One thing few people realize is that the driveway is among the most used parts of the home. This is a shame since it is so often overlooked until it is cracked or stained. You need to give your driveway the deserved attention and make all repairs as fast as possible. This will drastically extend the life of the driveway and it can easily save a lot of money in the future. However, this is only possible with proper maintenance. The tips below will help you with that.
Prevention is the most important part of driveway maintenance. It means that you need to make sure you use driveway sealing every few years. This will prevent the unwanted situation in which water gets into the asphalt, freezing, and then creating cracks. Shrub and tree roots will easily cause cracks as they push through the ground. This is why you have to remove all the trees and shrubs close to the drives. Alternatively, have roots trimmed whenever needed.
With all the maintenance you can do, cracks can still appear from time to time. When you see a hole or a crack, you have to act fast and patch it. Masonry chisels are very useful at removing the loose materials present and then, you just need to apply a good patching compound or a crack filler. Also, it is a good idea to make sure the driveway is level and smooth. This reduces tripping accidents, which could happen when you have guests over.
Make sure to clear a strip of 3 inches around the driveway’s edges. This is necessary as a place for water to go past the driveway. Both snow and water will thus be kept off the surface of the driveway, which reduces the possibility of damage. At the same time, make sure that all downspouts will empty into your yard. There are way too many homes designed in a bad way and have downspouts discharging right onto the driveaway. If this is your situation, make the change as soon as possible.
Chemical de-icers and even the common salt will penetrate the driveway and, in time, this causes cracks. A much better option is to use a shovel or a snowblower so you can remove the snow. Also, alternatives like kitty litter, sand, and coffee grounds are much better to remove the slippery aspect. If you need to melt some ice, use sugar beet juice and spray it on the driveway. This will reduce the ice’s melting point.
When you use a snowplow, make sure blades are raised so that they do not end up damaging the surface through scraping. When you use a shovel, buy a very simple, common, plastic one. This is particularly important when you know some surfaces are uneven. Try to push the snow to the side and then shovel that part off. Alternatively, try to remove just a few inches of snow at a time.
Last but not least, make sure to remove all the stains that appear due to radiator fluid, motor oil, or similar substances. They will penetrate the concrete and will soften the asphalt. Kitty litter (the non-clumping kind) is great to absorb oil that is fresh. Then, use dishwashing detergent in a combination with some warm water for cleaning purposes. When the stain is old, use only biodegradable cleaners.