Asphalt driveways are popular among homeowners due to their durability, smooth surfaces, cost-effectiveness, ease of repair, and quick installation. Properly installed and well-maintained asphalt driveways can withstand vehicle traffic and daily use for several years. One way to ensure the longevity and performance of your asphalt driveway is through proper drainage. When seeking asphalt paving services, be sure that proper drainage measures, such as proper grading and sloping and crown and drainage system installation, are incorporated during your driveway installation.
Here are seven ways proper drainage can affect your asphalt driveway:
1. Prevents Water-Related Damage
The main role of proper drainage is to redirect water away from your driveway to prevent water damage. When water is allowed to pool on asphalt driveways, it can damage the sealant and infiltrate the asphalt. Excessive moisture can soften the asphalt and make it more susceptible to damage from vehicle traffic. Furthermore, water can enter through cracks in the driveway and weaken the base layers. As a result, the surface layer of the asphalt can sink or settle, leading to the formation of potholes.
2. Prevents Erosion
Incorporating proper drainage systems, such as proper grading and sloping and using curbs and drains, can help prevent soil erosion around the edges of the driveway. Erosion can weaken the stability of the base layers that support the asphalt. It can lead to surface damage, including the washing away of the top layer of asphalt. It is important to prevent erosion to prevent uneven surfaces and cracking on the driveway.
3. Preserves the Base
The base layer of an asphalt driveway provides structural support and stability. It ensures that the driveway can withstand the weight of vehicles and heavy traffic without settling, sinking, or developing structural issues. Proper drainage can help preserve the base layer of an asphalt driveway and prevent cracks on the asphalt surface.
4. Reduces Freeze-Thaw Damage
Freeze-Thaw damage occurs as a result of repeated freezing and thawing cycles in cold climates. During cold winters, water that penetrates the asphalt can freeze and expand, exerting pressure on the surrounding pavement. When the temperatures rise, the frozen water begins to melts and releases the pressure that built up during the cold temperature. Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing puts stress on the asphalt surface and can cause the asphalt to crack and deteriorate over time. Effective drainage and proper grading helps minimize the amount of water that remains on the surface of asphalt driveways and reduces freeze-thaw damage on the asphalt driveway.
5. Prevents Surface Water Ponding
Surface water ponding occurs when standing water accumulates on the surface of an asphalt driveway. Over time, the weight of the water, when combined with traffic load or vehicular weight, can lead to surface deformation, cracking, and pothole formation on the asphalt driveway. Prolonged exposure to water can accelerate the deterioration of the asphalt surface. It can allow water to infiltrate the base layers of the driveway and can contribute to the weakening of the foundations. Furthermore, surface water ponding can pose a safety hazard. Water accumulation can create slippery conditions, especially during freezing temperatures.
6. Prevents Water-Related Vegetation Growth
When water accumulates on the surface, it can encourage the growth of weeds and grass on the asphalt driveway. The growth of vegetation can damage the driveway, causing the asphalt surface to lift, crack, and deteriorate further. As the roots of vegetation grow and expand, they create voids beneath the pavement. In addition, vegetation can trap moisture on the surface and promote water infiltration into the asphalt. These can weaken the structural integrity of the driveway. When left unattended, vegetation growth creates an uneven and rough surface on the driveway. This makes it less comfortable to drive on and can potentially cause damage to vehicles. It is important to address vegetation growth on driveways at first sight.
7. Preserves Aesthetics and Curb Appeal
Standing water can leave stains and debris on the driveway as it evaporates. This can affect the appearance of the asphalt driveway. A well-maintained and visually appealing driveway can enhance the curb appeal of your home and can contribute to the overall attractiveness of your property. Proper drainage can contribute to a cleaner and more attractive driveway.
Proper drainage is important for preserving the integrity, performance, and appearance of asphalt driveways. It helps prevent water-related damages that can manifest in uneven surfaces and structural problems. When installing, repairing, or maintaining an asphalt driveway, ensuring effective drainage can promote the driveway’s long-term durability, functionality, and performance.