How to Maintain and Repair Asphalt Surfaces | Big Easy Asphalt
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How to Maintain and Repair Asphalt Surfaces: Essential Techniques

Asphalt surfaces, whether it be a driveway, patio, or walkway, are a durable and attractive addition to any home. However, even the highest quality asphalt will eventually wear and tear over time, and need to be properly maintained and repaired in order to keep the surface looking its best.

Just like any other maintenance needs around the home, proper asphalt care and upkeep starts with knowing what to do and when to do it. This blog post will provide essential techniques for homeowners to maintain and repair asphalt surfaces, helping you keep your asphalt looking great for many years to come.

Assessing Asphalt Damage

asphalt surface | Big Easy AsphaltWhen it comes to maintaining and repairing asphalt surfaces, the most critical first step is assessing the damage. It’s important to understand the extent of the damage or wear before you decide how to repair it. Whether you have an asphalt driveway, a parking lot, or another surface, you want to make sure you’re taking the appropriate actions like sealing cracks as soon as they become visible.

In order to properly assess asphalt damage and determine what steps should be taken, there are a few key details that need to be identified. This includes things such as age, traffic volume in the area, location, any spillage or other instances of pollution in the area and any previous attempts at repair and maintenance. Visually inspecting the asphalt for signs of wear can also be beneficial when assessing damage and approaching potential repair techniques.

If left unchecked and in a state of disrepair for too long, many issues like potholes could arise due to oxidation or cold weather, creating safety hazards for anyone who uses the surface. However, minor cracks and surface deterioration can typically be resolved quickly with proper repair and maintenance methods.

Now that your damage has been assessed, it is time to move on to the next step: repair techniques for your asphalt driveway or surface.

  • A study published in 2019 found that crack sealing is the most effective technique for preserving asphalt pavements in the long run.
  • According to the US Department of Transportation, regular sealcoating can protect asphalt pavements from surface damage caused by oxidation, water penetration and corrosion for up to 3-4 years.
  • An article published in 2020 reported that pothole repair is the most cost-effective way of keeping asphalt surfaces safe and functional.

Repair Techniques for Asphalt Driveways

Repairing asphalt driveways is a critical component of proper maintenance for any homeowner. There are several techniques to consider when it comes to repairing asphalt surfaces. Before beginning any repair project, homeowners should first assess the damage and determine the best approach to take in order to prevent further deterioration and extend the life of the surface.

Cracks Occurring Along Asphalt Driveways: Small cracks occurring along a driveway often result from repeated expansion and contraction resulting from changes in temperature. These cracks can be easily treated with sealers or patches, depending on their size. Sealants should be used for small cracks while larger cracks may need to be filled with an aggregate material that is matched to the existing asphalt composition. Contractors can help advise on the best approach for each situation.

Larger Areas of Damage: Larger areas of asphalt that have been badly damaged from potholes or frost heaves may require more extensive repairs, including excavating the damaged area and replacing with new asphalt. This could involve removing large sections of asphalt of various depths depending on how far down the damaged asphalt has shifted or settled. Doing this properly should involve bringing in experienced professionals to dig up and replace the asphalt with new material that matches the existing composition as closely as possible.

Replacing Entire Driveways: To some degree, homeowners may debate whether they should simply remove and replace an entire driveway if it has become too far gone to repair. On one hand, tear-outs are very disruptive and messy processes, but on the other hand a full replacement can be seen as a suitable long-term solution that is likely to reduce time and money spent on repeated patching over a number of years. Tearouts will also guarantee a clean slate for laying down high quality base material with correct compaction before adding new asphalt paving layers that should stay in place for many years to come.

Removing Debris and Cleaning the Driveway

Having asphalt driveways can mean that every now and again, homeowners need to clean it from any dirt,ants, leaves, and other debris. This is important in order to maintain the lifespan of the asphalt.

When it comes to removing debris, some homeowners opt for power washing or pressure washing the driveway. It is a great way to get rid of built-up grime and stubborn debris. When pressure washing is done correctly, it can do wonders to your asphalt surface while ensuring that any mold or mildew growth is reduced or eliminated completely. Pressure washing also removes rust stains, making sure that the driveway looks brand new.

Sealing and Sealcoating

Sealing and sealcoating are two of the most important techniques to use when it comes to maintaining and repairing asphalt surfaces. Sealing extends the life of the asphalt by preventing damage from rain, snow and UV rays, while sealcoating serves as a protective coating on top of the asphalt. While there is debate as to whether one or both should be used when maintaining an asphalt surface, each offers its own unique benefits.

The pros of sealing include enhanced protection against water seepage, salt, gasoline and oil which can break down the asphalt over time. In addition, sealing can improve safety by reducing the cracking of pavement caused by extreme weather conditions. The process helps reduce reflective cracking, meaning that large cracks in the pavement don’t reflect light back up at drivers causing a dangerous glare while driving at night. Furthermore, sealing helps protect against damaging freeze-thaw cycles during winter months which can cause deterioration in an asphalt surface. Essentially, sealing acts as a waterproof barrier for the asphalt, preventing damage from environmental factors.

The cons of sealing include cost and risks associated with moisture trapped in the substrate before it is sealed. For example, if the area is not properly prepped prior to sealing then moisture can become trapped between mat layers leading to further deterioration of the surface instead of protecting it. Additionally, sealant applications may need to be reapplied every few years in order to ensure optimum protection given their limited lifespan compared to asphalt overlays or resurfacing.

Fixing Potholes and Cracks

Fixing potholes and cracks can be the most essential part of asphalt repair, especially for home and property owners who want to maintain aesthetically pleasing driveways or paths on their properties. Unfortunately, it is also one of the more difficult tasks that needs to be done in order to keep the asphalt in a safe and good condition. Potholes and cracks are common and easily caused by heat, weather elements, heavy usage, and even poor installations.

Depending on the size and damage inflicted to the asphalt surface, there are two ways to address these potholes and cracks: cold patch and hot tar. Cold patch is the preferred option for small, shallow holes because it involves using pre-mixed, specially made asphalt material that is delivered in bags or buckets. Hot tar is a more complicated option used for larger holes because it requires heating materials up before being spread over an area by an asphalt pot filled with a specialised sealant mix.

Applying Cold Patch

The process of applying cold patch to an asphalt surface is one that requires precise attention, equipment and knowledge. This temporary repair technique is typically used on small cracks and potholes, and is not meant for long-term repairs or large areas. When properly executed, cold patching can extend the life of a paved surface and save both time and money in the long run.

Whether the decision to use cold patch is based upon convenience or cost-effectiveness, homeowners should understand the basics of application before taking it on as a DIY project. If done correctly, cold patching can not only restore distressed sections of an asphalt surface, but also can help prevent further damage from occurring in those areas.

Maintaining Asphalt Surfaces

Maintaining asphalt surfaces is an important part of keeping the surface in good condition and extending the life of the pavement. The best way to maintain asphalt surfaces is through regular inspection and preventive maintenance. Regular inspections can allow for early detection and repair of any damage, cracks or other issues that could become a more serious problem. There are also preventive maintenance measures that can help prevent damage from happening in the first place.

verall, maintaining an asphalt surface means implementing a combination of regular inspections plus preventive measures like sealing and patching regularly. With the right strategies in place, home owners can effectively maintain their asphalt surfaces and extend its life track record significantly.

Having addressed various strategies for maintaining asphalt surfaces, let’s now turn our attention to how homeowners can prevent damage from occurring in the first place by looking into preventive maintenance measures in the next section.

Ensuring Good Surface Condition

Conclusion: By following these essential techniques for maintaining satisfactory surface condition, homeowners can keep their asphalt surfaces protected against further deterioration caused by weather, abuse from heavy loads or high traffic levels, chemical exposure from storm runoff or nearby industrial buildings, ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, and poor overall maintenance practices such as ignoring signs of trouble or not properly addressing minor damages before they become bigger problems.

How can asphalt surfaces be protected from weather-related damage?

Protection from weather-related damage is essential for ensuring long-term durability of asphalt surfaces. Taking preventive steps such as sealing the surface with an appropriate sealer and checking it regularly for signs of damage can help extend the life of your asphalt. Additionally, avoiding activities that damage the asphalt, such as parking heavy vehicles, frequent turning of wheels on a single spot and excessive exposure to freeze/thaw cycles are important steps to take in protecting asphalt surfaces from weather-related damage. Regular maintenance of asphalt driveways including filling cracks and holes before they become major issues is another way to protect it. Finally, using products such as de-icing agents with caution and cleaning up spilled liquids promptly will also help protect asphalt surfaces from weather-related damage.


Asphalt surfaces require regular maintenance and repair in order to remain functional. Regular inspections, along with proper sealing and patching techniques, are essential for keeping an asphalt surface in prime condition.

For severely damaged sections of asphalt pavement, repaving may be necessary. This is a more expensive option, but it could save homeowners from costly repairs in the future if ignored. The choice to repair or repave an area ultimately depends on the extent of damage and the homeowner’s budget.
Ultimately, a well-maintained asphalt surface can provide a longer lifespan for your driveway or parking lot. With regular upkeep and preventive measures, such as sealcoating and crack filling, you can ensure that your asphalt will have a higher resale value and look great for years to come.

With years of experience in the asphalt industry, Big Easy Asphalt is the go-to for all of your asphalt needs. From asphalt paving to asphalt repair and maintenance, they have the expertise and knowledge to get the job done right.

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