Asphalt Paving Blog

Mr. Fix-It: How do you Care for An Asphalt Driveway?

WOL_blog_radioOur team at Wolf Paving was invited back in the Mr. Fix-It studios to answer listeners' questions related to asphalt driveway repair. This program gives weekly advice on home improvements, repairs and do-it-yourself projects.

This blog will cover the questions concerning new and old asphalt driveways.

To listen to the 5 minute segment on asphalt driveways, click here!

Read the questions from the interview below:

"I’ve got a brand new asphalt driveway, I think about 3 years old, and it’s developed one brand new crack, and it’s probably a quarter to three inches thick. I tried to put some asphalt filler in, and it just keeps expanding. What should I fill that with?"

That’s pretty common in this climate. If you get a crack that fine it’s hard to get any kind of filler in there, and get it to stick. A lot of times when a professional company would come out there they got a router, almost like a wood router, and they will route that crack out to widen it out to get some sealer in there so it can stick

If it’s a really narrow, or really small crack, it might have to get routed out to get some sealer in there. I would suggest using a rubberized crack filler in there

"We’re at a condominium, we have an asphalt driveway and parking area and I know the asphalt needs to be sealed. How often and why?"

So there are a couple of reasons why people like asphalt sealer.

  1. Aesthetics. It’s like putting a coat of paint on a house. It gives you a nice black surface again, which helps melt the snow and ice.
  2. The other is if you’re parking a car or truck in the same area and it drips a little gas or oil, that sealer will prevent that gas or oil from penetrating down into the asphalt and destroying it. We recommend every other year on the sealcoating, maybe even longer, maybe every three years. You need to let it wear down before you put another coat on.
"We built a house in 2005, we put the driveway in in 2007. The driveway is dropping down at one end at least 3 inches and then goes across to zero degrees, so it’s even. Also the stoop that goes up to the front porch is coming away and the gap is about three inches now. They told us when they did it they were putting rods in to the garage floor, and rods into the porch itself. But it’s still happening. So i don’t know if it has to be mudjacked or do we have to replace everything?"

It sounds to me when they backfilled around the house they didn’t get real good compaction, would be my guess. Now that soil is settling and it’s just sort of taking everything with it. If this was 12 years ago I’m gonna guess more of your settling is done.

"So is it mudjacking that we would do? Is that gonna help?"

I would suggest starting with a less expensive route. Worst case scenario you’re looking at replacing, but we’d recommend getting a mudjacker's opinion as that would be less expensive. And that’s recycling so you won’t be wasting any materials.

Where the stoop is concerned, it depends on the thickness of the stoop and they can’t drill through steps. So if the stoop is connected to that walk, maybe they could punch that walk up.

"What thickness in asphalt should a residential driveway be? And what’s the anticipated lifespan for that driveway?"

So there is a couple different thicknesses you could go for for your driveway. The standard thicknesses that we generally see out there are 2.5 inches or 3 inches, that’s going to be enough to handle the weight of pickup trucks and cars. If you have something that’s gonna take a little heavier loads, septic trucks or dumpster trucks, then you’re going to want to go a little bit thicker. Something like 3.5 inch or 4 inch.

As far as longevity is concerned, the average lifespan for a driveway in Wisconsin is about 15 years give or take a few years.

Interested in more more Wolf interviews with Mr. Fix-It?

With 75 years of asphalt paving experience, from highways to driveways, we are your local source for all of your asphalt paving needs. It’s never too early or too late to request a free paving estimate. For the Milwaukee area, call us at 262-965-2121. For the Madison area, call us at 608-249-7931.

For more information on Wolf Paving visit our Why Wolf? page to see what we can offer you.

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Topics: Driveway Maintenance, sealcoating driveway