When it comes to the driveway, many homeowners practice benign neglect because they have faith that the paving can handle everyday stresses. While this is true to an extent, don't make the mistake of missing these important issues that could lead to big problems.

1. Lack of Stain Protection

Asphalt is typically so dark in color when it is first installed that stains don't seem like a possibility, so homeowners fail to plan ahead for possible future stains. Over time that dark color can fade and stains from leaking car fluids may leave behind an ugly blight. There are two maintenance techniques that can prevent stains. The first is to seal the paving with a stain-resistant sealant. The second is to use driveway mats underneath any car that poses a fluid leak risk.

2. Weather Exposure

Don't underestimate the effects of weathering on your asphalt paving. Sandblasting from wind, wear from moisture, and degradation from sun exposure can cause the surface of the asphalt to fade and dry out. At the extreme end, the surface will begin to break down and become gravelly. However, all of this is easily avoidable. Sealcoating is a process that lays down a protective coating of asphalt and epoxy sealants, which will protect against weathering. Reapply every few years to keep the driveway like new.

3. Poor Weight Distribution

Many homeowners store campers, boats, or other types of trailers in their driveway. The problem with this is that the weight of the trailer tongue tends to rest heavily on one jackstand post, which is quite narrow. Over time, the stand will sink into the asphalt, causing a divot that can develop into a pothole. Distribute the weight by placing a board beneath any weight-holding jackstands on the asphalt so that compression divots can't form.

4. Bad Drainage

A puddle or two doesn't seem like a big deal, just a natural byproduct of a rainstorm or sprinkler overspray onto the driveway. Water can be one of the more damaging forces on asphalt, though. When water fails to drain quickly it can seep into the pores in the asphalt, where it can erode the material until cracks or potholes form. Freezing speeds the process. Your paving service can install a drain if you have a low area that tends to collect standing water.

5. Ignoring Damage

Don't make the worst mistake of all — ignoring small damage when it can be easily and inexpensively repaired. If you notice a crack, an area with loose aggregate, or the beginnings of a pothole, make the call to your paving service right away. This small damage can typically be patched at a fraction of the cost of a driveway replacement. 

Contact an asphalt paving service for more information.