While your asphalt driveway is extremely durable, it needs attention from time to time. How do you know you need to call a driveway repair professional? Take a few minutes to check your driveway for these common problems:
- What causes them? Cracks in asphalt occur when the soil underneath the driveway settles. Asphalt driveways cover a large surface and don’t have joints (lines) throughout like concrete driveways do. Over time, asphalt driveways are likely to crack, especially if they were not installed on a proper base. Tree roots can also put pressure on asphalt and lead to cracks.
- What happens if they’re not fixed? Cracks make your driveway vulnerable to moisture, which can make the cracks bigger and eventually cause potholes. Cracks also allow vegetation to start growing in your driveway, which causes further damage.
- What causes them? Potholes often start as untreated cracks. As the asphalt deteriorates, missing chunks cause potholes.
- What happens if they’re not fixed? A small pothole will grow into a big one! Water will continue to erode the asphalt and enlarge the size of the hole. Eventually, the water will seep into the subgrade and cause more damage to your driveway.
- What causes them? Sinkholes are commonly caused by an improperly installed base or by erosion of the base over time. As the sun warms the asphalt, it conforms to the missing base, causing a sinkhole. They can be shallow (sometimes called “bird baths”) or deep.
- What will happen if they’re not fixed? Shallow sinkholes will deepen over time. Sinkholes will eventually lead to cracks, which then lead to potholes.
If the cracks, potholes, or sinkholes are small, you may wish to try do-it-yourself repairs using materials from a hardware store. If the problems are large or widespread, or if you’re just not up for a do-it-yourself project, contact us for help. We can evaluate the issues and talk with you about your options.