For a house, the driveway stands out as a highly overlooked and overused area. Usually, attention for the driveway appears only when a crack or a stain is noticed. Unfortunately, by that time, it is possible that it is way too late and repairs would be costly.
The good news is that you can always fix your driveway. Options like concrete leveling are available. However, it is always better to focus on maintenance and prevention. This drastically reduces your costs in the long run. With this in mind, here are some tasks that you should undertake.
For your driveway, this means you need to annually seal concrete. With asphalt, you have to do this every few years. The goal is to prevent water from getting inside as it freezes, penetrates, and leads to cracks. Shrub and tree roots can also cause cracks since they push up from the ground. With this problem, you need to remove the trees close to drives and you should always trim roots.
When holes or cracks appear, you have to immediately patch them. Masonry chisels can be used to remove absolutely all the loose material. Then, a brush can remove the remaining debris. Apply crack fillers in a combination with patching compound. As soon as the compound is dry, you have to seal the driveway. Make sure it is level and smooth so that tripping accidents will not happen.
Minimize The Presence Of Water
The best way to do this is to create a runoff area so that water and snow can follow it instead of going on the driveway. A strip of 2 to 3 inches is more than enough. As the water goes around the driveway, it does not penetrate its surface. In addition, make sure your downspouts will empty to the yard, not to the driveway.
Avoid Using Salt
Chemical de-icers and salt are often used to clean driveways. The problem is that they penetrate the surface and cause the appearance of cracks. Do not use salting. The alternative is the use of a shovel or snowblower so you can easily remove snow or you could use alternatives. Some of the popular ones are alfalfa meal, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and sand. They will make the surface of the driveway less slippery. When you need to melt ice, you can use sugar beet juice. It lowers the ice melting point and is highly effective even at very low temperatures.
Carefully Plow The Driveway
When you use a snow plow, make sure to raise the blade so that it does not damage the surface of the driveway by scraping it. When shoveling, instead of the regular shovel, use one made out of plastic and designed for uneven surfaces. Try to remove the snow only inches at a time. Never remove large quantities at once.
Carefully And Consistently Clean The Driveway
Stains can easily appear because of radiator fluid, motor oil, and several other substances. These can penetrate the concrete and will soften asphalt.
Absorb the fresh oil with kitty litter (use the non-clumping option). Then, use dishwashing detergent (grease-cutting option) in a combination with warm water. If the stain is old, scrub it with biodegradable, grease-cutting cleaners. Only use regular scrub brushes since wire brushes will damage the surface of the driveway.