Smooth Driveway Maintenance: Filling Cracks And Preventing Stains

Take care of your driveway all year long so that when bad weather comes around, your car will have no problems.

Your home's driveway plays a key role in providing access to and from the garage or house. Whether you have a gravel or crushed stone drive, called an aggregate surface, or a concrete or asphalt drive, referred to as smooth, there are things you can do to extend the life and use of your paved or unpaved area. Let's focus here on just the smooth surfaces.

First, keep an eye on the drive whenever you get in or out of your car. While you may not remember to check every time, glance at it often to catch any problems early before they grow out of proportion and become expensive, usually after extensive exposure to moisture or bad weather conditions. Look for cracks, chips, or holes that may pose tripping hazards or tire damage, along with weeds or overgrowth with roots that burrow below the driveway surface to create underlying problems.

After finding a crack or chipped area that needs to be repaired, first sweep the drive clean of sand, anthills, or dust debris. Remove weeds with a fungicide or use natural cider vinegar as a weed-killer between cracks or along the borders of the driveway, as well as in front of the garage where the driveway ends. Pick up any nails, broken glass, or other sharp pieces that can cause injury. Your driveway surface should be smooth and clear at all times, but especially before treatment.

Next, get a mixture of the right kind of repair substance for your drive, whether concrete or asphalt. Ask the home supply store's shopping assistant on the best product for your home's driveway. At home, follow directions to mix the product as directed, keeping in mind the temperature should be above 50 degrees and the weather should have been dry for at least two days; otherwise, the repairing substance may not dry correctly. After filling potholes or cracks with the repair substance, wait for it to dry completely before using the drive.

Clean oil or other chemical stains promptly, using a degreaser or recommended cleaner. Check with a professional before using anything on your driveway to reduce the risk of error or injury. Asphalt driveways should be resealed every other year with an oil-based sealant to prevent damage from cars, weather, or salt.

Be sure to remove weeds from around your driveway and in the cracks on it. Consider adding landscaping features alongside to enhance the look of your drive. Shrubs, flowerbeds, and clusters of seasonal blooms add delightful color to your home's entryway. Coordinate these features with others on your property and the house in terms of color, design, and theme.

String yellow tape or regular string with attached paper that will flap to scare away animals or birds until the surface dries. If you apply too much sealant, it may not dry quickly or completely. Use only the prescribed amount.

Your driveway offers aesthetic value that coordinates with the rest of your property. Treat it well to prolong usage and to enhance the quality of this important access point.

© High Speed Ventures 2011