Asphalt Driveway Cracks: Why They Appear And How Sealcoating Can Help

Asphalt Driveway Cracks: Why They Appear And How Sealcoating Can Help

Asphalt Driveway Cracks: Why They Appear And How Sealcoating Can Help

11 April 2022
, Blog

Undoubtedly, asphalt helps build attractive and durable driveway surfaces. However, these surfaces are susceptible to cracks, which ruin their appearance and pose risks of accidents. Cracks on your driveway can result from a myriad of factors, including the following.

The Winter Effect

Winter presents the coldest conditions, with constant temperature and weather changes. Moisture from snow or rainfall may seep through the asphalt surface. Frequent temperature changes then cause the water to expand, causing the pavement to crack.

Although asphalt driveways can crack at any season of the year, the cold season's cycle of freezing and thawing is often the reason for many pavement cracks.

You can minimize such deterioration effects through professional seal coating. This strategy prevents water from penetrating through the asphalt surface. As such, there are minimal chances of cracks due to temperature fluctuations.

Excess Sun Exposure

The sun causes as much damage to your driveway as moisture does. Too much heat from the sun makes the asphalt surface dry out. The heat breaks down the asphalt components to make the surface weak and more vulnerable to wear and tear.

Note that although the sun may break the asphalt components apart, the driveway surface only cracks when you drive or park heavy cars on the driveway or if there's high foot traffic.

You can prevent the effects of sun damage to your driveway if you plant trees or other vegetation. These plants offer the much-needed shade to protect against the harmful sun rays. For added protection, you should also apply a seal coat to block any intense sun rays that actually reach asphalt. 

Asphalt Binder Aging

Many asphalt pavements are bound by a binding agent known as bitumen. During its service life, bitumen is subjected to a ton of harsh elements and physio-chemical reactions such as:

  • Oxidation
  • Condensation
  • Volatilization
  • Polymerization

The processes make the asphalt binder harder and more brittle due to aging. As the asphalt ages, the binding materials start to degrade and lose the ability to withstand pressure. So, when you drive on the pavement, the weight of your car makes the surface give in and develop visible cracks.

If you feel that your driveway has reached its end of life, it helps to contact experts to fill in the cracks before they turn into gaping potholes. They will also add a seal coat layer to keep the driveway safe from wear and tear.

An asphalt driveway should be sealed every three years for maximum protection from elements while maintaining the surface's appearance. Take your time as you look for a reliable seal coating expert for a quality guarantee.

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When you need a great-looking driveway or parking lot installed, you call a paving company. When you call the paving company, do you know what to ask for? Do you know the signs of what makes a good paving company? Do you know how to review a paving company quote? If you don’t know how to do everything listed above, no worries! At Next Paving, we are here to provide you with the answers to all the above questions and more so that the next time you need to work with a paving company to install a new driveway, put down a parking lot, or take on a different type of project, you know how best to work with them.