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Asphalt Texturing and Maintenance Basics

Texturing or imprinting asphalt is a great way to dress up boring and bland driveways and patios. By impressing asphalt with a metal mold, designs like brick are easily created. A colored coat of cement is applied to the surface creating a durable and beautiful finish. Learn the basics of textured asphalt and make an informed decision before you buy.

With so many annual maintenance issues involved with owning a home, it's easy to see why an asphalt driveway is often neglected. But don't let it get to the point of no repair! Maintain your driveway now using these tips and techniques to prolong its life and minimize future repairs.

Texturing and Imprinting with Asphalt and Basic Driveway Maintenance

Textured or imprinting asphalt is a beautiful way to enhance existing or new asphalt pavement. A series of heated metal forms are used to impress grout lines into any pattern. Once the patterns have been impressed into the asphalt, they are coated with a polymer-based concrete spray to protect the asphalt and grout lines. Textures and colors of all kinds may be applied to the concrete spray mix, allowing for an even wider variety of designs. But before you hire any asphalt contractor, learn the basics of textured asphalt and make an informed decision before installing textured and stamped asphalt.

Aren't Stamped and Textured Asphalts Expensive?

Not necessarily. Many options are available for stamped asphalt that are inexpensive, yet look amazing. Borders are an example of an entrancing effect, yet it is surprisingly cost effective. Another fantastic feature that doesn't cost a pretty penny is the apron medallion. An apron medallion embossed with your address or last name is an opulent addition to any asphalt driveway; without the opulent price tag that goes with the look.

I'm Not Necessarily Keen on a Brick Driveway, are other Options Available?

Absolutely. In fact, there are so many impression options available, it may be best to see your future driveway installer's portfolio and choose a design style from their pictures. Stone, staggered slate, dilapidated brick, cobblestone, random stone, diagonal herringbone and scallops are just to name but a few of the many choices available for stamped asphalt design. With the addition of borders, circles and apron medallions, an imprinted driveway can become a work of art that you design yourself.

I already have an Asphalt Driveway, can I Still Imprint and Texture it?

Provided that your existing asphalt driveway is in good condition, the answer is yes. Even if repairs need to be made first, imprinting existing asphalt and partial patches create a near seamless cover for aging asphalt. Once the existing asphalt has been primed and prepped, it can be coated with a polymer-infused cement mix to create a bright new finish to your old and dated asphalt driveway or patio. Existing patios and driveways that were once slippery when wet can also be textured to create the perfect non-slip surface during wet and icy weather.

The Grout Lines between the Patterns Look like they will Crack and Grow Weeds.

Not at all. The grout lines between patterns only breach the top surface of the asphalt allowing for easy maintenance and cleaning. And because a layer of bonding concrete is added to the surface of asphalt it creates a super surface. The asphalt substrate has the flexibility of an asphalt driveway with the added ability of a concrete driveway without the cracking. Since the entire surface is one continuous flexible layer, cracking is eliminated and weeds have no place to grow.

What Kind of Maintenance is Required?

Not much. Once the driveway has been coated with the protective concrete, it is relatively easy to maintain. It may need an occasional washing with a low pressure, high volume water hose to remove any debris. Since most protective coatings are impervious to gas, oil and rubber oil-based stains can be easily removed. Simply use a natural cleaner like a citrus-based solvent and a stiff bristled brush to remove stubborn stains. Once the surface ages, a new coat of concrete polymer can be inexpensively applied.

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Basics

They say all roads lead to Rome, but it's more like all roads lead to home. And an asphalt pavement is the most common material leading into your home. That's why when you install an asphalt driveway, it's best to hire a trusted local professional. But when the pros pack up and leave, it's still up to the homeowner to keep an eye out for maintenance issues with the driveway. With constant use, day and night, every day of the year, it's easy to see why a driveway can quickly fall into disrepair. But without proper maintenance, asphalt is even more susceptible to damage. Use this maintenance checklist to help you extend the life of your asphalt driveway for years to come.

Visual Inspection

The most important part of a repairing and maintaining an asphalt pavement is to know where the damage lies. That's why it's a good idea to walk up and down the length of your driveway every six months, looking for imperfections. Keep an eye out for cracks, brittle edges and loose gravel, as these can all be signs that your asphalt pavement may be in need of some serious help.

Cracks

Cracks can be fixed in a wide variety of ways. Smaller cracks can be repaired using a caulk gun and an asphalt emulsified caulk. Numerous small cracks should not be repaired using a caulk type sealant and should be checked by a professional. Multiple and large cracks can be repaired professionally using a routing and sealing method. This technique involves removing the asphalt down to the aggregate throughout the length of the crack and replacing it with a sand/asphalt mix.

Applying a Rejuvenator

A rejuvenator can be cost effectively applied by most asphalt companies. The rejuvenator's job is to reestablish a bond between loosening layers of asphalt and the underlying substrate. Hardened asphalt shrinks away from the underlayment and forms voids and cracks in the asphalts surface as water penetrates below. A rejuvenator softens asphalt enough to help keep a strong bond to the substrate. It can also help to increase skid resistance, especially in wet and icy conditions.

Slurry Seal

Many times, when peeling and cracking become too much for a driveway to sustain before total replacement is needed, a slurry seal can be applied to the driveway to extend its life. A slurry seal is a mixture of fine aggregates, asphalt emissions and water. It is applied to the asphalt after it has been thoroughly cleaned. A tack coat of wet asphalt emission is applied immediately before the slurry seal is installed to ensure a proper bond has been made. This process should always be applied in warm weather, as cold conditions can create a poor bond.

Surface Treatment

Once driveways have a series of cracks or other distresses that can be difficult to seal, it's a good idea to have a surface treatment applied to the asphalt. A surface treatment consists of a tack coat of asphalt followed by finely graded asphalt with crushed aggregates. Typically it comes in two layers of each but can be applied in one for less damaged drives and tighter budgets. As with other asphalt paving techniques, it should be done in warm, dry weather. Immediately prior to installation, a rubber tire roller should be used to pack layers to prevent future gravel/aggregate displacement problems.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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