Asphalt Maintenance FAQ's

Grand Rapids Parking Lot Paving Repair

Regular maintenance of your asphalt is the best way to extend its life and your investment.  We have put together some frequently asked questions regarding asphalt maintenance and asphalt repair for your convenience.

What causes asphalt to fail?
The primary cause of failure for asphalt that has been properly installed is water penetration to the asphalt’s base.  This penetration leads to the oxidation of the base, which causes a drying out of the asphalt’s binders. The asphalt then becomes brittle and begins to chip and crack, allowing for more water penetration and further deterioration of the asphalt.

How do I prevent asphalt failure?
Regular preventative maintenance will extend the life of your asphalt.  Crack filling, sealcoating and asphalt patching are great preventative ways to protect your asphalt driveway or parking lot.

How often should I sealcoat my driveway or parking lot and why?
Sealcoating is recommended after the first 90 days of installation and then again the next year.  After that, we recommend sealcoating every 2-3 years.  Sealcoating slows down the deterioration process by protecting the asphalt from weathering elements and water penetration.  

When is the best time to sealcoat?
The best time to have your driveway or parking lot sealcoated is during warmer summer months.  The warmer temperatures and additional UV rays help the sealcoat drying process and ensure even drying.  However, sealcoating can be done effectively outside of the summer months.

What should be done about cracking asphalt?
Ultimately the size and severity of the crack will determine what needs to be done.  Typically simple crack filling can prevent further damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle.  Crack filling seals off water from entering the asphalt’s base.   This form of maintenance is one of the best ways to lengthen the life of your asphalt.  The ideal time to fill cracks is in the fall, after the cracks are at their widest.  We recommend yearly crack filling because of this, especially with Michigan’s weather. 

What should I do about oil spots on my driveway?
If left untreated, oil spots can cause damage by slowly eating away the asphalt’s binders.  Oil spots can be cleaned with a commercial degreaser, brush and water.  Be sure to completely rinse off the degreaser from the asphalt. 

Can I use ice-melting products on my asphalt?
Ice melting products are fine for using on asphalt.  Salt or most other melting agents will not harm your driveway or parking lot.  They can, however, cause some staining so just be sure to rinse off the asphalt once temperatures increase.

If you have any more questions about asphalt maintenance or asphalt repair please give us, A-1 Asphalt Inc, a call at (800) 871-4401, we would love to help.