Congratulations on purchasing your first house! Your first few weeks or months in your new home will no doubt involve basking in the warm glow of homeownership, but reality will catch up soon. Even the best homes require maintenance and repairs, including on your driveway. While asphalt is a highly durable material, it won't last forever.
If you want to ensure your new home feels as new as possible for as long as possible, you'll need to take steps to care for your driveway. These three critical tips will help you care for your driveway and delay an expensive replacement for as long as possible.
1. Don't Ignore Cleaning
Cleaning your asphalt isn't just an aesthetic consideration. While clean driveways look nicer, they will also last longer. Make cleaning your driveway a part of your usual monthly home maintenance routine, and take special care to inspect the asphalt surface for signs of stains from chemicals such as oil or gasoline.
Petroleum-based chemicals can cause severe damage to your driveway by degrading the chemical bonds in the asphalt binder. Given enough time, you'll notice the areas near stains breaking up as the binder loses cohesion and separates from the aggregate. When you spot stains, you should take action to clean them as soon as possible.
2. Rely on Professionals for Repairs
Most asphalt driveways will eventually suffer from major and relatively minor failures. Like many other parts of your home, water is often the culprit for damage to your driveway. Asphalt driveways require proper drainage to remain in good condition. Problems with drainage can damage the underlying layers of your driveway, causing everything from cracks to collapsing potholes.
Unfortunately, these problems are often self-reinforcing. Once issues form, they allow additional water to seep underneath your driveway. Improper or incomplete repairs may not fully address the problem. Once you notice cracks, potholes, or other major problems developing with your driveway, a professional repair is the best way to resolve the problem and protect your asphalt.
3. Don't Wait to Resurface
Resurfacing involves tearing up the top layer of asphalt on your driveway and installing a fresh layer of pavement. Resurfacing is generally more cost-effective than completely tearing out and replacing your driveway. More importantly, resurfacing will provide a new driveway surface, restoring your asphalt's appearance and functionality.
However, resurfacing is only possible when your driveway is still in relatively good condition. If you wait until major drainage issues develop and damage your driveway's foundation, you may have no choice except to remove the whole driveway and regrade. Once you notice deterioration across large sections of your driveway, don't wait to contact an experienced paving company to ask about resurfacing.
Reach out to a residential asphalt paving company near you for more information.