Why is it essential to maintain your driveway in good condition?
You cannot avoid cracks in a driveway, but you can prevent cracks and potholes in driveways before they create a dent in your wallet. Below, we discussed how homeowners could prevent cracks and potholes with proper driveway maintenance. We also identify the culprit behind those cracks and potholes so you can do your best to avoid them.
Homeowners and visitors first set foot on a driveway before entering any part of the house. However, most of the time, it is the least priority in property maintenance. Here are some reasons why it’s high time to prioritise driveway maintenance:
- A driveway in excellent condition adds value to a property, especially if the property is in a prime location.
- Safety issues are a top priority. You would not want family members and visitors to trip or fall.
- A rough driveway with cracks and potholes may puncture tyres and damage vehicles.
- These cracks can become potholes as big as a moon crater.
- Early detection of cracks and potholes prevents costly driveway repair and replacement.
- Extending the lifespan of a driveway translates to savings in the long run.
Driveways use sturdy materials but also succumb to traffic, weathering, and aging. Asphalt driveways, for example, have gravel and packed dirt underneath the asphalt to drain water properly.
Some factors that contribute to cracks and potholes in driveways include the following:
1. The extreme heat of the sun
The extreme heat of the sun during summer months causes asphalt to crack. It can cause a bigger problem if left unattended.
2. Ground shifting
As mentioned earlier, most asphalt driveways have layers of gravel beneath them. When natural phenomena like earthquakes and heavy storms cause the earth to move, the gravel shifts course and causes cracks in the asphalt. They are highly noticeable after the dust has settled.
The older the asphalt driveway, the more it is unlikely to withstand pressure from traffic and weather. Therefore, it is good to inspect the entire driveway for cracks and potholes before winter and summer come around.
Here are seven tips to ensure a pothole-free driveway:
1. Prevent cracks by sealing and resealing.
Sealing a driveway once every three years help prevent cracks and extend the lifespan of a driveway.
A seal coat acts like a shield to protect driveways from damage caused by elements like water, oils, and ultraviolet rays. In addition, sealing the driveway offers the following benefits:
· It protects against harsh chemicals.
A liquid spill from harsh chemicals like auto fluids and oils eats away asphalt. Likewise, small leaks from a vehicle exhaust pipe and gas reservoir can cause damage if there is no barrier on the surface.
· It provides sun protection.
A seal coat acts like a sunblock to protect the driveway against ultraviolet damage. Like skin that ages prematurely without sun protection, a driveway ages prematurely without a seal coat. The oxidation from UV rays breaks down binders that keep asphalt together. Thus, it makes driveways age prematurely and susceptible to wear and tear.
· Its flexibility protects against cracks and potholes.
A seal coat heats with the sun, making it flexible to prevent cracks and wear and tear.
· It waterproofs the driveway.
Water deteriorates the asphalt driveway quickly when it seeps into cracks. It erodes the ground underneath and makes the driveway foundation unstable. A seal coat is a barrier against water overflow, rain, or even hail.
· Easy driveway maintenance
A seal coat smoothens the surface of a driveway, making it easier to clean without fear of water seeping into cracks. Sweep debris like sand, dust, and dirt with a broom without fear of damaging the driveway.
2. Ensure proper drainage.
Reduce water exposure by installing a drainage system to prevent water from seeping into cracks.
Also, clear the strips around the edge for water to run off instead of flowing into the driveway.
3. Ensure regular cleaning and maintenance.
What is the best way to clean a driveway? It is best to clean stubborn stains with biodegradable detergent and warm water. Use cat litter to absorb oil spills and motor vehicle fluids, followed by grease-cutting detergent and warm water. Do not use a wire brush in cleaning driveways because it will scratch the surface.
4. Keep car tyres pumped.
Keep car tyres pumped at the correct pressure to avoid uneven weight across the surface. A depressurised car tyre puts pressure on one side, making it susceptible to cracks and potholes.
5. Remove weeds and keep trees away from the driveway.
Weeds, shrubs, and tree roots grow through gaps and eventually create cracks in the driveway. Use weed killer or pull out weeds by hand to avoid unnecessary repairs.
6. Utilise garage space.
The best way of parking is to utilise garage space instead of a driveway. It reduces the chance of motor oil spills and gives the driveway a breather from wear and tear. If it could talk, your driveway will thank you for making a good choice.
7. Fill cracks immediately.
Property owners can prevent cracks in driveways, but what if they already exist? Cracks expand quickly. The best way is to remove loose clutter and clean the debris before applying a crack filler. Seal the entire driveway as soon as it dries up.