Your driveway is the gateway to your domain. It is the most used path to your home for you, the delivery guy, and most of your visitors. Having a beautifully maintained driveway can make your home’s overall appearance seem stunning. But did you know that a poorly maintained driveway can lead visitors to feel negatively about your home? Below, we look at some of the most common questions when it comes to an asphalt driveway.

  1. Why and how often should I sealcoat my driveway?

An asphalt driveway is a permeable, flexible structure. This may surprise you as a driveway certainly feels solid. Overtime, water, UV rays and oxygen can change your driveway’s make up. Water, in particular, eats away at your driveway as well as the foundation it sits on. UV rays and oxygen, on the other hand, corrode and over dry your driveway, leaving it brittle. Applying a sealcoat to your driveway, however, repels water, UV rays and oxygen. This helps to preserve and protect your driveway from the environment. Sealcoating should not be applied for at least six months after a new driveway has been laid to allow the asphalt to fully cure. After you apply your first sealcoating, you will not need to for another three years. (Your driveway is ready for a new coating once the individual stones used are clearly visible and you can see each one’s color.)

  1. Should I repair damages myself or hire a professional?

There are certainly some damages you can handle on your own. Small cracks, for example, are easy to fill. Most local hardware stores carry liquid asphalt crack filler. Before you start, clean the crack out thoroughly and allow it to dry. Using your liquid asphalt, apply the filler to the crack as you would caulk. Once filled, allow the patch to dry completely. In the event of settling, you will need to apply another coat until the crack filler is level with the surrounding asphalt. Large scale cracking, holes, or other serious damages, however, should be handled by a professional.

  1. Do you have to do a lot of work to get your driveway to last?

On average, an asphalt driveway that is well maintained can be expected to last roughly 30 years. However, how much “maintenance” is involved? To be honest, it is not much. Sealing your driveway is the biggest task. Repairing damages as they occur is also important. Beyond that, the occasionally sweep and deep cleaning may be needed as well.