Whilst asphalt lasts last quite a long time -- around 26 years on average -- you'll still need to repair, reseal, or resurface your asphalt driveway at some point. However, many people don't know how to recognise the signs of asphalt deterioration. Below, you can read about the signs that it's time to call for asphalt paving help. 

Pale or Bleached-Looking Pavement

Has your asphalt driveway lost its deep black colour? It's normal for driveways to grow slowly and gradually lighter in colour over the years due to sun exposure, especially in our warm Australian climate. This holds true even if your driveway has been sealcoated, although sealcoating can greatly delay the lightening of your driveway. 

Pale or bleached-looking pavement is an indicator that the asphalt is growing more brittle. When the driveway grows brittle, further damage like cracks and pavement separation aren't far behind. New sealcoating may resolve the problem neatly, often expanding the life of your asphalt driveway for years. 

Cracks in the Driveway

Cracks are almost inevitable in asphalt driveways in the long term -- but you don't have to let them take hold and grow into a problem. There are several common kinds of driveway cracks, and all can be quite damaging. Keep a look out for: 

Crocodile Crack: crocodile cracks are so named because they look like croc skin. Crocodile cracks usually begin in a small area, but they can slowly spread until they overtake virtually all parts of your asphalt driveway. Your asphalt paving provider can often remedy this problem with a patch replacement, especially if you catch it early enough.

Block Crack: a block crack is the type of crack that covers an entire section of the driveway. It's usually horizontal, dividing the asphalt into two distinct sections. Several block cracks can happen at once in some cases. Your asphalt laying provider can correct block cracks in several ways. For multiple block cracks, asphalt resurfacing may be best. However, in some cases sealcoating is all that's needed, especially if there aren't any gaps in the asphalt yet. 

Edge Lines: edge lines are those that appear on the outermost parts of the driveway. These cracks are usually vertical and appear right next to the grass in your front yard. On roadways, you'll often see these same type of lines next to kerbs. There are several reasons for edge cracks, with new vegetation growth and inadequate drainage being common causes. The solution for edge lines is often crack filling using a specialised emulsion. However, it's also important to correct the issue that caused the edge lines to begin with. 

Any of the cracks above are a problem that requires immediate attention. 

Rubble Appears on the Driveway

Loose rubble is an indicator that the three primary components of asphalt (the rock, sand grains, and rubble) have started to separate. This occurs due to a breakdown of the bitumen that binds all of these components together. Whilst loose rubble is a common problem for older asphalt driveways, it's usually only an issue after many years. Depending on how early you seek help, your asphalt contractor may be able to correct this issue with new sealcoating. For very serious problems, resurfacing may be the best option. 

Does your driveway have any of the issues discussed above? If so, it's time to contact your asphalt paving contractor straight away. The sooner you ask for help, the less costly your repair is likely to be!