. When the water freezes, it expands and widens the crack. That is why it is so important to keep an eye out for cracks in your driveway and to fill those cracks as soon as you’re able. Fortunately, filling cracks is quite easy. Just buy the right compound, fill it in, add some rocks and dust with sand and you are good to go. Sealing the driveway has an added benefit of filling in small cracks that appear over time.
3. WEAR AND TEAR
The more a driveway is used, and the more weight it carries will affect its lifespan. If you are driving a passenger car and/or truck over the driveway regularly, it should hold up for quite a long time. But if you are using the driveway for commercial purposes, such as heavy machinery, then you can expect the driveway to break down more quickly. When you choose an asphalt driveway in Nashville, go with a company that understands how to build a driveway for your specific needs—either residential or commercial.
ASPHALT DRIVEWAYS ARE TOUGH—AS LONG AS THEY ARE DONE RIGHT
One of the biggest factors that determine the lifespan of an asphalt driveway is the quality of its construction. It can be tempting to rent some equipment and just do it yourself. How hard could it be, right? Actually, doing it right takes planning, skill and precision. There is a big difference between just throwing down asphalt and building a high-quality driveway. Some of the benefits of choosing a serious professional to build your driveway include:
USING QUALITY MATERIALS
Not all asphalt is equal. There are manufacturers who create really high-quality asphalt, and others who make less than stellar products. A reputable driveway company will know the difference and will make sure that what winds up in front of your home or business is the good stuff.
There is a right way to do things and a wrong way. But the right way is not always obvious, especially when you start throwing in unexpected challenges. Designing a driveway requires proper preparation, accurate measurements, calculations, construction and more. Any mistake that is made can create issues that may show up early on or years from now. Mistakes lead to shorter lifespans for driveways, so they are to be avoided.
The driveway must cure long enough if you want to avoid damaging it. Typically the curing time needs to be at least 48 to 72 hours, although that can vary based on your location, the time of year and the weather.
GET A DRIVEWAY THAT LASTS
If you are interested in getting a driveway that will last, please get in touch. Our services for driveway paving in Nashville are second-to-none. We will ensure that your driveway is built right.