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When considering a new driveway, one of the crucial factors to examine is its lifespan. A tarmac driveway, also known as an asphalt driveway, is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability and longevity. In this article, we will explore the expected lifespan of a tarmac driveway, factors that influence its durability, and how proper maintenance can extend its life.
Tarmac is a mixture of aggregates, such as crushed stone and sand, bound together with bitumen. This combination creates a smooth and resilient surface that can withstand heavy loads, inclement weather, and regular vehicle traffic. Tarmac driveways are known for their strength, flexibility, and resistance to cracks.
On average, a well-installed and properly maintained tarmac driveway can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, with excellent care, it is not uncommon for tarmac driveways to surpass this range and remain in good condition for up to 25 years or more. The longevity of a tarmac driveway depends on various factors, which we will explore in the following sections.
a) Quality of Installation: The skill and expertise of the installation contractor play a significant role in determining the lifespan of a tarmac driveway. Proper preparation of the base, appropriate thickness of the tarmac layer, and adequate compaction are vital for ensuring long-term durability.
b) Climate and Weather Conditions: Tarmac driveways are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, rainfall, and freeze-thaw cycles. However, constant exposure to harsh weather elements can gradually degrade the surface over time. Areas with severe weather patterns may experience a slightly shorter lifespan for tarmac driveways.
c) Usage and Maintenance: The level of usage and maintenance also impact the lifespan of a tarmac driveway. Regular heavy vehicle traffic, such as multiple cars or commercial vehicles, can accelerate wear and tear. Additionally, neglecting routine maintenance, such as sealing cracks and cleaning, can diminish the driveway’s longevity.
While the lifespan of a tarmac driveway is influenced by various factors, there are measures you can take to maximize its longevity:
a) Proper Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for preserving the integrity of a tarmac driveway. This includes sweeping or power washing to remove debris, promptly repairing any cracks or potholes, and resealing the surface every few years. Sealcoating provides an additional layer of protection against UV rays, moisture, and oil spills, thereby extending the driveway’s life.
b) Avoiding Heavy Loads and Sharp Objects: Minimize the impact of heavy loads, such as large trucks or recreational vehicles, on your tarmac driveway. Additionally, avoid parking heavy machinery or placing sharp objects directly on the surface to prevent damage.
c) Drainage Management: Ensure proper drainage to avoid water pooling on the tarmac surface. Standing water can seep into the asphalt layers, causing structural damage and reducing its lifespan. Keep gutters and downspouts clear, and consider installing adequate drainage systems if necessary.
A well-installed and properly maintained tarmac driveway can provide a durable and long-lasting solution for your property. With an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, and potentially longer with excellent care, tarmac driveways offer excellent value for homeowners. By choosing a reputable contractor, considering local climate conditions, practicing regular maintenance, and implementing good usage practices, you can extend the lifespan of your tarmac driveway and enjoy its benefits for many years to come.