When was the last time you pressure washed or sealed your home’s driveway?
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve likely never thought about cleaning your driveway. After installation, your newly paved driveway should be good, right? The answer is, not always.
Your home needs regular maintenance, like cleaning and repairs. Well, your driveway also needs similar care. Without proper driveway protection and cleaning, your new paved driveway will stain, crack, and degrade over time.
Fortunately, cleaning and protecting your driveway is not that difficult or expensive. Almost anyone can care for their paved driveway. If you can’t or don’t have time, professionals are willing to help.
Still not convinced. Here’s what you need to know about driveway protection.
Why Driveway Protection Matters
Installing a new asphalt or paved driveway isn’t a cheap or easy home improvement project. It requires a driveway professional, hard work, and patience. Naturally, you want your driveway to last longer than a few years.
Without cleaning and protection, there’s a lot that can go wrong with your driveway. Some climates are harsher on driveways than others. Here’s are the most common reasons why you must clean and seal your driveway.
Prevent Weeds & Cracks
Over time, cracks may start to appear on your driveway. The longer you leave the cracks unattended, the more dirt and weeds will make their way into those cracks.
Weeds cause the cracks to widen and spread, damaging more of your driveway, leading to expensive repairs later on. Not to mention how bad weeds look growing in your driveway.
You can avoid the need for costly repairs by pressure washing your driveway. This will remove most of the dirt, grime, and weeds settling in the cracks.
Prevent Weather Damage
Do you live in a climate where you experience steamy hot summers and frigid cold winters? If yes, you’re familiar with the damage freezing and thawing water can do on asphalt and pavement.
Unsealed driveways are vulnerable to water seeping and freezing in small cracks during the cooler months. When the water freezes, it expands, causing cracks to grow and destroy your driveway.
The UV rays from the sun can damage asphalt and paved driveways. Sunlight will cause the asphalt to degrade and shorten the lifespan of your driveway.
Adding a seal coating will help block harmful UV rays and prevent cracks from getting worse. A seal coating will prevent water from leaking into any cracks or holes.
Protect from Spills & Stains
Spills and stains on your driveway don’t only look bad, they can degrade the durability of the asphalt or pavement as well. A spill of any kind of fluid is inevitable.
Oil and gas are the two most common driveway spills. Both will soften the driveway and cause cracking if left unchecked. You can clean spills with a pressure washer, but some of the fluid will dissolve into the driveway.
Why risk damage and stains from spills when you can prevent them? Driveway seal coatings prevent liquids from penetrating your driveway and damaging it.
Increase Property Value
When you think of property value, your home’s roofing, exterior siding, landscaping, and the interior are what come to mind. It’s easy for homeowners to forget about their driveways. A dirty and damaged driveway, however, can lower a home’s property value.
A damaged driveway will eventually require repairs. If you’re selling your home, homebuyers might be cautious about buying a home with a deteriorating driveway.
Stains might not lead to damage, but they don’t add to a home’s curb appeal. Cleaning and sealing your driveway will help prevent serious damage and stains. A clean driveway will help boost your home’s property value.
Before you repair, replace, or seal any parts of your driveway, start with power washing. Power washing your driveway is a fast and cost-effective way to protect your driveway. It’s fairly easy to do and doesn’t harm the environment.
Other growth such as mold, algae, moss, and mildew can also grow on your driveway. Like weeds, these can cause cracking.
Power washing will make your driveway look like new improving your property’s curb appeal. It deep cleans to remove the dirt and grime covering your driveway.
How to Power Wash a Driveway
To power wash your driveway, you will need:
- A pressure washer
- Environmentally-friendly detergent
- A power washer detergent attachment
- 15-degree and 25-degree tips
Add the detergent to the detergent compartment of the power washer. Spray the detergent onto your driveway starting with the area at the lowest elevation. Let the detergent sit for about 10 minutes.
Use the 25-degree tip to rinse the detergent from the driveway starting at the highest elevation. Use the 15-degree tip to scrub any remaining stains.
If you don’t have a power wash, you can use a broom, garden hose, washing soda, and a stiff bristle brush. This requires more manual labor but will effectively clean your driveway.
A seal coating is a protective layer that protects your driveway from the weather, spills, and sunlight. There are two main types of seal coatings, asphalt emulsion coatings, and coal tar sealers.
Asphalt emulsion coatings are easy to use and release less volatile organic compounds or VOCs. The drawback is this coating isn’t as resistant to some chemical spills.
Coal tar sealers are more resistant but need more product management. For best results, you will need a professional to apply coal tar seal as it’s not easy to apply. They emit more VOCs than asphalt emulsion coatings.
How to Add a Seal Coating
Pressure wash your driveway to remove dirt, weeds, and grime before applying a seal coating. You’ll also need at least 48 hours of dry weather and barricades to keep vehicles and pedestrians off of your driveway.
You will need a squeegee or a sprayer depending on the type of seal coating you are using. Cover the entire driveway surface and let dry for about 24 hours before adding the second layer. Let the driveway dry for 36 hours before you remove barricades and use your driveway.
Enjoy a Clean Driveway
Driveway protection such as cleaning and sealing will keep your driveway looking and performing like new for years. It’s easy to do and will save you money and time later on.
Do you have questions or need help cleaning and protecting your driveway? Let us know, we’re here to help.