Over the course of time, driveway materials will start separating and breaking down. While it might not seem like that big of a deal when your driveway is 20 or 30 years old, that isn't the case when you have a newer driveway. Once you know what causes the cracks to begin in the first place, you can take the proper precautions to make sure your paved surface stays looking as nice as possible for as long as possible.
It all starts with a solid base.
Oftentimes, driveway cracks are the result of improper installation. When the base isn't constructed properly, it paves the way to additional problems down the road. Because of this, you need to make sure you are dealing with someone who is reputable and knowledgeable. A good base starts with a crushed stone that has been packed extremely tightly into the space. Then, the aggregate base is installed. Finally, asphalt is poured over it all. When the base isn't installed right, it is often because the contractor is looking to save time. Using a loose material will cause major problems down the road with moisture, expanding and contracting, and excessive pressure all leading to cracks.
Stay away from the salt.
While salt is great for use on certain surfaces, asphalt isn't one of them. It goes through a lot during the freeze-thaw cycle already, so you don't want to add to it by making the snow thaw quicker. This causes all of that water to seep into the surface and exert an excessive amount of pressure on it when it freezes again, thus causing it to crack. Sand is a much better alternative when looking for something to give you a little extra traction.
Take care of the tree roots.
If you have a bunch of trees near your driveway, you are going to need to pay attention to their roots. The growing roots can cause major damage to your driveway and foundation. As they grow, they exert a tremendous amount of pressure on your structure, causing it to crack and break under the stress. Either install a barrier system along your driveway or pour your driveway as far away from the trees as you can. You want to preserve the trees and your driveway at the same time.
By taking the tips above into account, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and headache when it comes time to get a new driveway installed. Contact a local paver, like Lakeridge Paving Company, for more information.