The condition of your driveway is one of the first things that people notice about your home and a well-maintained driveway doesn’t just leave a good impression; it ensures the safety of you and its other users. When it comes to maintaining an asphalt driveway, the things you need to do are fairly simple and straightforward. Below are some tips you can follow to ensure that your asphalt driveway remains in good condition.
Carry out Regular Inspections of the Driveway
The proper maintenance of your asphalt driveway starts with you carrying out regular visual inspections throughout each season (especially during summer and winter) of the year. This should be incorporated as part of the exterior maintenance routine you have for your driveway. These routine visual inspections help you identify and address minor imperfections before they worsen and need expensive repairs.
Repair Cracks Immediately
The thing about cracks in asphalt driveways is that they are as dangerous as they are unsightly. If left unaddressed, these cracks can gradually begin to weaken the structural integrity of your asphalt driveway and this deterioration will only pose a safety hazard to you and every other person making use of the driveway.
The ideal time to address cracks on your asphalt driveway is when they are still presenting as hairline fractures. This is because, at this stage, they can easily be fixed with a sealer. More concentrated effort should be placed on cracks significantly wider than ⅛ inch. All large cracks should first be cleaned out before filling and sealing.
Remove Stains Quickly
Stains on your asphalt driveway (even dark driveways) can reduce its aesthetic appeal, so it is important that any spillage of oil, gas, or brake fluid on the surface of the driveway is removed as quickly as possible. In situations where a lot of fluid is present, you can use cat litter or some other type of absorbent to first soak up the liquid. Sweep up the absorbent once the liquid has been absorbed and proceed to clean off the remaining stain with the appropriate cleaning product (a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner is recommended).
Keep the Surface of Your Driveway Clean
Dirt on your driveway is unavoidable, especially with the daily traffic it gets from cars, people, yard equipment, and even skateboards. Depending on the amount of traffic your driveway gets, you should sweep its surface with a heavy duty broom at least once a week to remove debris, rocks and dirt. If mud gets tracked onto your driveway, wait for it to dry fully before proceeding to loosen and brush away the dried mud with a hard-bristled broom. If there is still some hardened mud left, you can force-clean the area with a power washer.
This is done to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your asphalt driveway. If you’re in an area with harsher seasonal climates, your asphalt driveway becomes highly susceptible to conditions like snow, heavy rain, scorching sun, and freeze-and-thaw cycles. Seal coating can help slow down the deteriorating effects of these conditions on your driveway, thus, helping it maintain its aesthetic appeal for longer.
Seal coating should be done every 2-5 years. However, you can do it more frequently if your driveway is in an area where it experiences extreme duress from severe weather and heavy usage.
Eliminate Standing Water
Water and asphalt don’t go well together. Standing water from melted snow, gardening activities or rainfall can be detrimental to the health of your asphalt driveway. It can cause cracks and potholes to form on the surface of your driveway. The best way to prevent this issue is to have proper drainage installed with your asphalt driveway.
Asphalt driveways are great in terms of durability and longevity, but this doesn’t mean that they do not require the occasional care and maintenance. Follow the above maintenance tips to ensure that your driveway continues to remain both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound or consult professional contractors like Kane Construction for advice..