A new asphalt surface is a costly investment.
Of course, like any business, you will want to make sure that you’re going to get a strong return on that investment before you commit to the project.
The truth is, while an asphalt surface is typically expected to last anywhere between 10 and 30 years, the actual life expectancy of your surface will ultimately depend on a variety of factors.
Factors that impact the life of your asphalt
To start, the lifespan of your asphalt is largely determined by whether you’re installing a brand new asphalt surface or merely an overlay.
New surfaces tend to be more durable and have the potential to last upwards of 20 years. Overlays, on the other hand, are more susceptible to deterioration and aren’t likely to endure for more than 10 – 15 years.
Another factor that is sure to impact the life of your asphalt is the traffic it sees—not only the amount of traffic but also the type of traffic. If your asphalt surface is only going to be used by passenger cars, it should hold up for a reasonably long time. But if you expect your surface to accommodate large loads and heavy equipment, you should anticipate its lifespan being limited as a result.
The life expectancy of different applications
With asphalt, not all circumstances are equal. The way in which your asphalt is being used will have an effect on its life expectancy.
On one end of the spectrum, you have roads and parking lots that frequently see large amounts of heavy traffic. These surfaces have an average life of only 15 – 25 years. In extreme cases, they may last for as little as 10 years.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have driveways that see light loads and very little traffic. These surfaces have an average life of 20 – 30 years or more.
How to maximize the life of your asphalt
Finally, you also have a say in the life of your asphalt. If you treat your surface poorly, neglect cracks and potholes, and fail to schedule routine maintenance, you can expect your asphalt’s lifespan to be severely limited.
If you commit to taking care of your asphalt, however, you can maximize the life of your surface. Here are a few ways to properly maintain your asphalt:
- Hire a top-notch asphalt contractor to install your surface
- Make sure your surface is installed with proper drainage.
- Arrange to have your surface sealcoated after it has been paved.
- Talk with your asphalt contractor about creating a maintenance schedule.
- Keep your asphalt surface clear of excessive dirt, debris, and other objects.
- Keep an eye out for any cracks, potholes, stains, and blemishes.
- Schedule repairs as soon as large cracks or potholes are spotted.
- Limit access to only vehicles that the surface is designed to support.