For some, the driveway is often one of the most forgotten parts of your home. Whether you’re looking to resale or just upgrade your property, your driveway can help make an overall good or bad impression. Your driveway was built to last you decades, but utilizing these maintenance tips can help to extend its life and save money in the long run.
Address the Cracks
When cracks appear in your driveway it’s best to take care of them as soon as possible to prevent more damage from being done to your driveway. Cracks can be sealed with fillers like Red Devil’s Asphalt Sealer or PU-970 for asphalt. For concrete repair, use products like Red Devil’s Pre-Mixed Concrete Patch.
Keep it Clean
To preserve your driveway clear away and leaves, twigs or debris and address any stains that have discolored its surface. Often times car fluids can cause more than just surface stains so use prevention measures to keep them from harming your driveway. Motor fluids can penetrate up to a quarter inch in concrete driveways and has a softening effect on asphalt.
Driveway Stain Prevention and Removal Tips
- Power Washing your driveway can help with stain removal and can make it harder for weeds to grow in any crack and crevices. Be sure to protect your home so that it isn’t damaged by the force of the power washer.
- For fresh fluids, use a non-clumping or clay based kitty litter to absorb the oil. Place the kitty litter on top of the oil, press it in to help with absorption and let it sit overnight. Then, sweep it away and wash the area.
- For existing stains, try using a grease-fighting dishwashing detergent and a nylon scrub brush to wash out the stain. Other common stain lifters we’ve seen used individually are baking soda, Coca-Cola, oven cleaners and powder laundry detergent.
- Set in stains may require a more aggressive commercial stain remover.
Notice the Signs
Paying attention to the condition of your driveway can help extend its life and save you money in the long run. For instance, the type of cracks that you see may give you a hint on what’s going on.
- A wide web of cracks may mean it’s time to resurface or fix your driveway. This can be a hint that parts of its surface is deteriorating and could mean it may not have been installed correctly.
- Hairline cracks could mean that your driveway is wearing with time and extra attention may need to be placed on filling the cracks.
Be Mindful of Proper Winter Care
Winter can wreak havoc on your driveway. Often times we don’t see the effect our Winter behavior has had until all of the snow melts away, by then, our driveway could be in need of repair.
Winter Care Tips
- It is best to clear away the snow and ice after each fall instead of allowing them to accumulate. Depending on where you live, the weight of the accumulation could have adverse effects on your driveway, especially if a thick layer of ice forms underneath.
- One of the biggest threats to extending the life of your driveway could be the product you use during Summer. Rock/cement salts and de-icers can accelerate the deterioration of your driveway and penetrate its surfaces resulting in cracks. Other solutions to melt the ice could be spraying the surface with sugar beet juice (which will lower the ice melting point) or using a solution with calcium chloride as its main ingredient. Ways to prevent slipping could include using sand, kitty litter coffee grounds, or alfalfa.
- Plow and shovel carefully. Be mindful of not hitting or scraping your concrete or asphalt driveway with the metal blade of your shovel or plow. Many Pros recommend using a plastic shovel and keeping it’s head at least half an inch from your driveway surface.
Be Mindful of Weight
To maintain and extend the life of your driveway, be careful not to park heavy trucks, equipment, RVs or similar items. Your driveway wasn’t built to handle the weight from these types of items and may cause shifting or other damage. Your driveway edges are also highly vulnerable and heavy loads my cause them to chip. To protect your driveway, allow these items to be parked on the street or at another location.
To minimize the amount of water that comes in contact with your driveway, make sure your runoff areas and downspouts are set to divert water away. Set a perimeter a few inches wide around your driveway for a runoff area and rather than emptying onto the driveway, have downspouts empty in your yard.
Clear a two to three-inch strip around the edges of the driveway to provide a runoff area for snow and water to reduce its chances of penetrating the surface. Also, ensure that downspouts empty into the yard rather than onto the driveway.
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