Asphalt Driveway Maintenance For Homeowners

You pass by them every day.  Whether its at your neighbors house or the house near your workplace, there is always one that has an asphalt driveway that has lost so much color that it looks white.  Paving driveways for a living can make you a good income.  However, if you are on the other end of the business, it can cost you a pretty penny.  If you want to save yourself from replacing your asphalt driveway, you must adhere to some simple maintenance measures.  This is the only way to keep your driveway looking new and lasting for many years to come.

Failing to maintain your driveway can be costly.  If your driveway is not sealed properly, water can leak through to the base.  After a while, the water that seeps through will slowly wash away the base, leaving parts of your driveway weakened.  Vehicles will then cause the driveway to sink in and it will soon look like a driveway full of craters.  Driveways will also become brittle over time, especially in areas with drastically changing climates.  When asphalt heats up, it expands.  When it cools, it contracts.  If you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters, your driveway will flex and bend to the point it becomes brittle.  This is the same reason why roads in the Midwest United States are always under construction.

Sealing your driveway when needed can help ward off damage caused by the elements.  In addition to repelling water and blocking out heat, it will make your driveway look nice.  After all, asphalt is black, not faded gray.  Using driveway sealers will keep it looking as nice as the day it was put in.  Regardless if you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it is a cheap alternative to replacing your entire driveway.  As with most things, a little care and maintenance can extend the life of just about anything.  On a side note, you should wait at least 90 days before placing any sealer on your driveway. 

There are many driveway sealers available.  The two most common are coal tar based and asphalt based.  Coal tar based sealers are a byproduct of coal and tar.  Asphalt sealers are petroleum based sealer.  While asphalt sealers are now the most used sealers, either one will do the job.  However, always choose quality over price.  Choosing the least expensive product will often get you into trouble as it could cause more damage to your driveway than if you had not sealed it at all.  Read reviews on different products as well as asking your local hardware store.  You will want to know the best sealer before you start as opposed to applying the sealer and then finding out that you should have paid the extra money. 

Apply the driveway sealer according to the manufacturers directions.  Always trust their recommendation as applying too little will not do any good.  In addition, too much driveway sealer can damage your driveway.  This is because of the chemicals used to make the sealer.  You should also only seal your driveway every 2 to 4 years as it begins to show signs of aging.  Sealing it too often will cause layers to build on top of each other, which can soon peel off and make your driveway look like you are stripping paint.  

If you do not feel like doing this project yourself, contact someone who is in the profession of paving driveways.  They will charge a reasonable rate to seal your driveway.  Also, the cost of sealing your driveway is nowhere near what you would have to pay them to replace your driveway if you fail to maintain it.

Category: Asphalt

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