When installing a new asphalt driveway, the last thing you want is for it develop cracks right away. Fortunately, most asphalt cracks can be avoided with a little foresight. Knowing the main reasons for cracking can help you avoid these problems.
1. Poor base construction
The best away to avoid this problem is to hire a contractor with a history of quality work. Otherwise, keep an eye out for cracking that occurs within the first year or two after installation. Generally, a crack from a faulty base will result in uneven pavement – the asphalt on one side will be higher than that on the other side of the crack. This is because the poorly made base settled unevenly. You may also notices humping before any visible cracks appear, as the ground begins to settle poorly.
2. You skipped the salt
Another major cause of cracking is entirely avoidable. Salt and chemical ice melt products can be hard on asphalt. They both weaken the asphalt material and also lead to supersaturation, which results in cracking as the moisture expands. Instead, use a snow shovel to remove snow, then sprinkle sand on the drive to provide traction. This is much safer for the asphalt than the alternatives.
3. Weeds run wild
Weeds and grass tend to encroach on asphalt from the edges where crumbling is most likely to occur. The roots then force their way in and open up cracks. Installing a permanent edge, either made of pavers or concrete, can protect the edge of the asphalt from this problem. Another option is to leave a strip of bare ground along either side of the asphalt driveway so plants don't grow too closely. You can cover this strip with mulch.
Hot asphalt softens. If an indentation is left at this time, it will later collect water. This can then lead tot he formation of a pothole and cracks. Common causes of indentations are jack stands and kick stands. If you have a trailer or motorcycle, place a wood plank under the stand to disperse the weight and avoid an indentation—especially when it's hot out. Never leave anything that is heavy but places its weight on a small area on top of asphalt without taking this step to spread out the weight. If an indentation does occur, have it repaired promptly so that a pothole doesn't form.
For more help, contact an asphalt repair service like City Wide Services in your area.