Essential Driveway Maintenance Tips for Spring
Spring is almost here, and as the weather warms up you’ll start noticing the damage Jack Frost left on your driveway: cracks or potholes in your asphalt, cracked or crumbling concrete or pavers, or dips and holes in your gravel driveway. It’s crucial to nip things in the bud before spring and summer rain can turn minor damage into a major headache. Read on to see how to repair and protect your driveway so it can stay functional and attractive for years to come!
Concrete is one of the best looking, lowest maintenance materials for constructing a driveway. It’s also one of the most expensive, so if your driveway is made of concrete, it’s extra important to correct any problems before they turn into major damage and cause you to replace your driveway sooner than you should have to.
Rain can seep underneath of your driveway and cause the ground to shift, leading to cracking and crumbling. If you live in a climate where there are freezes and thaws, the risk of damage is even greater. Water can also pool in any low spots on your driveway’s surface and cause cracking.
Examine your driveway carefully, checking for any cracks, holes, or crumbling concrete. Don’t forget to look for cracks inside of the expansion joints. Check your driveway a second time just after a good rain, and look for any areas of standing water.
Caulk and seal any cracks that you find in your driveway, and seal any damaged expansion joints. Use a concrete re-surfacer to level out any low spots, or to put a “new face” on damaged concrete. Lift up any areas that have begun to sink lower than the rest of the driveway. Re-seal your driveway every three to five years, and keep your driveway clean and free of damaging growths such as moss and lichen in between re-sealings.
Asphalt driveways provide a smooth, durable surface for your vehicles, and a well-maintained asphalt driveway is an attractive feature for your home. Asphalt does need regular care to stay solid, though, and little cracks left unaddressed can turn your driveway into a crumbling eyesore.
Spring is the perfect time to check your driveway for any damage that winter’s moisture and extreme temperatures may have inflicted on your asphalt driveway. Check for any cracks, weed encroachment along the edges, or potholes, and check your driveway after it rains to see if there are any areas where water pools on its surface.
Patch any potholes and fill in any low areas you find on your driveway, and repair any cracks. Pull any weeds along the edge of the driveway, and clean up the edges with an edging tool or hoe. If weed encroachment is a problem, consider installing an edging along your driveway, such as rubber mulch with a weed-proof mat underneath. Seal-coat your driveway every one to three years, and keep it clean and free of damaging growths such as moss and lichen in between seal-coating.
Gravel driveways are less expensive to install than most other driveways, which is a big plus if you have a long driveway. Gravel driveways need regular care, though, or they will turn into a muddy mess full of ankle-turning dips and shock-busting holes.
Check your driveway for any potholes or ruts. Look at your driveway after it rains, and make sure that water isn’t pooling anywhere. If your driveway isn’t draining rain water properly, you will continue to battle frequent potholes and gravel loss.
Repair any potholes and ruts, fill in any lost gravel, and repair your driveway’s drainage system if necessary. Kill any weeds you find growing in your driveway. Repeat this process at least twice a year, in the spring and fall.
Brick or Paver Driveways
A driveway made from bricks or pavers can give your home a charming old-fashioned appeal or allow you to craft unique geometric designs. But damaging forces such as weeds, moss, lichen, cracking, and shifting can wreak havoc on your beautiful creation.
Check your driveway for any cracked pavers. Replace severely damaged pavers, and repair minor cracks. Re-set any sunken pavers, pull any weeds, and replace any lost driveway border material. Re-seal your pavers according to the instructions for the material, and keep them free of damaging growths such as moss and lichen in between re-sealing.