How to Keep Your Asphalt Driveway Looking Brand New
When you invest in a new asphalt driveway, you will want it to look new for as long as possible. The rich, deep hue from the pavement adds curb appeal to your home, but over time and with regular use it can fade quickly. There are steps you can take to keep pavement looking new and healthy. These tips also double as preventative care. The more time you invest in keeping it looking new, the better the health of your driveway.
Don't wait too long to repair cracks. They are inevitable, and some are superficial, but you want to keep a close watch. The wider they become, the more dangerous they are to the integrity of your driveway. Splitting exposes the subsurface. If water penetrates, it could erode the foundation. Erosion on that level could have the whole driveway crumble. Repair early and you not only prolong the life of your blacktop but keep it looking new.
Seal Your Driveway
One of the best things you can do for the health of your driveway is to have it seal coated every three to five years. The coating will protect the binder. Asphalt is constructed from aggregate and a flexible adhesive. Exposure to the elements can weaken it. Seal coating will keep it healthy and slow down the natural wear and tear. It will also protect from UV and water damage that can shorten its lifespan. Seal coating is also responsible for the rich shine associated with new blacktops meaning it can improve your curb appeal.
Take Care When Parking Your Car in the Summer
Heat from the sun will make the asphalt material more pliable. The extreme temperatures experienced during Tennessee summers can cause some driveways to get tire marks. They happen you break a little harder than usual or take a sharp turn while the pavement has been baking in the sun. If you experience tire marks, there isn't a whole lot that can be done to have them removed. It will take some oxidation and time for them to disappear.
Don't Turn Your Wheel
Power steering offers the driver the ability to turn the wheel while stationary. This could be a problem during the summer because a sharp turn like that could cause a divot in the softened asphalt. Divots will show the age of the driveway and cause weak spots in the pavement. If one materializes, you can have it repaired by a contractor who will patch up the pavement.
Contact Roadbuilders for more information on asphalt driveways
Keep Heavy Equipment Off the Pavement
Anything with a bit of weight could add indentions to the blacktop. Things like campers, trailers, or boats could cause these problems. A way around this is by adding plywood under the wheels to prevent the asphalt from dipping under the weight.
Be Careful When Removing Snow
If asphalt is playable in the summer, it's brittle in the winter. It can break and chip readily when you aren't careful. The strain from the ice will put pressure on the material. However, salt on the driveway will cause erosion and discoloration. Use sparingly. On days when there are heavy snows, shovel it by using a plastic shovel rather than a metal. Metal can chip away at the surface and inflict unnecessary damages.
Fall is full of beautiful leaves, but they aren't so fabulous when they begin to collect on the driveways. In wet conditions, they are very slippery and reduce traction. The decomposition of the leaves will leave stains that diminish the appearance. Keep leaves off your pavement. Power wash if you decide to use de-icer during the winter. The accumulation of the salt will stick to tires and cause the composite to break down quicker.
Remove Oil Stains
Driveways are meant to be used, and oil stains can be a result. The appearance of an oil stain can reduce the curb appeal. Asphalt is dark, but oil will make it look even darker. There are a couple of DIY methods you can employ to remove the stain. First, purchase a degreaser. Follow the directions on the back to get the oil out. The second is a little more eco-friendly but does require more time. Kitty litter is another way to remove stains. Pour it over the oil spot and leave it overnight. In the morning you should be able to brush it away.
Be Careful with Diesel Fuel
Fuel spills from unleaded gasoline present few problems to asphalt. But, diesel will degrade the material quickly. Most asphalt pavers use diesel to clean their equipment because it's so effective at dissolving residue. Diesel fuel on the driveway will destroy the binders. It can cause a hole if it's just left there without being cleaned. Handle diesel fuel with care. Boats or campers that might require you to keep it on hand will need special handling and storage.