Driveway Maintenance: The Most Common Problems and Solutions

The way that your property looks plays a big role in what your neighbors, guests, and passers-by think of you. A well-maintained landscape, driveway and home exterior signals to others that you take pride in yourself and in your possessions.

Because of this, it is important that you take the time to properly tend to your driveway. Not only does driveway maintenance ensure that your driveway will continue to look great for years, but it also reduces your repair costs and increases the value of your investment over time.

However, not all of us are driveway experts. You may be unsure of how to address certain problems as they arise. To assist you in your quest for a beautiful property, we’ve put together this guide on driveway maintenance, focusing on common problems and solutions.

Driveway Maintenance – Problems & Solutions

The types of problems that you experience with your driveway will tend to vary based on its surfacing material. Here we will look at two of the most common driveway types, asphalt and crushed stone.

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance – Problems & Solutions

  • Cracks – No crack is too small to cause extensive damage. Water can infiltrate these seemingly hairline fractures, breaking up the concrete and allowing for the growth of weeds. A good crack filler can help prevent bigger issues.
  • Potholes – If small cracks or holes are present in your asphalt, the freeze and thaw cycles of New Jersey could cause them to continue to grow in size and depth until the become potholes. Left untreated, the sub-base will deteriorate and cause further damage to the driveway. If there’s a small pothole in your driveway, you can fix it with cold-mix asphalt purchased from your local asphalt plant or landscaping supplier. Larger potholes will need to be professionally repaired.
  • Low spots or sagging – Excessive weight and poor drainage can cause low spots or sag in your asphalt driveway. Know the load that your driveway can sustain, and look out for areas where water has pooled in low spots. You may need to improve your driveway’s drainage with a grate and catch-basin system, in addition to having the low spots filled in.

  Crushed Stone Driveway Maintenance – Problems & Solutions

  • Potholes – Over time, many crushed-stone or gravel driveways will experience potholes as a result of continuous traffic and weather. Some homeowners prefer the “quick fix” method of dragging stone from another area of the driveway over to the problem spot, but this does not solve the problem in the long term. All this does is create another weak spot in the driveway. It’s a good idea to have an ongoing supply of gravel or crushed stone available to fill in potholes as they come. Be sure to compact them well.
  • Poor drainage – A crushed stone or gravel driveway that has poor drainage will experience many problems with erosion. This can lead to the loss of gravel, deep ruts and potholes, and other issues. If the driveway was poorly constructed, you may need to excavate and re-work the sub-layer. You may also consider installing a drainage system to help reduce flooding.
  • Loose stone – You want your driveway’s stone to remain a part of the driveway, but it seems as though you keep finding loose stone scattered about your lawn. This is frustrating, unattractive and may cause damage to your equipment as you mow the lawn. To avoid these problems, you may want to consider edging your driveway with Belgian blocks or concrete pavers. This will improve the appearance of your driveway, and it will also keep the stones and gravel in place.

By paying careful attention to your driveway and its needs, you can avoid major problems and costly repairs.

By | 2020-03-31T14:54:39-04:00 January 2nd, 2018|Asphalt, Crushed Stone|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dirk is a Project Manager at Braen Stone. He's an expert on a variety of construction materials and prides himself on helping the company meet the needs of companies large and small.