The Ins and Outs Of Asphalt

When you are considering the installation of a new blacktop driveway in Burnsville, MN, you will want to do your homework and be sure that you understand what you need to know about asphalt and how to maintain your driveway to get the maximum life out of it. This article will give you the basic information about asphalt, how it is formed and applied and how to take care of it.

A driveway made of asphalt, or blacktop as it is commonly known, is made froma mix of a soil sub-base followed by the application of a stone layer and then finished with a top layer approximately two inches deep of the hot blacktop or asphalt mix. This hot mix starts with a special grade of rock or aggregate blended with a tar-like residue that acts as a binder. This binder is essentially just a by-product that comes from the process of refining oil. The binder is heated to exteme temperatures (above 300 degrees Fahrenheit) and combined with the aggregate or rock. This hot mix is compacted and cooled to eventually form the blacktop surface that you see on roads and driveways.

A blacktop driveway in Burnsville handles the extreme cold weather of the Midwest winters well. This is because of the natural wearing process for asphalt. Asphalt breaks down as a result of water penetration or oxidation. These are allowed when the strong UV rays from the sun break down the binder material used to mix the blacktop originally. Once this breakdown process has started, the moisture is allowed in and that leads to erosion and the damage to asphalt. Given that the Midwest does not have lengthy periods of time with extremely strong sun or UV ray penetration, the asphalt lasts longer than it would in other areas of the country, such as Arizona or Florida. Similarly, the black color of asphalt acts as a way to retain more heat, thereby aiding snow and ice melting more than concrete could.

Before you get your new blacktop driveway in Burnsville, MN, you will need to know how to maintain it. The number one method of maintenance for your driveway will be the application of sealants on a regular basis, roughly every few years. Each time you apply the sealant, you will enjoy the shine and luster that you will see from it. In between sealings, you can easily fill cracks that may appear over the years with special crack filling material. Undersanding the nature of asphalt can help you best maintain your new driveway to last as long as possible.

Learn about the construction of your blacktop driveway in Burnsville, MN and you will have a head start on maintaining it. A blacktop driveway in Burnsville, MN can last much longer than in other parts of the country and keep your home looking fresh for years to come.

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