Regular annual maintenance is required to prolong the life of any asphalt driveway.
Driveways that are not cared for will deteriorate, reaching a point where driveway sealant will not successfully seal the surface.
Weeds should be killed using weed killer and removed.
Along the edge of the driveway any grass or dirt should be scraped back.
Oil must be removed using grease removing detergent, do not use a grease removing chemical that contains petroleum distillates, this will erode the surface you are trying to protect. Use a stiff brush to work the grease remover into the stain, rinse off with water.
Cracks in the surface should be filled using asphalt crack filler.
Pay particular attention to the edges of the driveway, where grass and weeds will break it up.
The joint to the concrete at the garage, walkway or sidewalk should be cleaned out and sealed.
Cracks should be scraped and brushed clean (can use the shop vac after scraping)
Potholes should be filled with a trowel grade asphalt patching compound. The asphalt should be sealed using a good driveway sealant. Look for products that have a rubberized base, (latex or water emulsion will not hold up).
Driveways should be repaired and sealed annually in the fall, winter is the hardest season for driveways.
Freezing water in cracks and potholes expands, breaking up the asphalt around the sides of the crack or hole, making the damage worse.
Sealants can be brushed or rolled on. Sealant should be applied in two directions to ensure that it penetrates and fills the cracks properly.
Do not apply a thick coat, it will peel off. Two thin coats are better than one thick coat.
Temperature needs to be above 45 degrees before resealing. Above 80 and it dries so quickly that it can be difficult to apply.
Do not drive on the resealed driveway for two days. The coating may appear to have cured after one day but will not be strong enough for use.
Professional sealing companies add between 1 to 2 pounds of sand to every 50 gallons of sealer to improve traction.
Homeowner repairs can work successfully, however the products sold to the homeowner are not the same products the professionals use.
Professionals use a solid rubber crack sealant that is not practical for homeowners to apply.
Use the better – more expensive – sealant, it lasts longer!
Not much longer, those 10 year products sold in major stores will give you two or three years or coverage.