How to Maintain a Tarmac Driveway

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

A new driveway, regardless of the type is always something you feel a little proud of when it gets installed. It adds more kerb appeal to your home, helps accentuate some of the building's best features and gives you somewhere other than the roadside to park your car.

Once laid though, you will need to look after it. Preventative maintenance goes a long way to extending the life and quality of your driveway. In this edition of our blog, we look at how best to maintain your tarmac driveway whether it be used for residential surfacing or commercial surfacing.

Basic cleaning of a tarmac driveway

For general cleaning, just a few simple steps will help you keep your driveway in the best possible condition. Equipped with just a broom, a brush, a hose, and some cleaning products, you can have your driveway looking good with a relatively simple cleaning process.

Clear the driveway of dirt and debris

To start with, use your broom to sweep any debris from the drive. Items such as leaves, rubbish, dirt, and branches. Store it all in a rubbish bag and dispose of it appropriately.

Apply a cleaning product

You can use a detergent mixed with water or a product specific to tarmac, it is ultimately up to you. Just ensure that the detergent you use is diluted sufficiently and is safe for use on tarmac. Check the label for information to make sure. Make sure this product covers the whole surface then scrub it with a stiff brush.

Rinse driveway with water

Once you have scrubbed the driveway and attacked any stains, you should rinse the surface with water using the hose. Be aware of how sloped your driveway is so that you hose the highest areas first. Now before using it again, allow it to dry. Moving your car back onto it from a dirty road when the driveway is wet will make your cleaning pointless!

Thorough tarmac driveway cleaning

The list above is your basic weekly or bi-weekly cleaning regimen, but sometimes, certain factors may change how you go about maintaining your tarmac driveway. When it comes to oil spills, moss, or paint, you need to do things a little differently to get the full life out of your tarmac drive. Allowing these things to go untreated can make a huge difference to the quality of your driveway.

Cleaning oil from a tarmac drive

Oil can be a stubborn material and can eat away at your drive, damaging its composition and leaving it looking a lot worse than you had hoped.

Purchase a degreaser or oil-removing product, ensuring it is safe for use on tarmac. Apply it to the driveway and scrub the affected areas with your stiff brush. Once you have attacked the oil stain vigorously, rinse it with water to remove the trace of the chemical and any leftover oil.

Should you not be able to find a suitable product in your local DIY store, you can opt for hot water mixed with baking soda and some detergent. Just always check the label on the detergent to see if it is safe to use on the tarmac.

If after applying either water or a degreaser, there is no change, look for a stronger, more stubborn cleaning product that may break up the oil better.

Cleaning chemical spills from a tarmac driveway

If your driveway is used for DIY projects, there is every chance you could have spillages. These must be treated quickly to stop the chemical from eating into your driveway and damaging its structure.

Chemical spill-removing products are widely available and vary in strength, so opt for a mild one to start with, unless you know that the spilt chemical requires specific levels of attention.

Following the instructions of the product, apply it to the area of the driveway, and then scrub it with a stiff brush. After scrubbing, use the hose to rinse the area with water. If after this, the surface has dried without the stain removing either try again, opt for a harsher cleaning product, or contact tarmac surfacing contractors for additional help.

Cleaning paint spills from a tarmac driveway

Paint can be a stubborn material to remove from any surface and how you treat it will depend on the type of paint spilt on your driveway.

If it is a water-based paint, simply use a paint remover or warm water and detergent. Apply it to the spillage and use your stiff brush to attack the spillage. Once done, use water to rinse away.

Oil-based paints can be a little tougher to remove so opt to use a paint thinner or paint remover that is specifically for oil-based paints. Once applied, scrub the tarnished areas with a stiff brush. Then rinse with water.

Just like with chemical spills, if the application of these products doesn’t remove the stain, seek advice from your surfacing specialist for the best way to tackle it.

Cleaning moss and garden debris from a tarmac driveway

Moss has a habit of getting in places that you don’t want it to be. Should it start showing on your tarmac drive, remove it as quickly as possible. Moss can spread quickly and soon transform your high-quality driveway into something much more unsightly.

You can find products in garden centres specifically made for moss removal. Purchase one of these and apply it to the moss infestation. Leave it for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, the moss should have broken down sufficiently for you to scrub the area with your stiff brush. This will rid the area of most if not all the moss. Rinse it with water and you should be good to go.

Intensive tarmac driveway maintenance

There are of course some other issues that could need to be treated on a tarmac driveway. Those that require more than just the application of a cleaning chemical or some water.

Cracks, splits, and sun damage can all lead to long-term problems with your driveway but there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from happening.

Cracks and pothole maintenance for tarmac driveways

Cracks and potholes can not only be unsightly, but they can damage your vehicles too. By regularly cleaning your driveway you will be able to spot any problems that might be developing. If so, deal with them quickly, the longer you leave it, the worse they will get. That is a certainty.

You can opt to repair them yourself and it can be a relatively simple task but it is often best left to professional resurfacing teams like Tidey & Webb to ensure your driveway is brought back to its best.

Sealcoating a tarmac driveway

Opting to sealcoat your tarmac drive will almost certainly help prevent your driveway from unnecessary damage. This protective coat helps stop damage from the sun, from chemicals and even from rainwater. This should be done approximately every 3-5 years.

Preventing damage from heavy items

Whilst you will no doubt part your car on your tarmac driveway, excessive weight can cause cracks and splits. If you need to park a heavy vehicle on your drive, you can opt for reinforced supports to help stabilise the driveway even more.

Following these tips can help you keep your tarmac driveway in its best possible condition. Should you be considering one for your home, simply get in touch with Tidey & Webb.  Our team are the surfacing experts for Sussex and Surrey with over 30 years of experience within the trade. Get a free surfacing quote today and start the transformation of your driveway.

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