After having your driveway paved with asphalt, you want it to stay as attractive and intact as possible to make it last for many years. This includes making minor repairs and cleaning the surface every six months.
Step 1: Fill Small Cracks And Holes With Cold Patch
The first thing you need to do is to fill in any small cracks or holes in your driveway. This will prevent them from growing larger into major potholes that will required more extensive repairs. An asphalt cold patch works well for these minor repairs. You will also need a trowel, a screwdriver, and a hand broom.
Use the point of the trowel or the screwdriver to remove any loose pieces of asphalt. Sweep out any dust or remaining chunks with the hand broom.
After you cleaned out the area, fill it with the cold patch and allow it to dry and settle for a full day before going on to the next step.
Step 2: Treat Oil Stains
Oil and other petroleum products will break down the asphalt. They will weaken the material, causing cracks and holes to form. Any oil stains need to be treated individually before washing the entire driveway. You will need a can of dark cola for each stain, baking soda, and a scrub brush.
Pour the can of cola directly onto the stain. The phosphates in the soda pop will break down the petroleum, making it easier to scrub away the stain. Allow the cola to set overnight or at least eight hours.
The next morning, mix four tablespoons of baking soda and three tablespoons of warm water in a small container. You should have a very thick paste. Then, use the scrub brush to apply the paste to the stain, rubbing it into the pavement using small, circular motions.
Let the baking soda soak in for two hours before proceeding with the next step.
Step 3: Scrub The Entire Driveway
Now that the stains have been treated, it is time to scrub your entire driveway. You will need a garden hose with a spray nozzle, a gallon bucket filled with warm water, dishwashing detergent, and an old broom.
Wet the surface of your driveway with the garden hose using the mist setting on your nozzle. Do not use high pressure, since it could push any dirt deeper into the small pores of the asphalt. This is especially important if your driveway has not been sealed with a protective coating.
Mix a teaspoon of the dishwashing detergent with the water. Working in small areas, pour the soapy water directly onto the asphalt. Use the broom to scrub the soap into the driveway using short, brisk, back-and-forth motions.. As you use up the water, mix more for each section until you have scrubbed all of the surface area.
After you have finished with the last section, let the soapy water soak in for an hour. Then, go on to the fourth and final step.
Step 4: Rinse With Water
Use the same amount of pressure to rinse the soap off of your driveway as you did to wet it. Hold the water's stream at a 45 degree angle to the pavement to ensure thorough rinsing.
Start with the edge that is closest to you and slowly move across the width of the drive to push the water and soap to the opposite side. Continue down the length of the driveway until it is completely rinsed off.
Following the above steps twice a year will keep the asphalt surface of your driveway looking brand new. However, if there is any extensive damage, such as potholes or crumbling, you may want to contact an asphalt contractor for recommendations about repairing or replacing it. Click here for info on asphalt contractors.