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7 Driveway Maintenance Tips

7 Driveway Maintenance Tips

Black SUV parked in front of big house

Hallways are one of the most underused areas of your home, often overlooked until stained or cracked. Give them the attention they deserve by making repairs quickly. Not only can you extend the life of your driveway and look attractive in the future, you can save money in the long run. Consider these seven tips for proper care of your asphalt driveway and concrete:

1. Preventing Cracks

For driveways, prevention means sealing the concrete annually and sealing the asphalt every A few years to prevent water penetration, freezing and cracking. The roots of trees and shrubs can cause cracks by pushing up from the bottom. The solution is to remove trees near the drives or cut their roots too far.

2. Filling Cracks

If cracks or holes appear, repair them immediately. Use a masonry chisel to remove loose material and clean up debris before applying crack filler and patching compound. After the compound dries, close the passage completely. Making sure your driveway is smooth and level may also help reduce tripping accidents when guests visit your home.

3. Reduce Water on the Driveway

Clear a 2- to 3-inch strip around the driveway edges to provide a run-off area for snow and water to reduce the chances of surface penetration. Also, be sure to empty the downspout into the yard rather than the driveway.

4. DO NOT SALT CEMENT

Cement salt and chemical de-icers can penetrate surfaces, causing cracks. Both have to be fixed. Instead of salting, use a snow blower or shovel to remove the snow and use alternatives such as sand, ground coffee, alfalfa meal, or cat litter to make surfaces less slippery. To defrost, consider sprinkling the surface with sugar beet juice, which lowers the melting point of the ice and is effective at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Plow carefully

Raise the snowplow blade just enough to ensure you do not scrape and damage the driveway surface. If shoveling, use a plastic shovel for uneven surfaces to reduce the risk of them hitting the driveway. Then, either push the snow to the side and shovel it or remove the snow a few inches at a time as you work your way toward the ground.

6. Edge Protection

Believe it or not, the lanes are not designed for heavy trucks. Edges are particularly prone to cracking under increased weight. So make sure your car is parked away from the edges and that construction vehicles never stop there during home remodeling projects.

7. Clean your driveway

Removing stains from engine oil, radiator fluid, and similar materials does more than the appearance of your drive. Engine fluids can penetrate up to a quarter of an inch into concrete and can soften asphalt. Use non-clumping cat litter to soak up the fresh oil, followed by dishwashing powder and warm water. For older stains, try scrubbing the stain over and over with a fat-breaking, biodegradable cleaner. Make sure to use a regular cleaning brush. A wire brush can damage the driveway surface.

Make the most of your home with a clean and well-maintained driveway. It not only enhances the vehicle's attractiveness, but also lasts longer than overlooked drives. A little maintenance now can bring great returns later. Find out how to estimate the value of your home.

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