Installing a new driveway requires a significant financial investment and although parting with your hard-earned money to construct a front drive can be difficult, there are ways to smooth the process over and ensure a long-lasting final product. The best way to accomplish this is to select the right material for your new driveway.
Asphalt is one of the most popular paving materials in NJ because it is attractive, durable, affordable and long-lasting. But, just how long does an asphalt driveway last? Well, that depends. In fact, based on factors such as the materials you use and the steps taken to install and maintain your driveway, asphalt surface could last between 12-35 years. Consider these steps to ensure that you maximize the life of your asphalt driveway.
For obvious reasons, your completed asphalt driveway can only be as good as the materials used to pave it. It’s of the utmost importance that you take the time to find an asphalt manufacturer that produces the highest quality paving materials possible.
Never settle for a third-party supplier or dealer that has nothing to do with the asphalt production process. While it may seem to be the more affordable route initially, you may find that low-quality materials reduce the value of the asphalt and the lifespan of the driveway, thus costing you a lot more in the long run.
The best course of action is to seek out a local manufacturer that operates its own asphalt plant and takes a great deal of pride in producing a consistently excellent product. Don’t be afraid to work with a manufacturer that recycles asphalt.
When done properly, recycled materials can be reintroduced into hot mix asphalt (HMA) and can result in a lower cost paving material that is just as structurally sound and long-lasting as virgin asphalt. Do your research to make sure that you select an honest and reliable manufacturer to ensure that you get the best materials and deal possible.
The next item involved in determining how long an asphalt driveway will last is the installation of the driveway itself. Although you may be tempted to attempt constructing the driveway on your own, we don’t recommend going this route unless you have prior experience in working with asphalt.
The process can be much more complex and challenging than it initially appears and even a seemingly simple mistake could turn out to be a grave error that will reduce the lifespan of your driveway while costing you a whole lot of time and money.
If you have any doubts about your ability to pave your own asphalt driveway, you should take the time to look for a local contractor who can handle the job on your behalf. Make sure that the contractor takes the time to properly level and grade your driveway, to consider your drainage needs where necessary and to use all of the proper materials for your sub-base and base before paving the asphalt.
Excellent materials and proper installation won’t do you an ounce of good if you don’t give your driveway enough time to cure. Asphalt requires plenty of curing time or else it can become scarred, dented or otherwise damaged in ways that impact the look and structural integrity of the entire driveway. After the asphalt has initially been poured, you will need to wait at least 48-72 hours before walking, driving or parking on the surface.
It doesn’t hurt to wait as many as 5 days before performing any of these activities on the asphalt surface. Even after the initial curing period, your asphalt driveway will need a full 6-12 months before it fully hardens. During this time you will need to avoid parking in the same place and using materials like car jacks or ramps without a wood block placed beneath them.
Severe weather conditions, such as frequent rain or snow, have been known to wreak havoc on asphalt driveways. NJ has specific weather conditions can lead to periods of heavy rain and snow and moisture is the number one cause of deteriorating asphalt. When you take the proper steps to seal-coat your driveway, you can protect the asphalt from the negative impact of moisture and ensure that it lasts for several decades.
Although you want to initially seal your driveway after its installation, you should be aware that seal-coating asphalt too soon can result in more damage than good. As a rule of thumb, you should wait 6-12 months before you first seal the drive. From here, you will need to reapply a sealant every 2-3 years in order to prevent moisture from finding its way into cracks and crevices and creating major potholes or scars.
Ongoing Maintenance and Repair
In addition to re-sealing your asphalt driveway every couple of years, there are other steps that you can take to ensure that your asphalt driveway is maintained. Be sure to regularly scan your driveway for any potential cracks. Even a small crack can fill up with water and create major problems for you down the line.
This is especially true during the months of the year where freeze and thaw cycles occur. As moisture finds its way into crevices, it can harden when the temperatures drop. When this happens, the water will expand, thus putting pressure on the surrounding asphalt and creating larger cracks and holes.
Small patch kits can be purchased that will allow you to fill in any gaps or cracks as soon as you spot them so they don’t get out of control. Ultimately this will lead to a long-lasting driveway.
You can also prevent damage to your drive by avoiding pulling in or out of the driveway too quickly and causing tiles to “squeal” and by making sure that your vehicles don’t leak any oil onto the surface. Finally, make sure that you make use of a reliable rock salt or ice melting material that is safe to use on asphalt during the winter months.
Working With Asphalt in NJ
If you’re ready to construct an attractive and long-lasting asphalt driveway in NJ, Braen Stone is here to help you with your project. We are the leading asphalt manufacturer in NJ and its surrounding areas and customers from throughout the Tri-State region trust just for high-quality materials and affordable prices.
After more than a decade in the business, we are familiar with the ins and outs of asphalt and can provide you with invaluable tips and suggestions for ensuring that your asphalt driveway lasts as long as possible.
We also sell simple repair kits and sealant to make sure that your driveway lives a long, healthy life. Our asphalt can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.