A maintained asphalt driveway not only improves your curb appeal but also increases the value of your home. Your asphalt driveway should last 25-30 years if it has been properly installed and you follow an asphalt maintenance plan. While there is an expense in maintaining your driveway, you will save money by extending the life of the driveway. Below is 9 tips you can follow to length the life of your driveway:
Keep Your Driveway Clean
There are several factors that can accelerate the deterioration process for asphalt. Chemical contaminants and dirt on the surface all contribute to quicker wear and tear, so it’s essential to keep your driveway as clean as possible at all times. Automotive chemicals can cause damage to your asphalt quickly. Cleaning oil stains from your driveway can be done with dish soap and a garden hose. If you live in a northern climate and use rock salt, you will want to sweep off any remaining rock salt.
Your Drive Can’t Take The Weight
Did you know that most driveways are not designed to carry heavy loads? RVs, cement trucks, dump trucks can cause your driveway to buckle under the weight of their cargo. This causes water to pool in ruts, which will lead to a major repair issue for homeowners.
Water Is Not Your Driveway’s Friend
There is no escaping the wet weather. Regardless of whether your driveway is asphalt, gravel or cement as its surface, water can seep into any cracks and lead to serious problems down the road. Hose bibs located over driveways should only be used if there’s an attached hose for use; otherwise, place a bucket under the hose bib. Downspouts should not drain directly onto your driveway. You are best to route them into areas with vegetation, such as your lawn. Most driveways will have some puddling, but if you have larger than average puddles, you will want to contact a drive contractor.
Speaking of water, if you have an irrigation system, you will want to check that you are not watering your asphalt.
While potholes are less common on driveways, they still do happen. If you see a small pothole forming, you will want to act quickly to have it patched. Small potholes will continue to increase in size if not repaired. As the pothole grows, it allows more water to enter the base, causing further damage. A quick minor repair can turn into a costly one in a short amount of time.
The cracks in your asphalt are not only a problem for the aesthetic of your driveway. They may be causing structural issues, and if you do nothing to fix them, it will cost much more money when they cause larger problems like potholes. A hot rubber crack sealer is the best option for fixing cracks, but big-box products will work if needed.
Sealcoating your driveway every 2-3 years is what most asphalt companies recommend. The sealant helps in two ways. First, it slows down the oxidization of the asphalt. As asphalt oxidizes, the binder that holds the asphalt together slows evaporates. The binder helps keep the asphalt flexible. Flexible asphalt is less likely to crack and break under loads. The second-way sealing helps your driveway is it fills small surface voids and hairline cracks.
The cracks in your asphalt are not only a problem for the aesthetic of your driveway. They may be causing structural problems, and if you do nothing to fix them, it will cost much more money when they cause larger issues like potholes or even lead to an entire collapse!
Inspect Your Driveway Once A Month
If you have a large or long driveway, you will want to walk your driveway at least every three months, but once a month is best because you can spot minor issues before they become more significant issues.
Don’t Plant Trees Close To Your Driveway
Don’t get us wrong, we love trees, but trees planted too close to your driveway can cause potential issues as the tree grows. The root system can cause upward pressure on the driveway, causing it to crack. This is true for asphalt and concrete. It is best to consult a local arborist to understand how large the root system will grow.
Your driveway may seem like the most ordinary thing in your yard, but it is actually a major investment and worth protecting. Following the above tips will add years to its life as well as lower lifetime cost.