How Long Does Asphalt Driveway Last

When an asphalt driveway is installed, the contractor will apply a sealant to the surface. This sealant protects the asphalt from the elements and helps to extend its life. The sealant needs at least 24 hours to cure before it can be used. Driving or walking on it before then can damage the sealant and shorten the life of your driveway.

So how long does asphalt driveway last provided that it is allowed to cure properly? Read more as we’ll get into the details of this topic in today’s article.


How Long Can Asphalt Last And The Factors That Can Affect Its Life Expectancy

Asphalt driveways are a popular choice among homeowners due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. Most asphalt driveways will last for 25 to 30 years with proper care. However, factors such as weather and traffic can affect how long the driveway lasts.

Aside from that, the life expectancy of the asphalt driveway also depends on the strength of the base layer, the type of soil underneath the driveway, the type of soil erosion in the area, the amount of traffic it bears every day, and the quality of asphalt used.

To be specific, asphalt driveways are typically composed of four layers: the base layer, base course, binder course and surface layer. The key to a long-lasting asphalt driveway is the strength of the base layer. If this layer is weak or unstable, it can cause problems with the other layers, leading to an early failure of the entire driveway.

To ensure a strong and durable base layer, it is important to choose the right materials and install them properly. The base layer should be made up of compacted gravel that is at least 6 inches thick. This layer acts as a foundation for the other layers and helps to support the weight of vehicles.

After the base layer has been installed, the base course is next. This layer is usually made of asphalt concrete, which is a mixture of asphalt and aggregate. The base course should be at least 2 inches thick and needs to be compacted properly to create a strong foundation for the binder course and surface layer.

The binder course is the third layer in an asphalt driveway. This layer is made of asphalt emulsion, which is a mixture of asphalt and water. The binder course helps to bind the other layers together and create a smooth surface for the surface layer.

The surface layer is the top layer in an asphalt driveway. This layer is made of hot mix asphalt, which is a mixture of asphalt and aggregate. The surface layer is what provides the smooth, blacktop finish that we all know and love.

On the other hand, the soil type is important, because it can affect the driveway’s life expectancy. If the driveway is installed on top of a layer of clay, it will likely last longer than one that is installed over a layer of sand. Clay helps to stabilize the asphalt and keeps water from penetrating into the surface, which can damage the driveway over time. Sand allows water to seep down through to the soil below, which can also lead to damage.

And if your area has a high water table or is prone to flooding, the asphalt driveway will not last as long as one in an area with drier soil. Erosion from rain and wind can also cause the surface layer of asphalt to wear away, which will shorten the life of the driveway.

Moreover, the amount of traffic the driveway will see is also a factor. A driveway that is only used by a few cars each day will last longer than one that is used by dozens or even hundreds of cars. The weight of the vehicles can also contribute to wear and tear, so a driveway that will be used by heavier vehicles, such as RVs or commercial trucks, will not last as long as one that will only be used by passenger cars.

Last but not least, the quality of the asphalt itself will play a role in how long the driveway lasts. Lower quality asphalts are more prone to cracking and breaking down over time, while higher quality asphalts are more durable and will last longer. When having a new driveway installed, be sure to ask about the quality of the asphalt so you can choose the best option for your needs.


How To Take Care Of Your Asphalt Driveway

To keep your asphalt driveway looking good and lasting as long as possible, you need to do some regular maintenance. This includes filling in any cracks or potholes that may form, and periodically sealing the surface to protect it from weathering.

Overall, maintaining your asphalt driveway is key to ensuring that it lasts for a long time. And a professional contractor like Thomas and Dustin’s Asphalt in Pevely, MO will be able to keep your driveway in good condition and can address any issues that may arise.

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