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It can cost Americans between $1,000 to $13,000 for a new driveway depending on its size. Fortunately, proper driveway maintenance can help homeowners avoid those high expenses.
Basic driveway care is also a great way to add curb appeal to your home and create usable outdoor space. But if you’re a brand new homeowner, you might not know where to start with driveway repair and maintenance.
Don’t fret over driveway cracks or other unsightly issues because this brief guide has you covered! Read on to discover what steps you should take to avoid a full driveway replacement.
Concrete Driveway Maintenance Tips
Concrete driveways are very common and they look great if taken care of. But many homeowners assume these driveways are maintenance-free and let them deteriorate until they need a pricey replacement.
If you live in an area with lots of rain, it can seep below your concrete driveway and shift the ground underneath. Heavy rain can also cause pooling in low spots and lead to concrete cracking or crumbling.
Water damage is even more likely if you live in an area with frequent freezing and thawing. To prevent problems with moisture, make sure you have sufficient drainage around your driveway. You can also level out low spots by using a concrete resurfacer.
Speaking of freezing temperatures, don’t use cement salt, or chemicals to remove ice and snow from a concrete driveway. They will penetrate the concrete’s surface and create cracks over time. Remove the snow yourself using a blower or shovel instead.
You’ll also want to make sure to clean any moss or lichen from your driveway. Chemicals and oil spills require immediate cleanup as well. Use a standard hose or powerwasher, or hire a Charlotte pressure washing company for professional cleaning.
Inspect your driveway often for any new holes, cracks, or crumbling. Make sure to pay closer attention to the expansion joints. Use caulk to seal any cracks as soon as you find them on your driveway. Completely re-seal your driveway at least every 3 to 5 years.
Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Tips
The smooth look of asphalt makes for a very attractive driveway option. It’s also very durable, but that doesn’t mean it won’t require regular upkeep just like concrete.
Inspect your asphalt driveway for any cracks, weeds growing along the edges, pooling water, and potholes. use an edging tool or hoe to get rid of any weeds and fix potholes and cracks as soon as possible.
Don’t park any vehicles on your asphalt driveway if it’s extremely hot outside. You might end up with tire marks permanently imprinted on the driveway.
Avoid placing heavy objects like machinery or large dumpsters on asphalt to prevent damage. Just like concrete, you should
re-seal your asphalt driveway every 3 to 5 years to keep it in great condition.
Brick Driveway Maintenace Tips
Brick and paver driveways create a beautiful old-fashioned look and even allow for intricate designs. But if left unattended, they can become an eyesore quickly!
Always replace heavily damaged bricks and pavers immediately and use polymeric sand to fix minor cracks. Reset bricks and pavers that have sunk down and remove any weeds or lichen that’s growing. Also, polymeric sand helps prevent new weed growth.
Clean away any dirt and debris from the bricks and paver often to prevent stains and slips. Just make sure to only spray the bricks with a hose and avoid spraying straight into the joints.
You can also use a wire brush with a mild detergent mixture to remove tough stains by hand. Always wash away any leftover detergent mixture afterward.
Bricks and pavers require you to reseal them every 2 to 3 years if you want them to look their best.
Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tips
Gravel is an affordable option for long driveways and it’s simple to install. However, they end ups with holes, dips, and muddy areas without frequent upkeep.
First, inspect your gravel driveway for any new potholes, grooves, or pooling water. Next, fill in the potholes or grooves and replace any lost gravel. You might need to add more drainage if your gravel driveway constantly needs heavy maintenance.
Always remove any tree limbs, leaves, or other debris from the gravel as soon as possible. If you let debris buildup get out of control, it’s a pain to get it out without disturbing the gravel!
Good grading helps keep any gravel driveway looking its best. Remember that the gravel on the driveway always needs to be at its highest point in the middle. From there, feather the gravel down and out to the edges of the driveway to make a grade of 2% to 5%.
When filling in holes and dips, always use new gravel instead of stealing gravel from other areas of your driveway. Try to add a brand new layer of gravel to your driveway once a year or every 2 years at the latest.
Driveway Upkeep Made Simple
Now you know driveway maintenance tips for all sorts of styles. No matter the driveway type, it only takes a few steps and precautions to keep them maintained. However, you must always keep an eye out for issues and stay on a consistent schedule.
Remember, watch for weeds, pooling water, cracks, and any other damages. Act fast before your driveway issues pile up and leave you with no other choice than to pay for a replacement.
We hope this guide helps you keep your driveway looking great and makes it last well into the future! Check out our finance and technology sections for more thoughtful ways to save money around the house.