Quick and Easy Maintenance Tips to Keep Every Driveway Looking Great
A new driveway can be quite an expense, but it also adds value and curb appeal to your home. Well maintained driveways show that you take pride in your home and make it look welcoming.
In this Driveway Guides article, we will outline how you can care and maintain many types of driveways in less than one hour a month. One hour is very manageable for most homeowners and many of the tips cost little to no money.
In addition to the tips below, here are few things you should always do to maintain your driveway, regardless of the type:
- Remove stains immediately
- Don’t use deicing chemicals
- Avoid the heavy traffic of large moving vans and construction equipment
- Snow plows should not be used on it
Concrete Driveway Maintenance
The key to keeping your concrete driveway looking great is with cleaning and sealing it on a regular basis.
Sealing: Concrete driveways should be sealed about every 2 years or when you notice that the finish is starting to show signs of wear. This is assuming your driveway is used for normal everyday traffic and you do not live in an area with overly severe weather. If your concrete drive is at a business, you may need to seal more often. There are many good sealers on the market and you can find them at any big box home improvement store.
Cleaning: How often your concrete driveway needs to be cleaned primarily depends on the amount of traffic it receives and what type of vehicles are parked on it. Obviously, any fluid leaks should be cleaned up immediately because it can seep into the concrete and discolor it and break it down from the bottom up. Here is a full tutorial from Lowes on how to clean your concrete driveway.
Brick Driveway Maintenance
A brick driveway can be a time-consuming and expensive driveway to have installed, so proper maintenance is especially important to help it last longer and looking great.
Remove Grass or Weeds: At least once a week, take a walk over your driveway and remove any weeds or grass that may have started to grow in between the bricks. This is the first step to proper maintenance of your brick driveway.
Sweeping: Brick driveways will regularly buildup lots of dirt and mud in between the bricks. Buy yourself a good outdoor sweeper and get on a regular schedule of sweeping your driveway to remove excess dirt from between the bricks. This will keep it from packing down and making for a more difficult cleaning process.
Power Washing or Wet Cleaning: You can wet-clean your brick driveway by using a hard bristle brush, hot water and a few drops of soap detergent. Scrub well then rinse with a garden hose. For more tough stains, you may need to use a power washer. Be warned: Do not use a power washer if you have any loose pavers. This will cause the water to go underneath and risk more bricks becoming loose. Here is a great video on how to pressure wash a brick driveway.
Gravel Driveway Maintenance
A gravel driveway is one of least expensive options when putting in a new driveway and more people are opting for them based on the prices of other materials. But, you have to keep on top of maintenance to keep it looking nice. The same steps below can also be followed for pebble driveway maintenance.
Weeding: Weeds will regularly grow in a gravel drive, so use a weed cleaner all over the driveway to keep the weeds away.
Raking: You need to rake your gravel driveway occasionally to keep it as level as you can. To keep this task from being so daunting, don’t wait 2 months in between raking. Instead, once a week go out and rake into low levels to even it out.
Potholes: Potholes are one of the main reasons that people forego a gravel driveway, but they are really easy to fix. As soon as you see a hole, rake back the gravel and fill the hole with sand. Replace the gravel and you are good to go.
Asphalt Driveway Maintenance
Besides concrete, asphalt is quite a popular choice for a driveway. An asphalt driveway can look fantastic when you first get it, but without proper care and maintenance, it can go downhill pretty quickly.
Rinsing: Once a week, pull out the garden hose and rinse off the driveway to remove any dirt and debris. This also gives you a chance to do a cursory inspection to spot the start of any cracks or issues
Spills: As much as possible you want to avoid getting any spills like motor oil or gasoline on the asphalt because it can damage the surface. If you do have a spill, immediately remove the excess with absorbent towels or rags. Then rinse the driveway with the garden hose to wash away as much as possible. If this doesn’t remove the stain, then use a detergent with a degreaser and brush the spill to remove it.
Seal Coating: Once your driveway has been put in, you should not have to seal coat it again unless you want it for the aesthetic value. You should only have to seal coat again after repairs are made by a driveway contractor, or you have fixed large cracks. If you decide you would like to make this a DIY project, this video shares tips on sealing and repairing your asphalt driveway.
Flagstone Driveway Maintenance
A flagstone driveway is quite beautiful and comes in so many different designs. But, it can be quite expensive, so you will want to care for it properly.
Cleaning: Fill a bucket with dish soap and hot water, then use a large outdoor brush to scrub the stone. Rinse with the high power nozzle on your garden hose. Do this once a month and it should keep your stone looking quite good and minimize any staining.
Stains: If you notice stains on your flagstone, then you may need to purchase a cleaning product that is especially for it. These solutions usually contain muriatic acid, so gloves and safety goggles will need to be used. Note: Always follow the instructions on the container because overuse of these products can make your stone look worse instead of better.
How Do You Maintain Your Driveway?
Share your own driveway cleaning and maintenance tips below. We love hearing from our visitors.