The Guide To Maintaining Your Driveway

For many households, the driveway is an incredibly important feature in the family. It improves curb appeal, provides a safe space to store vehicles and can even help to reduce insurance premiums. On average, a new driveway can add anywhere between 5-10% to the value of your home - especially if it’s properly maintained. And with driveways costing anywhere from £1200 up to £9,000, it couldn’t be more important to keep these areas in pristine condition to protect your investment. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about maintaining your driveway to extend its lifespan and keep your house looking its best.

Why Is Driveway Maintenance Important?

When we set a cleaning schedule in place, many people overlook their driveway. We assume that, because it has been made with hardwearing materials that can withstand exposure to various weather elements, that it doesn’t need any further care. However, driveway maintenance is very important to protecting your investment and keeping this space usable for many years to come. If the asphalt or concrete used on the base of your driveway becomes damaged, it increases the risk of moisture penetration. Over time, this won’t just cause damage to the paving but can also increase pressure underneath your home’s foundation. These cracks also raise a safety issue, increasing the chance of tripping or even wheel damage on visitors' vehicles. Taking care of your driveway will reduce the chance of these issues, saving you money and stress at the same time.

Preventing Driveway Damage With Sealing

One of the most effective ways to reduce damage and slow down ageing on a driveway is to have it sealed. This process applies a protective sealant coating over the surface to protect the base material. It is designed to preserve the material, making it less likely that areas will become damaged or need excessive maintenance. While driveway sealing is highly effective, it can incur quite a high charge. For example, a resin acrylic seal can be £5 per m2 on top of the price of cleaning too. You may enlist the support of a professional to ensure the job is done properly or apply your own sealer, such as the Sika Block Paving Sealer.

Some of the benefits of having your driveway sealed include:

  • Provides a waterproof layer that protects porous driveway materials from cracks and erosion.
  • Prevents sand from eroding between the blocks.
  • Prevents stains from oil, grease and dirt, caused by absorption into these porous materials.
  • Prolong the look of the colour and finish on your drive.
  • Extends the lifespan of your driveway.
  • Minimises plant and weed growth by preventing them from taking root.

Removing Stains And Marks Quickly

If you cannot afford to seal your driveway straight away, you’ll need to be more active about removing stains and marks. As we mentioned above, the porous materials used in these projects are prone to absorbing any liquids that are left on the surface. Use a tailored cleaner, such as the Everbuild 401 Brick and Patio Cleaner or the Everbuild Oil Away Drive Cleaner. Check whether the formulation you’ve chosen needs to be diluted and use it according to the instructions provided. We also recommend making sure you use a formula that has been designed for your type of driveway - a block paving drive will react differently to an asphalt driveway with certain chemicals.

Eliminating Weeds

Weeds can be incredibly unsightly and, if left, have roots that can cause damage to your driveway tiles. Eliminating them as early on as possible, and from the base, is the best way to prevent this. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Manual Weed Pulling

One of the most effective weed removal techniques is to pull them out at the root. Keep in mind that this process can be very time consuming and laborious so make sure you’re dedicated to it if you decide to choose this method. Invest in a Garden Kneeler Protector Pad and some Garden Gloves to reduce the risk of injury.

  • Chemical Weed Killer

Utilise the help of a path and patio weed killer like the Ready To Use PestShield Concentrate. It targets annual, perennial grasses, broad-leaves weeds, scrub weeds and brush, killing them at the root and preventing further growth.

  • Natural Methods

If you want to reduce chemical exposure and use something kinder to the environment, consider vinegar. It contains acetic acids that dry out the weed on contact. Alternatively, you can create a salt solution with 1 part baking soda/sodium chloride and 3 parts water. Funnel the mixture to the root of the weed - it will do a similar job to the vinegar by drying the plant out. And, if you want to avoid any additives, you can pour boiling water on them too.

Looking after your driveway doesn’t have to be difficult - especially if you have the right advice or tools. Here are some additional tips we’ve picked up throughout the years.

  • If you have a concrete driveway, never de-ice it! The chemicals found in these products can find their way into any existing cracks and cause more damage. In this instance, scatter sand over the ice to naturally melt it away.
  • Reseal driveways regularly. Over time, the original coating will wear away and you won’t have the protection you needed.
  • Tackle repairs quickly to prevent them from becoming worse.
  • Use a pressure washer on a medium setting to get rid of stubborn dirt. Be cautious about the water getting into the gaps between blocks though. This can shift the sand and cause damage.
  • Sweep your driveway regularly too. Use a stiff brush such as the Deck Scrub Brush that will get the brush into textured surfaces. This is a great way to remove leaves, organic debris and dirt before it sets on to the driveway and stains.

At Sealant & Tools Direct, we have a range of driveway products to help you protect, maintain and keep yours, looking at its very best. If you have any questions, cannot find the product you’re looking for or need to speak to one of our specialist team, get in contact here today for more information.