7 Driveway Maintenance Tips

An asphalt driveway is a perfect place to park your vehicle. Of the 18 billion tons of asphalt on America’s roads, there are millions more on driveways alone.

Driveways are among the most used areas of any home. Over time, they will need routine maintenance if you want to avoid an unsightly driveway and the risk of damage to your vehicle. Here are some great driveway maintenance tips.

1. Prevent Cracks in Your Driveway

Did you know that 63% of housing units have a garage or carport? As a result, driveways are liable to crack over time for the same reasons the average road experiences the same problem.

Although there’s far less traffic than on a public road, your driveway is vulnerable to the weather. Unfortunately, the climate emergency means that changing weather conditions are causing more and more cracks in the average driveway.

Hot and cold weather causes the asphalt and gravel to expand and contract according to the weather. You may not notice any problems during the first years after construction, but over time it becomes more and more common.

Another issue is the changing levels of your drive caused by extended tree and shrub roots. Roots will push up your driveway from underneath. You may need to remove trees near your drive or have the roots removed.

If cracks have already happened, you may also find that your driveway is no longer providing the smooth approach you expect. In this case, you will need to invest in a pull-behind driveway grader to correct the problem. Alternatively, contact a professional with the same grading equipment to ensure a level drive.

2. Patch Your Cracks

Cracks and holes are inevitable no matter how well you maintain your driveway. Any cracks or holes should be patched immediately. These cracks and holes will quickly extend across your driveway without due attention.

Patching cracks doesn’t require the intervention of a professional. You only need a little know-how and a spare afternoon to solve the problem.

Start by taking a masonry chisel and removing any loose materials. Next, brush away any debris from the crack or hole. Next, apply a crack filler and patching compound to the afflicted area. You will need to wait for the compound to dry before sealing the entire driveway.

The sealing process is critical because patching is rarely perfect. In addition, sealing and leveling your driveway will prevent tipping accidents, exposing you to liability.

3. Ensure Proper Drainage on Your Driveway

Driveway Maintenance

Look at the average driveway, and you will notice a two or three-inch strip around the edges. These are not aesthetic choices. Instead, they are essential to preventing water and snow from pooling on your driveway. The longer standing water or snow is in contact with the asphalt or gravel, the higher the chance of penetrating it.

Make sure this strip is around your driveway to provide a runoff area for water, ice, and snow.

It’s also worth checking how water is draining away from your home. For example, downspouts should not be dumping water onto your driveway. If your downspouts are routing water onto the driveway instead of the yard, you’ll need to call in a professional to rectify the issue.

4. Take Extra Care with Cement Driveways

Cement is a strong and sturdy material for a driveway. However, take extra care in winter because salt and chemical de-icers should never be applied to a cement driveway. These substances can easily penetrate cement and cause cracking.

The salting alternative is removing snow from the driveway or manually utilizing a snowblower. To combat ice, consider alfalfa meals, coffee groups, and sand to prevent people from slipping on your driveway. Sugar beet juice is another great home de-icer because it lowers the melting point of ice, causing it to dissipate faster.

5. Plow with Care

Do you prefer to use a snowplow to deal with packed snow on your driveway?

Make sure you plow carefully to avoid damaging the surface. Raise the plow’s blade, so it avoids scraping across your driveway. Some homeowners prefer to avoid using their snowplows on their driveways entirely to lower the risk of damage.

Another alternative to plowing is to use a shovel. Opt for a plastic shovel to avoid it catching on the uneven parts of the driveway. Push the snow to one side instead of digging into it.

6. Defend Your Edges

Most driveways aren’t designed for excessively heavy vehicles, particularly large trucks. While most driveways can cope with the occasional oversized vehicle, the edges of your driveway cannot.

A driveway’s edges are especially vulnerable to chipping when large weights are placed on top. For this reason, make sure all vehicles are parked well away from the edges.

If you expect to have construction vehicles approaching your home soon, cordon off your driveway because construction vehicles can quickly cause parts of your driveway to disintegrate.

7. Keep Your Driveway Clean

Everyone wants a driveway that adds to the overall curb appeal of their home. Unfortunately, motor oil, radiator fluid, and other substances can stain your driveway and alter its appearance. However, many of these substances don’t just cause unsightly stains.

Motor fluids can soften asphalt and penetrate a quarter inch into concrete, thus compromising its structural integrity. Combat fresh oil by using kitty litter rated as non-clumping. Kitty litter is excellent at absorbing fresh oil.

Apply dishwashing soap and warm water, and wipe the mess away.

If there’s an older stain on your driveway, biodegradable cleaners and a normal scrubbing brush can be enough to remove it. Stay away from wire brushes, as they can also damage the topmost layer of your driveway.


Your driveway is an essential part of your home. Unfortunately, overlooking it can cause serious problems and leave you with a hefty repair bill in the long run.

Acting on signs of wear and tear will ensure that your driveway does its job, looks great, and can stand up against even the harshest weather conditions.

What are you doing to protect your driveway throughout the year?

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