When you’re a homeowner, maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your property and retaining its inherent value is essential, and that goes for everything from your landscaping to your roof to your home’s exterior and beyond. There are so many projects to tackle, and only so much time, but certain ones are definitely standouts.
One key area that shouldn’t be neglected when you’re cycling through upkeep projects, though, is maintaining your concrete or asphalt driveways. With this post, we’ll explore how to protect your driveway in the summer so that you can utilize it without issue all year long.
Protecting Your Concrete Driveway in the Summer
There are different aspects to keep in mind and approaches to take for your driveway depending on the material utilized, so we’ll examine a concrete driveway first.
1. Consider a Sealant
Cracks and divots on a concrete driveway can cause significant problems over time, so coating your driveway with a waterproof sealant will go a long way in protecting it for the long haul. This is particularly useful for the summer months, as materials expand during high temperatures which can leader to greater splits and fissures if left untreated.
Sealants are ideal for keeping your concrete surface looking its best, though you don’t need to go overboard. Every two to three years is a good timeframe for the replacement of a sealant. Before you do so, however, ensure that the area is clean and free of any debris so that you get a worthwhile, effective layer applied.
2. Remove Any Stains
Over time, various materials can build up on driveways and leave stains, such as oils, gasoline, grease, and more. When these stains are left to build up, however, they can seep into the concrete itself and leave permanent stains. So to keep your driveway looking its best at all periods of the year, it’s recommended to tackle these spills immediately once they occur, that way you can avoid long-term staining.
3. Watch for Deep Cracks
When it comes to maintaining your driveway in the summer, keeping an eye on any cracks that form is vital, though it’s equally important to know the difference between surface cracks and deeper, more damaging ones.
Shallow cracks don’t affect the integrity of your driveway, but when cracks develop into fissures at least ½ inch apart, they become an issue for homeowners. At this point, the damage will go on and cause further problems. You will want to catch this early because repairs are possible initially, but after a certain point of damage is reached a full replacement will be required.
4. Address Sunken Areas
If the land beneath your driveway starts to sink, the concrete above it will in turn be affected, causing cracks and other issues. To tackle this appropriately, you’ll need to address the issue with the land itself, otherwise you’ll end up with ongoing problems with your concrete.
5. Consider Your Driveway’s Age
Even well-maintained, a driveway’s surface will only last so long. Twenty-five years is a healthy lifespan for most driveways, though if your home is in an area that experiences extreme cold or heat, you may need to make the change sooner.
Protecting Your Asphalt Driveway in the Summer
While there is some overlap with concrete, maintaining your asphalt driveway in the summer months brings with it some different approaches and challenges to keep in mind, so let’s take a look.
1. Change Parking Locations for Yourself and Guests
We’re all creatures of habit, so bringing your car to rest in the same spot every day just seems to make sense, though in the summer months this can actually cause a problem. Heated up asphalt during the summer is more malleable, which means that the weight of your car pressing down on the same spaces day after day can lead to sinking and deforming of the surface.
Varying where you park daily, and where you request guests to park, can go a long way to protect your driveway in the summer, so be sure to switch things up and avoid unsightly potholes and cracks.
2. Watch for Damage
Cracks can start small, but over time develop into major problems. So during the summer months, as you’re out and about more, be sure to look for cracks, breaks, or bubbles, as these could all lead to more major, ongoing problems.
Cracks in asphalt often indicate that the driveway has received a lot of heat, something you’ll get plenty of in the summer. Thankfully, there are some ways to mitigate this problem, however.
3. Cool Down Your Asphalt
If your area is getting a lot of heat, or a heatwave is supposed to be on the horizon, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your asphalt from significantly overheating and cracking.
Short-term, something as simple as having a sprinkler system set up to keep your asphalt wet can be a terrific solution to reducing heat. Long-term, allowing any nearby bushes and trees to grow out over your driveway can produce more shadows to keep your asphalt cool.
4. Be Careful with Sharp Objects
As mentioned above in regards to the trifecta of asphalt, heat, and cars, malleability and extensive weight are not ideal for the endurance of your asphalt. Sharp objects are also something to be wary of.
Hedge trimmers, spades, scissors, garden shears, and any other sharp tools you may utilize during summer projects need to be carefully handled. If you accidentally drop any of these objects point-down into your heated asphalt, it can lead to cracks, holes, and pitting, which in turn can lead to long-term issues. So be careful out there.
5. Consider a Sealant
Just like with concrete, keeping asphalt sealed can go a long way in protecting your driveway in the summer months and beyond. So prevent those unsightly cracks and divots that lead to greater problems with an effective sealant.
It’s usually advised to apply your sealcoat just before the summer, prior to onset of excessive heat. Following this, additional coats are recommended every couple of years in the spring to keep everything solid and worthwhile.
UNIQUE Products to Maintain Your Driveway in the Summer
UNIQUE Paving Materials supplies a wide variety of effective products that can help you protect and maintain your driveway and keep everything looking its best.
Some of our offerings include:
- KOLD-FLO® Crack Filler
- INTEGRA-SEAL® Rejuvenating Asphalt Sealer
- MICROMIX® Mini Cold Mix for Concrete
- RAVEL SEAL® Pavement Preservation Emulsion
- UNIQUE® Asphalt Resurfacer
- UNIQUE FLEXICRETE® XP Polymer-Modified Mortar
- UNIQUE® Pourable Concrete Crack Filler
Contact Us to Protect Your Driveway in the Summer
If you’re looking to protect and maintain your concrete or asphalt driveway this summer, we’ve got the materials you need to keep everything tip top. Contact our team today to discuss options and we’ll be happy to help!