Understanding Paving Problems

When we started working on finishing our house, I realized we weren't going to be able to take care of the paving on our own. Instead of trying to haul in concrete and hope for the best, I hired a professional paving contractor to come out and help. They were incredible to work with. They listened carefully to our requests, and then they started laying the concrete and leveling the surface. Within a few hours, we had a driveway and front sidewalk that looked incredible. This blog is all about the benefits of working with paving contractors, and understanding the problems you might come up against if you do things on your own.

Can't Afford to Repave Your Asphalt Driveway Yet? What Fixes Can Get You Through?

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If your asphalt driveway has begun to develop cracks due to age, the topography of your driveway, or other environmental factors, you may be wondering whether there's anything you can do to stem further damage without committing to a total repaving. Allowing cracks to sit unfilled during colder times of year can exacerbate the problem by permitting water to enter the cracks and then freeze, which widens the cracks. What are your best repair options short of repaving? Read on to learn more about the crack-filling process to determine whether this is the best choice for your asphalt driveway. 

What is used to patch cracks in asphalt?

The cement used to create asphalt is derived from crude oil, which gives asphalt the sticky, tar-like quality that allows the sand and small rocks this cement holds together to form an ideal driving surface when compressed. As a result, the best patching options for asphalt are also crude oil–based products, some of which are even made from recycled asphalt. 

Because most homeowners lack the ability to heat this asphalt patch to the temperatures used when spreading "hot-mix" asphalt (not to mention the ability to compress the asphalt in place without a steamroller), you'll want to look for a patch that is specifically advertised as "cold mix" or with packaging that indicates it can be applied without high heat or compression. This will ensure that your new asphalt patches blend in well with the existing driveway and don't begin to work their way out or slough off onto your vehicle's tires later.

Can you perform crack repair yourself, or should you call a professional? 

In many cases, crack repair can be performed by a handy homeowner with a free weekend day and a few simple tools. Minor cracks (and even wider ones with clearly defined edges) should be fairly easy to fill and level, and this gives your driveway a seamless, professional appearance that should last for many years to come.

However, large cracks or those that appear to have led to a buckle in your driveway may require a more professional touch by a contractor such as Central Paving & Sealcoating Inc. You may have trouble getting a cold-mix asphalt patch to stay in place in a crack that spans more than a few inches, while driveways that are cracking due to a change in the angle of the supporting soil may need more extensive repair to avoid irreversible damage during the winter months. 

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16 August 2016