Driveways are big-ticket items, and some home buyers may avoid buying a property with a driveway in poor condition. If you're trying to sell your property this spring, sprucing up your driveway may help attract buyers. Here's what you need to know.
Remove Weeds and Debris
Once cracks start to form in driveways, weeds often follow. De-weeding the cracks in your driveway is an important first step to improving curb appeal and making your home look tidy and well-kept. After removing weeds, sweep your driveway to remove any other types of debris, like sticks or twigs.
Once the driveway is clean, you can evaluate it for damage. Cracks signal to buyers that your driveway is old and may need expensive repairs. You can repair your own cracks with crack filler, available at home improvement stores.
Before purchasing crack filler, measure the width of your cracks. Buy crack filler that is formulated for cracks of that particular width. Also, if you didn't clear debris from the cracks when you removed weeds, you'll need to do that before filling them with crack filler.
Remove any rocks, pebbles, or debris that may be found in your driveway cracks, and do the same for your potholes. You can use a wire brush and a screwdriver to dig rocks out of cracks, and then use a pressure washer to clean out the cracks the rest of the way.
Crack filler comes in tubes, similar to caulk, and it can be applied after the cracks have been fully cleaned. After filling cracks, flatten the filler so it is even with surface of the driveway. Then allow the crack filler to cure for the specified amount of time.
When a driveway is first paved, it's usually a rich, matte black color. After years of sitting in the sun, the asphalt will turn a soft gray color. The lighter the color of the asphalt driveway, the more vulnerable it is to UV rays. Light gray asphalt is porous, water-absorbent, and likely to crack. If your asphalt driveway is no longer a deep black color, sealcoating can restore it and make it more impressive for buyers.
You should sealcoat your driveway only after filling the cracks. You can sealcoat your own driveway with products purchased from a home improvement store, or you can contact a paving company. If you choose to sealcoat your own driveway, set aside a day for the entire project. Start by cleaning the driveway very thoroughly, and then prime the oil spots with oil spot primer.
Use a squeegee to thoroughly spread the sealcoat around your driveway. When you have applied the sealcoat to the entire driveway, give it at least two days to fully dry. Do not apply sealcoat at a time when you're expecting rain, temperatures below 50 degrees, or extreme heat.
Sealcoating and crack repair are big jobs that are frequently performed by paving contractors. You may get longer-lasting, more attractive results when working with a professional. If you do sealcoat your driveway professionally, consider noting the recent upgrade in your home listing. This shows that you're on top of home maintenance.
Know When to Replace
Asphalt driveways can last up to 20 years with good maintenance. If your driveway is nearing the end of its service life, or if your driveway is riddled with cracks and potholes, it may be time to replace the asphalt entirely. Talk to a paving contractor to find out whether or not your driveway is in need of replacement. If it is, replacing your driveway before selling could improve your property's value.
If you have more questions about how to boost curb appeal by maintaining your driveway, contact Bay Area Contracting Inc. We're happy to answer your questions and give you more information about asphalt driveway maintenance.