As a homeowner, you are most likely searching for ways to improve the value and function of your house. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on your home's curb appeal. Considering curb appeal is a smart way to increase your home's value, placing effort on cleaning and conditioning your driveway is smart.
Blacktop, or asphalt driveways from sites like http://bitroads.com, offer incredible benefits including appeal and durability, but they do require maintenance with time. Using this guide, you can clean, repair, and condition your asphalt driveway to ensure your curb appeal is top notch.
Pressure washing your home's exterior once a year is a great way to prevent heavy buildup of dirt and dust. However, you may not be placing enough emphasis on cleaning your driveway.
Hosing off your asphalt surfaces every few months is helpful to prevent the buildup of heavy residue. In most cases, your vehicle will leave oil and grease stains on the surface. To remove these stains, consider the following options:
- Peat Moss – Place handful of peat moss directly over oil, gas, and grease stains. Use your foot to stomp the moss on and into the spots. Allow it to sit for a few hours before sweeping up with a broom. Rinse with your garden hose. The peat moss absorbs leftover liquids while removing the discoloration from your driveway.
- Soda – Open a can of cola and pour directly over stains. Allow it to rest and soak into the asphalt for 4 to 6 hours. Apply a layer of paper towels to the area to soak up the leftover soda. The cola's carbonation will eat through the oil or grease while removing the discoloration.
- Dish Soap – Combine ½ cup of liquid dish soap with one gallon of hot water. Soak a hard-bristled brush in the soapy solution before scrubbing stubborn stains. The combination of soap and elbow grease will remove oil, gas, and grease from your asphalt driveway.
- Oil – While surprising to hear, an application of lubricating oil effectively removes hard grease spots. Spray lubricating oil directly onto dark stains and allow to rest for 2 to 3 hours. Use your garden hose to rinse off the excess.
Cracks are common in asphalt and concrete surfaces. These imperfections stem from plant growth, heavy wear and tear, and weathering. If left unrepaired, the cracks may expand. This not only decreases your home's curb appeal, but also poses risks of water damage and unsafe conditions. Thankfully, repairing cracks in your driveway is simple using the following tips:
- Temperature – Repair cracks when the temperature is at least 60 degrees. This ensures the repair material properly cures.
- Small Cracks – For cracks measuring ½-inch or smaller in width, fill with sand. Then, apply a coat of asphalt sealer over the cracks to prevent further spreading.
- Large Cracks – Cracks that measure 1 or 2 inches wide require a more involved repair. Mix sand and an asphalt sealer together before using a trowel to spread a thick layer over the cracks.
After cleaning and repairing surfaces, you should condition your asphalt driveway for increased protection. Asphalt sealer is a great option for improving the durability of your driveway, but the selection of colors and finishes can also enhance its look.
Stir the sealant before application. Use your garden hose to lightly mist the driveway. Be sure there are no puddles of standing water.
Beginning closest to your house, pour a thorough amount of sealant on the driveway. Use your roller brush to move the sealant horizontally across the surface. Work your way down to the end of your driveway, closest to the street. You will need to add more sealant as your work down the driveway.
Block off the driveway to prevent contact from people and vehicles. Allow the sealant to dry for 8 or more hours.
Your driveway is an important part of your home's curb appeal and value. Using this guide, you can clean, repair, and condition the surfaces without a great deal of stress.