With spring making its much-anticipated return, the time for annual cleaning has arrived. Here is your guide for maintaining your driveway this year.

Cleaning

You should clean your driveway regularly. Sweeping away any debris and rinsing off staining agents is a quick way to do this.  Once or twice a year, however, you may want to deep clean your driveway through the use of a power washer. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as you can damage the surface of your driveway.

 

Repairing

There are some repairs a do-it-yourself (DIY) driveway owner can tackle on their own. Cracks that are up to ¾ of an inch wide are relatively easy to fix on your own. In fact, your local hardware store probably has all the items you need to repair these small cracks. A tubed asphalt product is easiest to apply through the use of a caulk gun. Make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the crack with a wire brush and removed any organic matter. You should also use a hose or pressure washer to remove any remaining debris and dirt. Allow the crack to dry completely before applying the patch filler. Once the crack has dried, simply fill it with the tubed asphalt product and allow to dry per the manufacturer’s instructions. You may notice that your filler has settled and dried beneath the surface of your driveway. In this case, apply a second coat and allow to dry. A pothole can also be repaired by the DIY owner. Asphalt patch products are different from crack fillers, so make sure you purchase the right product. As with the cracks, make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the pothole and allowed it to fully dry. Fill 2 inches of the pothole with the patch and use a trowel to compact the product. (The key is to make sure you compact the patch) If your pothole is deeper than 2 inches, continue to patch and compact every 2 inches until flush with the surface of your driveway. Allow the patch to cure, per the manufacturer’s instructions, before sealing.

 

Sealing

Sealing your asphalt driveway is the best way to preserve it. Sealing your driveway provides a waterproof barrier that shields it from the harmful effects of the rain, sun, and oxygen that will beat down upon it all year long. Water erodes the surface and foundation of your driveway and will lead to a pre-mature need for re-paving. The sun and oxygen corrode and over dry your driveway, eating away at its flexibility and leading to brittle cracking. Protect your investment and seal your driveway every 1 to 3 years.

 

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