Your driveway is there for you, day in and day out. If you want to keep it that sturdy and reliable for years to come, then you're going to have to stay on top of its asphalt maintenance. Keep reading to discover our top five driveway maintenance tips and learn how our team can help.
1. Sealcoat Once — And Then Again and Again
You'll set your asphalt driveway up for success if you sealcoat it at just the right time after it is first laid. Sealing a driveway helps guard the material against deterioration from water, UV rays and other harmful elements.
A fresh, new asphalt surface requires time to cure. You can't sealcoat it immediately, or the curing process won't go as it should. However, after about 90 days, the surface will be ready to get its first coat of sealant, although this isn’t necessarily required.
To help your surface last for a couple of decades or more, you'll need to repeat this process regularly. Most driveways require sealcoating about once every other year.
Although some people sealcoat their own driveways, this job is a great one to turn over to the pros. Not only does that save you time and effort, but professionals also have the tools and expertise to do the most thorough and effective job in a neat and efficient manner.
2. Clean Stains Quickly
There's a lot to be said for the curb appeal of a clean driveway, but unsightly oil stains can ruin the effect. Not only that, but oil-soaked surfaces can also damage the layer of sealant on your driveway. In fact, it's important to remove any oil or gas stains before a sealcoating treatment, or the oil will end up showing through the new layer.
Despite oil's ability to harm a driveway, having a properly sealed driveway can help reduce the chances of oil, gas or other toxic fluids deteriorating the driveway. It forms a barrier that helps to keep chemicals from quickly penetrating deep into the asphalt. You may be able to remove fresh fluid spills before they cause much trouble, especially if you soak up the liquid with kitty litter or some type of absorbent.
However, if you're due for new sealant, removing oil can be a harder process. You can use a specialty cleaner or a gentle, biodegradable detergent. Be prepared to really rub the cleaner into the surface to help lift away the stain. Another option is to call a professional company to clean your driveway.
To learn more about how you can use dish soap, a scrub brush and a pressure washer to deep-clean your asphalt driveway, take a look at the following video:
3. Don't Let Plants Take up Residence
Green plants are beautiful, but they're a menace to asphalt surfaces. Grass and other plants that grow through your driveway can widen cracks, and their roots can cause trouble under the surface. Take time to remove any intrusive plants that work their way into your driveway space. Of course, filling any cracks in your driveway can help to reduce this problem.
Grass along the edge of the driveway can cause damage in that area. Of course, you probably won't want to get rid of all of your grass. A more practical solution is to place trim or edging material along the sides of your driveway. Not only will it help keep your grass within clear boundaries, but it can also add an interesting visual element to your hardscaping design.
4. Remember That Winter Can Be Tough on Driveways
If you live in an area of the country where the temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, be prepared for driveway damage. During winter's freeze-thaw cycles, water that has crept into your asphalt will expand and then contract again. Ice crystals push against the asphalt and shift it out of place.
When spring comes, it's time to give your driveway a thorough examination. Cracks, crumbles and even potholes may have sprung up over the winter. Any damage that you find should be repaired right away.
Your driveway may require:
In fact, no matter what time of year you discover damage, a quick fix is essential. Deterioration that is ignored will only continue to spread because broken spots permit water and other sources of damage to penetrate your surface. Professional repairs are preferable.
5. Have a Driveway Pro in Place
Although there are DIY driveway maintenance tips that you can handle on your own — for example, removing oil stains shortly after they appear — you're going to need the pros for a job like repairing potholes that form over the winter. As a smart property owner, it's a good idea to have a driveway contractor in mind so that you know whom to call when a need arises.
If you're concerned that you may have small cracks or chips that are developing, this can be a great time to establish a relationship with a driveway repair company in your area. By setting up an appointment now, you can have your surface inspected, and repairs will be taken care of before the damage becomes problematic.
Another advantage of beginning a relationship with a pro is that you'll develop a rapport with the company. Then, when the time comes that it's better to replace your driveway than to repair it, you'll feel confident that the professional advice that you receive is in your best interest as a property owner.
For a professional asphalt driveway team in the Bellport, New York, area, contact Palermo Paving. In business since 1964, we have a proven track record of excellent driveway care. Our experts will help you maintain your surface so that you'll have a driveway that's both functional and attractive for years to come.