Asphalt driveways: What are the benefits?

road surfacing

Choosing the right material for your new driveway is a pretty important decision. Not only will it impact significantly on the appearance of your property, it will affect its value too.

Of the surfaces available, asphalt is one of the most popular, and for good reason. It’s extremely durable, having been designed to withstand forces placed on it by even the heaviest of vehicles.

It’s not to be confused with tarmac; asphalt is made with bitumen instead of tar, a difference which means it’s generally considered to be more durable than tarmac.

The reason for this is its flexibility – tarmac can crack over time as it’s more brittle, whereas asphalt has an inherent flexibility which makes it much more resistant to cracking.

This is particularly beneficial over winter. As temperatures drop and the ground freezes, tarmac is prone to breaking up as it expands and contracts during the day and night. Asphalt doesn’t suffer from this, making it very low-maintenance.

Even if it does crack years down the line, asphalt driveways are easy enough to repair. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may even be able to fix it yourself with a crack filler – Watco makes one, which is available online. However, if the damage is more serious or you’re unsure of the repair process, we can come to you and carry out a long-lasting membrane repair.

Asphalt does look similar to tarmac, but has a smoother appearance – tarmac looks more coarse and bumpy, making it a little less aesthetically pleasing.

Compared to the likes of block paving, asphalt is also considerably cheaper. Though not as versatile in terms of appearance, it’s a worthy option which merits consideration, particularly if you want something hassle-free and low maintenance which will last a long time.

If you need more advice or are looking for a reliable Surfacing Contractor near you, A&MT Contractors are family-run surfacing contractors that can complete driveway surfacing in Peterborough, Romford and across the whole of the UK. We offer a range of different materials – contact us today to make an enquiry.

How much does an asphalt driveway cost?

This of course depends on the shape and size of your driveway, but typically asphalt costs in the region of £45-£55 per m2 to supply and install. This makes it roughly £10 more expensive per m2 than gravel, but it’s also considerably harder-wearing and lower-maintenance – so it may be worth the additional investment.

How to remove moss from an asphalt driveway

Generally speaking, asphalt driveways are very low maintenance – it’s one of the reasons why they’re so popular. But one annoyance often associated with them is moss and algae growth.

Asphalt’s textured surface is to blame for this unsightly issue; while it’s smoother than tarmac, it’s still coarse enough to retain moisture and create an ideal breeding ground for the spores to flourish.

Fortunately, it’s a pretty straightforward issue to deal with. The first step is always to clean the driveway – the less dirt there is on the surface, the better your moss killing product will be able to work.

With that taken care of, grab a garden sprayer and fill the container 80% of the way with water, then top up the remaining 20% with bleach. With the solution mixed together, spray it carefully over the asphalt, making sure you avoid getting too close to any plants you want to keep!

Wait 15 minutes before washing the solution away with water, and then a few more hours for the moss to die; it’s easy to spot when this occurs as it will change to a yellowy-brown colour. If some moss is still green, spray it once again with the solution.

Once all the solution has been absorbed into the driveway and the moss has changed colour, you should be able to brush it all away with a broom. If needs be, follow this up with one last wash for a spotless finish.

Asphalt driveway care tips

There are a few things you can do to preserve the appearance of your asphalt driveway and ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Washing it a couple of times a year and removing dirt and debris is well worth doing. If you want to go further and truly protect your investment, you can seal coat the driveway every two to three years to keep it looking fresh and maintain its weather resistance. Seal coating adds a protective barrier to asphalt, helping it resist the likes of oil, water and UV damage. Left unprotected, the top layer of the surface can oxidise and begin to break down, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.

Besides laying your driveway, we can assist with ongoing maintenance and repairs. If you’re unsure about caring for your new driveway and would like to speak to an expert Asphalt Contractor, then get in touch with us today.