Tuesday, October 28 2008
This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. With adverse winter conditions ahead, it does not hurt to check your driveway for damages or needed repairs. The article below has very good suggestions and they are easy to follow. Keeping your driveway in shape will prolong the life of the driveway and it will be less expensive in the long run than to have to replace the entire driveway.
Preventive Maintenance For Your Driveway
Having your driveway paved with asphalt is quite an investment. It’s an investment that you will want to do all you can to protect. Right now is the perfect time to do some preventative maintenance to help your driveway survive the harsh winter weather. With a little preventative maintenance, your asphalt driveway should last for years.
Even the asphalt used on highways deteriorates with wear and weather, but the grade of asphalt the is most commonly used on driveways is much worse. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to protect your driveway is by sealing it. The heat and use during summer can damage your asphalt, but the freezing and thawing during the winter can wreak havoc on your driveway.
Your driveway should be sealed at regular intervals to protect it all year round. There are many benefits that come with sealing your driveway. It will make your driveway water resistant; it can help repel both rain and melting snow and ice. Water is the most destructive element for driveways; it can cause cracking which allows even further water damage.
The hot sun can also damage your driveway, it causes it to become overly dry and makes it more susceptible to cracks beneath the heavy weight of vehicles and also allows water seepage. But, even air can damage the surface of your driveway by causing corrosion.
Most professionals recommend that you apply a new coat of sealant to your driveway every one to three years. But, you can often tell when sealer is needed just by the color of your asphalt. If it appears to look really dried out, it’s time to add a new coat of sealant.
You should never apply driveway sealant to any new asphalt surface. When first paved you should allow the asphalt at least six months before applying a sealer. It generally takes that long for all of the oils in the asphalt to evaporate. And, as the oil evaporates out of the asphalt, your driveway will become harder and much more durable.
Applying a sealant will prevent the oil from being able to evaporate and the asphalt will remain soft. You also need to apply sealant only if the temperature is at least 50 degrees. In weather that is below fifty, the sealant won’t be able to adhere properly. Once applied, the sealant needs at least 48 hours to properly dry. So, you should also check the weather to make sure that you’re going to have several days of dry weather before sealing your driveway.
Before sealing your driveway you should also inspect it for any signs of cracking and repair them if you find any. You can purchase products to repair cracks in your asphalt, or call in a professional to do the work. Either way, it’s vital that any cracks or holes are properly repaired before sealing.
Applying a sealant to your asphalt driveway offers other benefits besides protection from the weather. It will also make your driveway much easier to clean and sweep. And, it will create a repellant for oil and other chemicals that might get spilled onto the surface.