If you live in New Jersey or Philadelphia, you’ve probably noticed that the conditions of a lot of the roads are, well, less than stellar. Indeed, there are some stretches of freeway that almost look as if somebody dropped a box of grenades along the way somewhere.
You might not be able to do much about the state of your city’s streets. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something about your own driveway, though.
Many people already know that the sun’s UV rays eat away roads, as do rainwater and snow. A few other culprits, though, are less well known.
Here’s a fast list of your asphalt’s less infamous foes, and how you can mitigate the damage.
- Heavy Trucks and Vehicles
Over time, asphalt can crack under the weight of large vehicles such as garbage and delivery trucks, buses, and semis. Damage can be especially noticeable in places where heavy vehicles frequently drive slowly, stop, or park, such as cul-de-sacs or the driveways of those who own heavy vehicles that are parked outside. The wheel-paths of heavy vehicles can also deteriorate under the weight.
To prevent asphalt from cracking under such weight, it is important to hire an experienced contractor to make sure that the asphalt is installed properly in the first place. In an asphalt parking lot, it can also be very helpful to install thicker asphalt in truck bays, as well as to limit heavy vehicles to a designated area.
- Tree Roots
Yes, tree roots can indeed damage your asphalt. Tree roots are always seeking out water. When asphalt is placed near a tree, the pavement can cut off water from reaching some of the tree’s roots. This, in turn, can cause the roots to grow upward out of the ground in an attempt to access water. These upturned roots can easily create cracks, bumps, and lumps in your driveway.
An experienced contractor will be able to help you address this issue, with tree root barriers or partial root removal often being successful options.
- Fuel and Oil
Fuel and oil can often penetrate the surface of your driveway, later breaking up the aggregates of the asphalt. Fuel and oil can also prevent sealcoating from sticking, leaving unprotected spots after a sealcoating application has been done.
There are simple DIY ways to clean fuel and oil stains off of your pavement. Strange as it may sound, Coca-Cola is actually an excellent cleaning solution for oil spills. Just pour a few cans worth of Coca-Cola on the fresh stain on your pavement, and then wash it off the following morning. Try it! It can save you a lot of money in the long run.