Asphalt Driveway Maintenance

driveway maintenance
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The driveway is your property, too

While many homeowners fuss over maintaining the roof, windows, and the drainage around the sides of the house, keeping the driveway in good working order isn’t always a priority.

And why should it be? Most driveways are asphalt, which is pretty indestructible, or so most of us may think.

Asphalt driveway damages

But asphalt does succumb to the elements and daily usage. The sun does its part in the summer, drying out the asphalt so it cracks and turns gray. Rain fills the cracks and accelerates damage. In the winter, frost and ice can heave it by inches. Once the ice and sun have their way, a driveway loses its elasticity resulting in large or small tears that go right through the asphalt.

Cracks and depressions can also result from daily usage. Fluids that leak from older vehicles are never good for the asphalt below. Gas, for example, can quickly dissolve the tar-binding agent in asphalt and leave an actual hole in the driveway.

How to prevent asphalt driveway from damaging

As the old saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. A new driveway can cost thousands of dollars. Using the proper sealant is the recommended way to avoid that costly renovation. Here’s how to reseal and prevent a major cash outlay.

First off, you’ll need to makes sure the conditions are right. No rain should be expected for at least three days and the temperature should be steady at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to avoid contact with the materials as they’re often harmful to the skin. In preparation, it’s a good idea to have gloves and maybe even a mask at your disposal. Clip any overhanging grass from the sides of the driveway well before you apply any sealer.

Repairing driveways – sealing the cracks

Next, you want to fill in any cracks or depressions with filler that you can buy at most home improvement centers after sweeping away loose dirt. Finally, you can use a pressure washer or garden hose to spray the drive one final time in preparation for putting the sealer down.

The can of sealer should be tipped upside down first to premix the contents. Then open it and start in one corner of the driveway, applying the sealer in square sections rather than long strips. Make sure to allow for at least a 24-hour drying period where no traffic will be allowed on the driveway.

When to Resurface Your Driveway

Naturally, asphalt won’t seem the same after years of constant use. Full replacement of your driveway is the ideal option for large scale restructuring. Your driveway will receive best results for appearance and structural support, although this option tends to be most expensive and time – consuming. Sometimes deciding between resurfacing or replacing can be difficult.

While resurfacing is a great alternative for your driveway, it’s not always the best measure. If your driveway is really old, the experts recommend completely replacing asphalt. Likewise, if your driveway has too many cracks, then it could be more efficient to completely replace asphalt.

Repairs can fix cracks, though they’re still costly if your driveway has too much damage. The long term look and structural value of your driveway is important to take into account. If you prefer your driveway to have a new look without full replacement, resurfacing task could do the trick.

Replacement is the best alternative for the long – term success of your driveway, especially if your driveway resembles one picture above. A trusted expert can normally distinguish between which option is most appropriate for your driveway. Make sure that you consider each option when planning your driveway fix.

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