If we asked you to list the most important areas of your home, you probably wouldn’t say “the driveway.” Yet driveways play a bigger role in our homes than we think! They’re one of the first places people notice when visiting us. In short, driveways are more than places we park our cars—and that’s why it’s vital to make them last as long as possible!
Driveways mostly sustain damage from cars repeatedly driving on them. They can also be damaged by water from rain and melted snow leaking into them and loosening the material. There are almost 410,000 registered cars in Maine and our state gets up to 46 inches of rain and 70 inches of snowfall every year. In other words, it’s almost certain your driveway will get damaged at some point! So, how can you make it more durable?
Here are some top tips to help you make your driveway last longer.
1. Ensure Water Flows Off It Easily
If water from rain and melted snow pools on your driveway, it’ll soak into cracks and dislodge the concrete. This will cause chunks of your driveway to chip and break off if a car drives over these cracks or they’re kicked by kids playing around it. Water will also cause weeds to grow from the cracks in your driveway and ruin your home’s curb appeal.
2. Avoid Using Salt to Melt Snow on Your Driveway
It’s common to use salt to melt the ice on a driveway during winters in Maine. However, if this salt seeps into your driveway, it’ll corrode it and cause cracks to appear everywhere. Therefore, we recommend shoveling or brushing the snow away instead of using salt to melt the snow on your driveway.
3. Repair Cracks Immediately
You might decide not to repair cracks in your driveway because they’re too small. But did you know it only takes a tiny crack for water to seep into your driveway and dislodge it?
Unfortunately, both hot and cold weather cause driveways to crack from expanding and contracting. Therefore, we recommend checking for cracks throughout the year and getting professional help to repair them.
4. Plow Snow Carefully
Imagine scraping a wooden table with a fork—that’s what it’s like to use a snowplow with metal edges on a driveway! If you’re plowing snow off your driveway, make sure the blades are coated with rubber to prevent your driveway from getting cracked. You should also avoid plowing snow from the edges of your driveway as they’re thinner than the rest of the driveway and hence more susceptible to cracking.
5. Avoid Parking Heavy Vehicles on It
The amount of weight a driveway can take without cracking depends on the material it’s made from. For instance, concrete can handle more weight than asphalt. However, to be on the safe side, we don’t recommend letting any heavy vehicles on your driveway no matter what it’s made of. This includes all industrial vehicles such as street sweepers and garbage trucks.
6. Park Your Car in the Center of Your Driveway
The thickest part of a driveway is typically its center. Therefore, one of the best ways to make your driveway last is to avoid parking your car on your driveway’s edges where it can crumble from being too thin.
Alternatively, you can ask for a hardscaping service to equalize your driveway thickness so there are no weak points. This is a great option if you have more than one vehicle and require all the space on your driveway to park them.
7. Install Barriers for Tree Roots
Trees are a great addition to the front yard of any home. They can help reduce your energy bills and add up to 15 percent to your home’s value! Unfortunately, tree roots can also rip apart the foundation of your driveway and leave deep cracks that are difficult to seal. The best way to solve this issue is by asking professionals to line your driveway with tree-root barriers.
8. Invest in a Paver Stone Driveway
The best way to make your driveway last is by building it with paver stones. Paver stones are three times stronger than concrete and are resistant to cracks in extreme weather conditions. This makes them ideal for driveways in Maine homes.
If you’re thinking of getting a custom paver driveway installed, then get in touch with our team at Stone Solutions Maine today!
We’re the best hardscaping service in Scarborough and have completed numerous projects, including outdoor fireplaces, gardening landscaping, and more. Our work is consistently praised by our clients and we guarantee you’ll be satisfied just like the 440 happy customers we’ve served so far!
Message us today for more information on our landscaping services in Maine.