Even though asphalt is strong and durable, it does have a lifespan and will require maintenance to keep it in great shape. Over time, pavement can come loose as cars pass over it and excessive weathering begins to take its toll. Water will work its way into the base of the asphalt and dry out the binder. Eventually this will open up and reveal cracks, and the remaining pieces of asphalt will begin to shift around and create bumps and dips. These are not only ugly and a hazard to other motorists, but they are also signs that the road surface will need to be completely stripped and replaced if not maintained.
You can protect yourself from circumstances such as these by making sure the surface is laid correctly at the beginning. Using a reputable company and good materials is the first step in getting a long-lasting surface that will look great for years. This is a good start, but is not the only step. Coating the pavement with an asphalt sealant will minimize the amount of moisture that gets into the structure. Sealer should be reapplied frequently over the years.
When cracks do appear, the best course of action is to seal them. This will probably need to be done on a yearly basis, and should be made a priority to avoid extensive damage and the need to take more costly measures. There are quite a few options for filling cracks, patching potholes and repairing whole layers or areas that may have become too damaged to salvage, and the right option depends on the size of the repair and the budget of the individual.