Installing an asphalt driveway in your front yard property is a big investment that you want to look nice and provide a stable surface for your needs for many years. Asphalt is created to be a flexible material with a slight give when it is kept well-maintained, which allows it to remain sturdy. Here are some aspects to making sure your new asphalt driveway remains in great condition despite the wear and tear of constant weather and traffic.

Solid Foundation

The foundation of your asphalt driveway installation can be one of the most important, as it supports the flexible asphalt material that makes up your driveway. Leaving any type of inadequate base material below your asphalt, such as soft soil or clay, can cause your asphalt layer to settle and crack, creating sunken spots and alligator cracking patterns. This type of damage will require you to remove the asphalt and reinstall an appropriate base foundation of gravel or crushed rubble rock.

During a new installation, your professional asphalt company will remove any soft foundation material and replace it with a drainage-promoting and sturdy gravel layer. This gravel layer once compacted onto the site will provide a solid foundation for the asphalt layer to sit atop. The edges of the gravel compacted together create an interlocking layer. This also allows for drainage to occur below the asphalt, preventing the base material from washout during heavy precipitation and also discouraging freeze-thaw damage to your asphalt during winter when moisture can seep below the asphalt.

DIY Maintenance

After your driveway is installed with a flexible asphalt material, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to keep an eye on its condition to look for any damage that can occur. Once you find damage, it is necessary to repair and maintain its surface to keep its integrity intact. Damage can be in the form of surface cracks, oxidation damage from the sun, and weed growth within cracks. Also look for any sunken areas on your asphalt that collect moisture, as this can require the sub-base and surface to be replaced by an asphalt professional.

To repair cracks, you should fill them with either a cold mix asphalt patching material, or a liquid emulsion filler, depending on the size of the crack. Just as you keep up on weed removal through your yard's landscaping, take time to pull weeds or treat them with an herbicide to stop their growth and minimize damage to the asphalt. Then, every few years, hire a driveway repair professional to sealcoat your driveway for additional protection.