How Long Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?

February 4, 2020

If you’re building a home or have been thinking about installing a new driveway, at some point you’ll need to choose between asphalt and concrete for your driveway. The two most popular paving materials are both durable and attractive, but we think asphalt driveways in Nashville, TN have the edge.

Paving asphalt is made from a thick and sticky petroleum byproduct, which is mixed with gravel, sand and stone to make up what we think of when we picture a parking lot or driveway. The bitumen (the petroleum byproduct) holds the stone and sand together, which strengthens the material and makes it suitable for vehicles. A layer of aggregate stone is laid over the driveway area, then hot asphalt is poured and rolled over it. This binds the layers together and creates additional strength.

Asphalt driveways aren’t indestructible, but they are incredibly durable when properly cared for. Extreme heat, water and oils break down the asphalt and can cause it to crack or form sinkholes. Depending on your climate and how well you take care of your driveway, you can expect it to last between 10 and 35 years.

Protecting your asphalt driveway

Follow these simple steps to protect your asphalt in Nashville, TN:

  • Distribute the pressure: Asphalt can be weakened over time if you keep driving and parking in the same spot, or driving on the edges of the road or driveway. Never let RVs, motorhomes or other heavy vehicles drive on your asphalt, and make sure to vary up your parking spots.
  • Keep it cool and dry: During the hot Nashville summers, we suggest running water over your asphalt so that it doesn’t split or crack. In the winter, however, you’ll want to make sure water doesn’t pool or collect on the pavement, as it can seep into the asphalt and weaken it. In the winter, use a strong brush to remove any snow.
  • Cardboard is your friend: Is your car leaking fluids? Oily car fluids can break down the asphalt even faster than water or heat. When you notice a leak, be sure to put down large pieces of cardboard to protect your pavement.
  • Seal regularly: Ask your asphalt contractor about sealing options, including how often you’ll need to perform sealing upkeep. This is most commonly referred to as “sealcoating,” and while it can extend the life of your pavement, there are strict timing guidelines to follow for best results.
  • Repair as needed: When you start noticing chips, cracks or other damage, it needs to be repaired immediately. That way, you’ll prevent water from seeping in and destroying the pavement further.

Asphalt driveways in Nashville, TN

Ready to upgrade to asphalt in Nashville, TN? RoadBuilders is the area’s premier asphalt contractor, and it shows in our results. We aim to perfectly grade and pave asphalt driveways, athletic courts, sidewalks and more. Regardless of the size and scope of your residential paving project, we can help. Call us today to get an estimate and discuss your pavement plans.

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