Driveways are like Superman; they go through a lot of wear and tear to give your home a solid, substantial look. But sometimes, Superman too needs TLC. You need to give your driveway the attention it deserves with proper driveway maintenance.
A well-maintained driveway will not just have longevity and add to your curb appeal, but also save you money in the long run. So, whether you have an asphalt, concrete, paver, or a gravel driveway — keeping it in top shape should be a priority.
Want some useful driveway maintenance tips? Read on to know how to protect your driveway and make it functional and attractive for years to come. Let’s begin by exploring the different types of driveways and their requirements.
Concrete driveway maintenance
A concrete driveway is easily one of the best looking driveways out there. But, it’s an expensive choice. Though a concrete surface demands less upkeep, it’s NOT maintenance-free.
For instance, too much rain can seep underneath your driveway and cause the ground to shift or water may pool in a low spot on your driveway — resulting in cracking or crumbling.
The damage is more if you live in a region characterized by constant freezes and thaws.
Important tip: Avoid cement salt or chemical deicers to remove snow. They can penetrate the surface and cause cracks. Use a snowblower or shovel instead. Or, you could use more natural, eco-friendly ways to melt the snow.
- Keep your driveway clean and free of moss and lichen.
- Remove any chemical or oil stains immediately.
- Examine your driveway regularly and check for any cracks, holes, or crumbling — especially inside the expansion joints.
- Caulk and seal the cracks at the earliest. You may use a concrete resurfacer to level out any low spots.
- Re-seal your concrete driveway every three to five years.
Asphalt driveway maintenance
A well-maintained asphalt or tarmac driveway can be the perfect feature for your home. It’s smooth, durable, and attractive. Keep in mind that such a driveway needs regular care to stay solid.
You must check for any cracks, weed encroachment along the edges, water pools, or potholes. Repair the cracks, patch the potholes, and pull out the weeds with an edging tool or hoe.
- Repair problems as soon as you see them.
- Seal your asphalt driveway every three to five years.
- Be careful parking your car on extremely hot days. It may leave permanent tire marks on the driveway.
- Do not place dumpsters and other heavy equipment on the driveway.
- Be careful when removing snow lest you damage the asphalt.
Gravel driveway maintenance
Gravel is an ideal choice for a long driveway. It’s less expensive and easy to put in place. But, it requires regular care or else may easily turn into a muddy mess of dips and holes — especially after a heavy rain.
The first thing you should do is check for any potholes, ruts, or water logging. Fix the potholes or ruts and fill in the lost gravel. Consider repairing your driveway’s drainage system if required.
- Do not put off removing leaves, sticks, or other debris from the gravel.
- Ensure good grading. Keep in mind that the gravel should be at the highest level in the middle and then feather down towards the edges of the driveway. The ideal driveway grade is 2% to 5%.
- Fill in the holes and ruts with new gravel. Do not simply shovel gravel from one area to the other.
- Apply a fresh layer of gravel to the driveway every 1 to 2 years.
Brick or paver driveway maintenance
There’s a charming and old-fashioned appeal to a brick or paver driveway. It even allows you to create visually appealing geometric designs. And, like with all things pretty, you need to protect it from the damaging weeds, moss, cracking, and ground shifting.
Replace the severely damaged pavers and repair the ones with minor cracks using polymeric sand. Reset sunken pavers and pull out any weeds or lichen.
- Fill the cracks with the special sand. It will hold the pavers together and prevent weeds from growing between the bricks.
- Remove debris and dirt from the pavers regularly. It reduces the risk of staining and slipping.
- Consider spraying the pavers with a hose (not directly into the joints!) if you want to wash away any grime.
- Use a wire brush to remove the stain. You may even use a mild detergent mixed with water. Make sure you wash it away completely after cleaning.
- Seal the pavers every two or three years.
Whichever type of driveway you have, it’s crucial to keep checking for any problems and correct them before they turn into major damage. Any laxness may cause you to replace your driveway sooner than you should have to.
Your driveway maintenance must entail preventing cracks, filling up any cracks at the earliest, protecting the edges, ensuring a smooth and leveled driveway, minimizing water on the driveway, and plowing the snow off very, very carefully so as not to damage the surface.
Also, ensure that your car is parked away from the edges. If you’re planning a house remodeling project in the near future, make sure the construction vehicles also follow that rule.
Contemplating a renovation for your house? Try our free home remodel cost estimator; it’s easy and convenient to use!
A clean, well-maintained driveway will not only enhance your curb appeal, but last longer. A little driveway maintenance today can bring big returns tomorrow.