Asphalt is the most common type of driveway paving material, and for good reason: it is inexpensive, durable, and easy to install. However, like all building materials, excessive weather exposure coupled with temperature fluctuations and heavy rainfall can cause your asphalt to begin to degrade and break apart. Thankfully, there are a couple of early signs of asphalt damage that you can keep an eye out for to help determine when you should get your asphalt driveway repaired before it completely crumbles apart.
Pooling and standing water on the surface of your asphalt driveway is a clear sign that there is an issue with your asphalt. Water will only pool if the surface has flattened or buckled to create a place for the water to sit, which usually speaks to some underlying damage to your asphalt. This problem can quickly compound itself, as water that seeps into your asphalt can get between the layers of your driveway and affect the binding materials in your asphalt, creating more damage and cracking over the long term.
UV exposure and general usage can wear down the color of your asphalt driveway fairly rapidly. This is much more serious than a simple superficial issue: asphalt color that has begun to fade is indicative of brittleness, which means that your driveway is much more likely to crack and crumble. In order to protect the structural integrity of your driveway, you can have the asphalt sealed.
In a similar vein to the above point, any stains on the surface of your asphalt driveway are a good sign that you should talk to a paving contractor about having your driveway repaired. These stains are most commonly from chemicals from your vehicle, and can eat away at the asphalt itself. Because these chemicals are absorbed into the asphalt, they can't be removed by simply scrubbing and cleaning the asphalt.
Of course, the last and most obvious sign that you need to talk to a professional about fixing the surface of your asphalt driveway is any sort of physical damage. While potholes and sunken sections are the most serious forms of damage, you should also keep an eye out for crumbling edges, alligator cracks (hairline cracks that cover a large portion of your driveway, creating a surface that looks like alligator skin), and any sort of buckling or warping. Contact a professional like AAA Paving and Sealing in the event that they appear.