Asphalt driveways are the complimentary focal point of your home that simultaneously offers a safe haven for your vehicles. Not to mention the value they bring to the table! However, owning an asphalt driveway is also an investment of both money and time committed to maintaining it. After making such a big investment, you will want to ensure the lifespan of your asphalt driveway – which should be for the long haul.
What Is The Lifespan of an Asphalt Driveway?
An asphalt driveway can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. However, this is heavily influenced by several factors.
What Impacts the Lifespan of an Asphalt Driveway?
Several factors influence the lifespan of asphalt, all of which are important to consider, including:
- Proper Installation: While asphalt is easier to install than concrete, it is still a relatively complex procedure. If not installed correctly, your driveway will suffer frustrating issues that could have been prevented. Ensure you hire a contractor who is prepared to create a strong foundation with a level and graded surface.
- Extreme Weather Conditions: Canadian winters can be harsh. While asphalt is fairly flexible and quite durable, these temperature fluctuations can still cause it to crack. While these cracks are microscopic at first, they will expand. If you live in an area prone to frigid temperatures, ask your pro to use hot-mix asphalt, which does a good job resisting cracks caused by the freeze-thaw cycle.
- Usage and Thickness: An average residential asphalt driveway is 3” thick, which is perfect for passenger vehicles and even vans and lightweight trucks. However, heavy trucks, campers, trailers, and other larger-than-average vehicles place undue strain on a 3” driveway. If your home’s driveway occasionally has to bear the load of a heavy truck or camper, ask your pro to put down a thicker layer of asphalt.
Improve the Longevity of Your Asphalt Driveway
If you want your asphalt driveway to last 30 years instead of 15, you’ll need to get proactive. Here are some steps you can take to improve the lifespan of your driveway.
- Let the driveway cure for at least 72 hours before putting any weight on it, and at least 3 to 5 days before parking cars on it. Bear in mind, an asphalt driveway can take 30 days to 1 year to fully harden and cure.
- Apply sealant 6 to 12 months after initial installation. This will protect your driveway from moisture, gasoline, grease, oil, road salts, anti-freeze, and more.
- It is imperative to properly maintain your asphalt driveway in order to squeeze the most time out of it. Make a habit out of cleaning the driveway and inspecting it for cracks and other irregularities. If you spot a crack, hire a pro to patch it up.