Asphalt driveways can last as long as any hard surface if installed and maintained properly. However, usually the weakest point of the driveway is the edge. Edges are prone to several defects. The most common defect is cracking. Cracks generally form parallel with the edge of the driveway. This phenomenon happens usually when expansive soil is present under the driveway. The soil expands and contracts causing cracks that eventually transmit through the asphalt surface. Installing a decorative edge made from cobblestone or brick pavers will interrupt the point of expansion where the asphalt meets the yard. The edge will keep the asphalt from shifting; thus eliminating the cracking in the pavement.
Another source of problems is invasive vegetation. Zoysia grass and chickweed will easily migrate or expand through asphalt, especially fresh asphalt that is less than 3 years old. Grass can grow into an asphalt driveway by as much as 3 feet if not properly attended to. Controlling invasive grasses typically involves a regiment of spraying the edge with a herbicide to prevent growth of grass. Doing this works well, but isn’t 100% effective. Zoysia and Chickweed spread by sending out runners under the soil. A home owner trying to protect their driveway might be satisfied with the progress they have made with herbicide treatments because they have kept an edge free of vegetation.
But eventually you may still see some sprouts pop up through the asphalt because a runner was able to escape the effects of the herbicide by traveling underground. Decorative edging installed on asphalt driveways by a qualified paving contractor will eliminate the potential of migrating grass invading the asphalt. When cobblestone or paver bricks are installed properly, it will create a solid barrier between the yard and edge of the driveway. Substrates used to hold the edge is non porous, therefore it leaves no voided areas for vegetation to grow. If invasive grass is left unattended on an exposed asphalt edge it will eventually ravel the edge. Cobblestone or brick paver edging will prevent damage from grass.
Decorative cobblestone and paver edges also keep vehicles from driving off the edge of the driveway. Driving off and on an edge of an asphalt driveway will eventually cause the edge to ravel, or break off. Not only is this an expensive repair, but it also leaves the home owner’s yard not looking its best. Repetition will rut the yard and cause a bare spot, which eventually turn to mud. Decorative edges installed properly will reinforce the edge of the pavement, and also create a curb. The curbing effect will keep vehicles on the driveway and out of the yard.
Another important feature of decorative edging is its ability to control drainage. Not all, but some home owners desire a protective barrier against erosion or unwanted rain water. This is generally achieved by installing a machine curb or roll curb on the edge of the driveway. Machine curbs and roll curbs are formed from asphalt material. A decorative edge constructed of cobblestone or paver bricks can achieve the same results and look better doing it. A homeowner that has unwanted drainage or silt erosion from a neighboring property can be stopped by installing a decorative edge or curb.
Decorative edges add aesthetics and beauty to the home. A properly installed edge by a qualified paving contractor looks great and guards your investment by eliminating defects. Decorative edges can add up to 10 years to the life span of your new asphalt driveway. If you plan on replacing an asphalt driveway, you should consider implementing a decorative edge or curb into the design.