A paved driveway or walkway is a beautiful luxury for homeowners, providing aesthetics, convenience, and durability. However, paved surfaces require preventative maintenance solutions like any other exterior feature.

Wash the surface regularly to reduce oil, dirt, and other staining. Avoid using salt and other chemical-based de-icers because they are highly corrosive to asphalt. Instead, consider rock salt or potassium chloride.

Sweep Regularly

It’s important to sweep your paved driveway or walkway regularly with a broom or leaf blower to remove loose dirt, leaves, and other debris. This prevents these particles from settling on the surface and potentially staining or damaging it.

Regular power washing can prevent moss, mildew, and algae from forming on paved surfaces. This can help reduce tripping hazards and make your property look cleaner, especially if guests come over.

Frequent vehicle traffic increases the amount of dirt, grime, and liquid spillage on your paved surface. Fluids like motor oil, antifreeze, and gasoline can stain pavers or concrete. We recommend thoroughly cleaning with a commercial degreaser, soap, and hot water mixture. Resealing your asphalt or concrete driveway yearly prevents water from penetrating the surface, freezing, and cracking.

Seal Your Driveway

Asphalt blacktop driveways Elkhart IN are susceptible to weather and automobile traffic damage, but a simple seal coat can keep them looking new. A properly applied sealer helps to protect the surface from water, which is one of the leading causes of deterioration of asphalt surfaces.

The key to preserving your asphalt is regularly examining the driveway for cracks, holes, or crumbling. If you find any, it’s essential to caulk and seal them as soon as possible. Also, a concrete resurfacer can help level out any low spots in your driveway.

Joe Kindler, a former street-maintenance engineer, and William Fair, director of engineering services with the asphalt trade association Flexible Pavements of Ohio, agree that resealing the driveway is a good idea, but they differ on when. Kindler suggests resealing every two to five years, while Fair says you should reseal as soon as cracks start appearing.

Remove Debris

Your driveway is one of the first things that people notice about your home, and it’s also high on a checklist for buyers if you ever plan to sell. Unfortunately, oil spills, ground-in dirt, and other contaminants can cause tough stains that make your driveway look unclean.

If your paved surface is green or black, it may grow algae, mildew, or mold. These growths can not only ruin the appearance of your driveway, but they also give off a musty smell and are challenging to get rid of.

To remove tannin stains, wet the concrete with a garden hose and scrub it using a deck brush. Rinse as needed. Do not use a pressure washer, as the intense pressure can damage the surface.

Avoid Water Damage

Asphalt is vulnerable to water damage that can lead to potholes and other major types of damage. This is particularly true when cracks are left unattended, allowing water to seep through the surface and degrade the base beneath. The crack sealer helps prevent this damage and is critical to extending the life of your asphalt driveway or walkway.

It is also important to visually inspect your driveway or walkway at least twice a year. This will allow you to notice hairline cracks and have them repaired promptly, preventing further deterioration. Proper drainage is essential to the health of your pavement, and having your paving contractor create slopes and channels during the installation will help ensure water drains properly and avoids low spots.

Avoid Oil Spills

Asphalt is very porous, and oil and grease stains will quickly damage it. Clean up any spills immediately and use a degreaser to remove them.

If stains remain, consider using a standard household product, such as dish soap, to break up the oil and grease before it penetrates the surface. You can also use granular clay, cat litter, or commercially available absorbents.

To prevent cracking, seal your driveway every year. Keeping it properly maintained will not only increase its lifespan but will also help keep the surface looking newer. Preventative maintenance will also help reduce tripping hazards and make it safer to maneuver vehicles. It is also essential to remove any tree or shrub roots that are pushing up through the pavement.

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