From landscape design to washing your windows, maintaining your home's exterior can be stressful and time-consuming. Unfortunately, cleaning and maintenance on your home's exterior is necessary for your home's curb appeal and overall value. However, learning ways to prevent excessive dirt and debris on your home's exterior can make upkeep less overwhelming.
While surprising to hear, your driveway is an imperative part of your home's curb appeal. Considering the surface sees a great deal of wear and tear over time, you are most likely not placing enough importance on cleaning and maintenance. To enhance your home's curb appeal and uphold its value, consider using this guide to clean and seal your asphalt driveway.
If possible, use a soft-bristled broom to sweep away any noticeable dirt and debris. Sweeping the asphalt every few days will prevent a heavier buildup of dirt and debris.
In addition, pressure washing your driveway each year is smart. Without an annual cleaning, cleansers will not be necessary. Of course, stains are common on your driveway, so consider using these natural options that are safe for your surrounding environment:
- Baking Soda – Minor stains on your asphalt driveway are easy to remove using a common ingredient found in most homes: baking soda. In a spray bottle, combine ½ cup of baking soda with 3 cups of warm water. Spray the baking soda solution directly on the stain and allow to rest for 15 minutes before rinsing with your garden hose. The sodium bicarbonate will safely dissolve away stubborn areas of dirt.
- Cat Litter – Spots on your driveway from oil, grease, and gas are very common, but can be difficult to remove. Fortunately, a scoop of cat litter can help. Pour a few tablespoons directly over the stain and spread out with a rake. Flatten with your foot to completely cover the stain. Let it sit overnight and then sweep away in the morning. The cat litter absorbs any leftover residue and decreases the discoloration.
During the cleaning process, you may have seen some cracks in your driveway. Cracks are normal overtime, but excessive cracks or broken areas of asphalt will require repair before sealing. Use asphalt filler to caulk cracks that measure a quarter-inch or smaller.
Sealing your asphalt driveway offers many benefits. Not only will the sealant protect your driveway from heavy stains, but it also reduces the risk of broken asphalt. In addition, changing your curb appeal's look is also possible using a colored sealant. For a traditional look, opt for a black sealant. Or, enhance the southwestern design of your home with a rust-colored sealant.
While you can hire a professional for the task, completing the update on your own can save an estimated $240 for 1500 square feet of asphalt. Complete the following steps to seal and protect your driveway:
- Check your local weather forecast. For the best results, ensure the weather will be dry and sunny for at least 3 days after application.
- Pour a foot long stream of sealant across one end of your driveway.
- Use a long-handled squeegee tool to pull and push the sealant over your asphalt surface.
- Pour and repeat the process until sealant covers your driveway.
- Use a long-handled, bristled-brush to spread sealant in areas of low spots.
- Allow the sealant to dry for 12 hours.
- Once the first coat is dry, repeat the steps to apply a second coat.
- The second coat will need to dry for an additional 12 hours.
- Block off your driveway using stakes and a rope system or sawhorses to prevent people and vehicles from moving across the sealed asphalt.
Your driveway is a large part of your home's exterior, so cleaning and maintenance is wise for value and curb appeal. Using this guide, you can easily clean and update a dirty driveway. Click this link for more information.