One of the biggest risks to your asphalt driveway is poor drainage. Knowing the main causes of drainage issues can help you spot them in time for a repair to be made.
1. Poor Grading
A properly graded driveway will slope downward from the home, or top of the drive, toward the street. This allows water to flows smoothly down the driveway surface toward the nearest storm drain without collecting. If the grade of the slope isn't steep enough, water may pool on the driveway surface where it can later cause issues. An asphalt service can resurface the driveway and make minor adjustments to fix the grading.
2. Perimeter Drainage
Water from the roof or surrounding landscaping may end up on the driveway simply because it provides the most convenient place to flow. You don't want extra water encroaching on the drive, though, as it can work it's way beneath the edges of the paving and erode away the asphalt base material. Your asphalt contractor may recommend installing perforated drain pipes just beneath the soil surface on either side of the driveway. These will route away water before it can wash out the base.
3. Dips and Joints
Many driveways have a dip and then a slightly leveling out where they join to the sidewalk or street. The street itself is also typically elevated in the center so that water runs toward the gutters -- which is where the driveway joins up. Water can collect in the dip as the joint, and in cases of heavy rain the water may backflow back up your driveway. Your asphalt service can install a grated trench drain across this joint to prevent water from collecting.
A small asphalt chip here or a crack there may seem like no big deal, but these damages become miniature basins that can hold standing water. This water erodes away at the asphalt surface, especially in winter when freeze and thaw cycles come into play. Fixing the damages can help keep water from draining and seeping into the asphalt, which will break it down.
5. Porosity Issues
Over time the surface of the asphalt weakens and becomes more porous as the asphalt shrinks and contracts. This results in an increased porosity that allows more water soaking into the asphalt instead of harmless flowing off of it. Sealcoating the asphalt every few years preserves the surface and prevents this porosity from forming.
Contact a residential asphalt paving service for more help.