Some Quick Questions and Answers About Asphalt Maintenance and Repairs

Asphalt is a very common choice for homeowners today when they want to install a new driveway or walkways, as the material is usually more affordable than concrete and the black color can look very good against a plain white house. The material is also very durable, but of course it will need some maintenance and repairs over time. Note a few quick questions you might have about asphalt maintenance and the repairs you might eventually face with this material.

1. What is the difference between seal coating and resurfacing?

Resurfacing your asphalt means to put down a new, thin layer of asphalt, either over areas that need major repair or over the entire length of your driveway and walkways. It extends the life of the structure of the asphalt itself, making it stronger overall. Seal coating refers to putting down a coat of a sealant that protects the surface of the asphalt but not the structure of the installation. This might be compared to putting a coat of protective paint on wood; it will protect the surface but not add to the strength of the material. Seal coating is done to protect the asphalt from moisture buildup and to keep cracks and pits from forming, but it won't make the asphalt stronger against heavier vehicles.

2. Are scuff marks permanent?

If you turn your tyres on asphalt while the car is not moving or run a heavy trailer or campervan over the asphalt, you may see scuff marks or treads left behind. This is usually more common in summertime when the asphalt gets softer due to the warm weather. In many cases, the asphalt will settle and reshape so that the scuff marks are not permanent, but if they don't go away and they're bothersome to you, it can be good to have that area resurfaced.

3. If there are damaged areas, should you just wait and have the area resurfaced in a few years?

If you notice damage starting to show on your asphalt, you might be tempted to just wait a few years and have the entire driveway or walkways resurfaced rather than trying to patch cracks and holes now. However, note that ignoring these repairs can mean allowing water to seep under the surface of the asphalt where it can cause damage from underneath. This can mean more involved repairs will be needed than resurfacing; you may need to have entire areas pulled up and replaced. Rather than face this, address repairs as they're needed.  

For more information about caring for your driveway, contact an asphalt paving company.