The average lifespan of asphalt is about 25 years. During the life of the asphalt it will develop problems and need repair. The life stages of the asphalt can be broken up into 5 intervals in which you can expect certain problems, maintenance needs, or repairs to occur. For those who are responsible for the care and maintenance of asphalt surfaces, Andersen Asphalt & Striping would like to break down the life stages of asphalt to better help you know what to expect throughout the lifespan of the asphalt you manage.
Life Stage 1 of Asphalt – First Five Years
When the asphalt has been freshly installed, the asphalt will need little to no maintenance. However, it is wise to maintain a clean surface. If you have an asphalt parking or recreational area, it should be kept clean and free of trash and debris. It is also recommended to pressure clean the asphalt ever six months. It is important to keep oil spots, as well as bird or other animal waste off of the asphalt. By keeping the surface clean, you will maintain the asphalt which helps prevent cracks and other damages from occurring prematurely.
Life Stage 2 of Asphalt – Years Five to Seven
Once your asphalt is about five to seven year of age, it is time to do a bit of maintenance. About this time the asphalt will begin to develop its first cracks and the surface color will begin to fade. When asphalt fades, this is the first sign of the asphalt breaking down under the constant exposure of UV light. To repair the developing cracks and to protect the surface of the asphalt from the sun, it is time to have the asphalt sealcoated. It is important that the asphalt is sealcoated every 3 to 5 years to maintain the asphalt.
Life Stage 3 of Asphalt – Years Seven to Fifteen
As the asphalt begins to enter its teens, the asphalt will begin to need more maintenance. Once your asphalt enters the years seven through fifteen you will want to monitor the asphalt more often and more closely. During this time period the asphalt will most likely develop more cracks, the asphalt may even have broken chunks, and potholes that will need to be repaired. Make sure to seek repairs quickly to ensure the life of the asphalt.
Life Stage 4 of Asphalt – Years Fifteen to Twenty Five
At this point the asphalt is entering its later years. It is common for the asphalt to need major repairs at this point. During this stage you may need more than just crack repair and another sealcoating. At this stage in the asphalt’s life, you may need to do an overlay. A thin layer of asphalt is applied reusing the same foundation. With an overlay, this will help extend the life of the asphalt a little bit longer.
Life Stage 5 of Asphalt – Twenty Five and Beyond
If you have performed all of the proper maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your asphalt over twenty-five years. Continue to monitor the asphalt and seek repairs as necessary. However, once the asphalt encounters a major problem, this will be the time to have the asphalt scraped and new asphalt installed. This will start the next life cycle of the asphalt.