Home Maintenance Tips: How To Maintain A Driveway Or Walkway To Prevent Cracks

Steps to take to make your cement driveway or sidewalk last longer by preventing damage. Advice on eliminating or avoiding roots, and techniques for edging, sealing, waterproofing, and cleaning.

Whether you have a cement driveway or walkway, or a blacktop driveway or walkway, you want your investment to last for a long period of time. Therefore, in order to protect your ways, you're going to need to provide it with some periodic inspection and maintenance.

First off, you may not realize this, but if you have any trees or bushes growing too close to your driveway or walkway, the roots can, and will, grow right up through the cement or asphalt. This will not only crack the materials, but it will also cause it to break off and crumble. In order to avoid this problem, you should either relocate the trees or bushes - if they are not too large to move- or just remove them completely.

You should also "edge" the sides of any driveway or walkway that is connected to your lawn. "Edging" means that you remove the sod within two to three inches of the cement or blacktop. This will allow rain, melted snow, et cetera, to drain off of the surface better. It will also help to keep weeds, grass, et cetera, from growing up underneath your driveway or walkway. Plus, any weed killer, and other chemicals that are put on your lawn won't get on your driveway or walkway.

Next, you will also need to periodically seal and waterproof your driveway or walkway by using a good - quality product. This will help to protect it from freezing temperatures, corrosive chemicals, and other damaging materials. Be sure to read the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to obtain the best results. If you use a good - quality product, then you should only have to seal your driveway or walkway every two to three years. Otherwise, if you use a low - quality product, you may have to seal and waterproof every year.

The fourth maintenance item you will need to do is to simply keep the cement or blacktop clean. You can achieve this task easily by using an electric or gas - powered leaf blower. It will remove leaves, glass clippings, tree limbs, and other debris that can collect on your driveway and walkway. Then, you should finish the cleaning job by using a low - powered pressure washer to spray wash the area. Especially on your driveway, clean up any gasoline, grease, oil, and other such spills up as soon as possible before the chemicals can damage the cement or blacktop.

If you have a cement driveway or walkway, and it has just been poured, it's important that you don't put salt on them, especially during the first winter. Salt on cement often causes scaling and crumbling which can lead to cracks and worse damage. Using a good ice melter will liquefy snow and ice without harming your cement.

And, if you have your driveway plowed during the winter, make sure the operator lifts his blade up so he doesn't scrape, crack, and otherwise damage it. If you clear your driveway and walkway yourself, make sure that you use the same care in plowing it.

The fifth thing you need to do is to keep the rain and melting snow from running out of your gutters and downspouts on to your driveway. Inspect your water drainage system periodically to make sure the water is flowing freely through it. If water gets underneath your driveway or walkway during the freezing winter months, they can actually "float" and rise up. This can crack and otherwise damage these areas.

Finally, the sixth maintenance item is to keep heavy trucks, equipment, et cetera, off of your driveway. Concrete or blacktop is durable, but your driveway is not meant to accommodate heavy vehicles.

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