In the constant hustle and bustle of the modern world, people need to get places quickly. Asphalt is such a reliable and stable material that it’s used for over 90% of all American roads. It’s cheap, it’s tough, and it lasts a long time. These are the same reasons why so many private homeowners and businesses choose asphalt over other types of pavement.

But how long does it really last?

When asphalt is installed by a reputable pro who really knows their stuff, you can expect the installation to last 20+ years with only a minimum of repairs and maintenance. But if your surface was not expertly installed, or if routine maintenance is neglected, that number can drop significantly.

Here are a few terms you may want to discuss with your asphalt specialist.

Perpetual Pavement

Perpetual Pavement is a type of asphalt that brings long life, safety and silence to roads. The technology used to create this asphalt prevents the foundation from cracking due to weight. It also prevents weight from vehicles and structures from creating ruts in the surface. Recyclable, easily maintained, and safe — these are all ways to describe Perpetual Pavement, which lasts many years without any maintenance whatsoever.

Porous Asphalt

Another asphalt type, Porous Asphalt best maintains storm water and stays cooler when the temperature rises. The design behind this material makes it a bit pricier, but porous asphalt benefits the environment in many ways. When it rains, these parking lots or driveways allow water to seep through the porous layers and settle into a bed of stone that lies underneath. The water then seeps into the ground soil. As for lifespan, twenty years or more can go by without having to worry replacing porous asphalt.

Other Lifespan Factors

Generally speaking, the lifespan of asphalt averages around 25 years. Of course, traffic frequency and climate conditions both factor into the lifespan. Just like exceptionally warm climates cause the pavement to grow frail and brittle, freezing temperatures cause it to stretch and enlarge the existing cracks.

Potholes and cracks are also common symptoms of aging asphalt. The important point here is that most trouble spots can be repaired early on, which prevents the problem from getting worse. Routine asphalt maintenance (cleaning, sealcoating, filling cracks and potholes, etc.) is the key to staying on top of things and stretching your asphalt’s overall lifespan.

Hiring Asphalt Professionals

When it comes to deciding which asphalt specialist will provide you with the best services for your home or business, reputation and experience are critical. In order to determine if your asphalt is worth keeping or if you should replace it entirely, an asphalt specialist will perform detailed assessments that take usage and environmental factors into account.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing an asphalt contractor casually, without doing your research. There is a whole spectrum of quality and experience out there, and statistics show that people who take their time to find a reputable contractor are happier with their asphalt installations in the long run.