Every valuable and important renovation of your house needs a regular maintenance and an asphalt driveway is not an exception. The maintenance cost remains low if it is done with regularly with the frequent inspection. But if the small discrepancies are left untreated the life of the driveway which was supposed to last for at least 20 years will turn into scattered black granules in a few years. Though maintenance of it requires a bit technical knowledge, hereby we will discuss the steps following which you will be able to do the job yourself.
During the summer, exposure to direct sunlight evaporates all the moisture of the asphalt. It causes the development of thin hairline cracks which gradually turn into big potholes. It should be also inspected during the winters too. Water entering into tiny cracks expands after freezing causing widening of the cracks. So, special care needs to be taken in these two extreme weather conditions.
Firstly the weather conditions need to be taken into consideration. To get a firm bonding of blacktop material the surrounding temperature should be above 55 degrees. There should not be any forecast of rain too. It is just impossible to continue the sealing job even under the lightest precipitation as it will cool down and wash away the aggregates.
Asphalt mixture is a hot and sticky substance. You can not avoid getting it stuck and ruin your clothes when working with it. Always try to wear old clothes which you can trash or consider buying disposable clothes specially designed for this job. You can also use a disposable shoe or get your shoe wrapped in a plastic bag.
It is an important part of the job as all the hard work will go in vain if the surface is dirty. If there is any weed or grass pull those off along with the roots to stop them grow again. In the large cracks, you will definitely find chunks of mud and oily dirt. If it is a bit hard a knife or ice scraper can be used. At last wash, all the dirt away using harsh and concentrated detergent solution and a wire brush.
COLD MIX APPLICATION
If the driveway has small holes it is customary to fill them up with cold mix. Undercutting the inner side of the holes with a chisel will make the firm edges come out. The patching compound must be applied with at least 1-inch layering and in 2 inches by 4-inch blocks. The top layer should be 1/2″ above the driveway surface. To get a tight bonding put a cardboard on it when the mixture is raw and drive your car upon it.
Larger cracks and depression cannot be treated with cold mix, and here sealants come handy. First rem, ve the loose debris and clean the dust by an air blower at least 1/2 inch deep inside the crack. Then Pour the liquid sealant up to the driveway level. Setting up depends upon the product specification and so product manual should be followed.
When the sealing job is over and mark all the repaired areas so that cars can avoid driving over it at least for a few weeks. Always clean the accumulated grease and dirt at least once a week. This will lessen your maintenance cost considerably. If you follow these tips you will surely be able to keep the look and feel of your driveway same as it was decades ago!