Driveway Maintenance Dos and Don’ts


Good asphalt driveways do not come cheap, so looking after yours is a must. With a well-maintained driveway, you can keep up your curb appeal, maximize functionality, and stave off the need for in-depth repairs within 10 years or less of installation.

You see, it’s all too easy for driveways to become damaged. In fact, it’s inevitable. With the natural elements constantly working away at the asphalt surface, cracks and potholes are sure to show sooner or later. But, with the best asphalt driveway maintenance tips, you can keep your driveway in tip-top shape and extend its life by several decades.

So, without further ado, here are the key dos and don’ts that you need to know for general driveway maintenance jobs as well as small and large asphalt cracks. 

General Driveway Maintenance Dos and Don’ts

Asphalt driveway upkeep requires a certain amount of dedication. It’s important that you stay on top of your driveway’s maintenance to ensure it looks and functions at its best for many years to come. These general dos and don’ts will help you do just that. 


Dokeep your driveway clear of debris and litter by sweeping regularly. This will help to improve drainage, avoid standing water, and prevent existing damage such as potholes and asphalt cracks from getting any worse.

Do use a pressure washer to remove dirt and oil from the surface of your driveway. Dirt and oil can contaminate the asphalt and compromise the bonding agent that was used during installation.

Do not regularly use harsh chemicals to clean your asphalt surface. Repeated use of products like bleach can, over time, cause your driveway to erode. Instead, invest in and use a cleaning agent designed specifically for asphalt surfaces.


Do seal your asphalt driveway regularly, roughly once every three years or so. This will help to reinforce the strength of the surface, preventing cracking, erosion, and other damage that can cause bigger structural issues.

Do use a professional-grade asphalt emulsion sealer or coal tar pavement sealer to ensure great results that last a long time.

Do consider investing in a DIY seal coat sprayer or similar piece of driveway sealing equipment if you plan to do seal your driveway yourself. Or, failing that, a squeegee should do the job just fine.

Do seal your driveway in warm, dry conditions, ideally when it’s around 50ºF or higher outside. Otherwise, your seal coat is unlikely to cure properly.

Do not attempt to seal your driveway during or just before it rains.

Do not seal your driveway every single year. Eventually, over-sealing can lead to unsightly peeling and cracking, and this can let in water.


Do regularly check your driveway for damage, particularly around the joints and in areas that typically hold heavy loads.

Do not ignore even slight cracks in your asphalt surface. These will let in water and debris which can cause erosion beneath the surface of the driveway. As such, even the smallest signs of damage can lead to big problems if left untreated. Read on for more information on what you need to do to fix them.

Small Driveway Cracks: The Dos and Don’ts

Small cracks are more than just eyesores. They can become increasingly problematic over time and, as such, require immediate attention. Here’s what you need to do when small cracks appear in your asphalt driveway and, of course, what not to do.


Do invest in quality materials that can guarantee long-lasting repairs. Ideally, you should opt for a rubberized asphalt tar tape that can be burnt on and create a strong seal within the crack. However, if you don’t have the means to carry out that sort of repair, cold asphalt driveway repair with a superior sealant should be sufficient.

Do follow the instructions on your crack filling material of choice to ensure a smooth and secure finish.

Do not use tar tape or cold driveway crack sealer to repair cracks that are more than an inch wide and half an inch deep. The bond simply will not be strong enough to adequately repair the damage.


Do purchase a torch burner if you’re opting to fill asphalt driveway cracks with tar tape. Any other heat source likely won’t be hot enough to melt the rubberized tape or safe enough to use for DIY asphalt repair. 

Do use heat-proof safety equipment when operating a torch burner, including fire-resistant gloves and, if necessary, boot covers and an apron.

Do not use poor quality equipment or any equipment other than that which has been specified on the instructions for your driveway crack repair material.


Do clean asphalt cracks thoroughly before beginning your repairs.

Do apply your materials according to instructions. If using tar tape, this will likely include removing a protective backing, laying the tape down along the length of a crack, and burning it on with a torch burner. However, directions may vary depending on the product you purchase.

Do allow your materials to dry for the length of time specified on the instructions before parking cars or walking on your asphalt driveway. With tar tape, drying is near-instant.

Do not attempt to fill cracks yourself unless you have all of the necessary application and safety equipment.

Large Driveway Crack Dos and Don’ts 

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that large cracks in your asphalt driveway are even more cause for concern than small ones. So, you’ll need to do something about them as soon as possible. If you don’t, they will only continue to expand and contribute to deeper structural damage.

This is what you should and should not do to repair large cracks in asphalt driveway.


Do only buy superior asphalt repair equipment. The best option available to you is an asphalt crack sealer machine, which can easily apply hot sealant to gaps that are more than an inch wide and half an inch deep.

Do ensure you do your research when shopping around for an asphalt crack machine. Generally speaking, one that heats up quickly, is easy to operate, and comes with a lifetime guarantee is a good option.

Do use protective equipment when operating an asphalt crack machine, including heat-proof gloves.

Do not attempt to fill large cracks using anything other than an asphalt crack machine or similar equipment. Tar tape and cold pour sealant will not create the long-lasting seal needed to ensure a permanent repair.


Do buy top-of-the-range blocks of hot asphalt crack sealer to use with your asphalt crack machine. This will help to ensure a professional finish which will make for more attractive, enduring repairs.

Do not attempt to melt anything other than blocks of crack sealant in your asphalt crack machine. Doing so could compromise the results of your driveway maintenance and even damage your machine.

Do not fill the melter body of your asphalt crack machine beyond capacity. Not only could this damage the machine but it could also pose a serious health and safety risk.


Do clean asphalt cracks thoroughly before beginning your repairs.

Do follow the instructions included with your machine for best results. They should explain how to use the controls on your asphalt crack machine (which will usually be on the handles) and how to deposit the sealer for cracks in the right places.

Do allow your materials to melt fully before beginning application.

Do walk slowly when applying hot crack sealer. This will help to assure accuracy.

Do not rush with your asphalt crack machine. Doing so poses a health and safety risk and could lead to subpar repairs.

Do not attempt to fill cracks yourself unless you have all of the necessary application and safety equipment.

Driveway Maintenance: All You Need to Know 

Asphalt driveway upkeep is hugely important. If you fail to adequately maintain your driveway, you could end up facing irreparable damage and a huge reinstallation fee. So, while it might be time-consuming, looking after and fixing asphalt driveway is very much worth it in the long run.

The above driveway maintenance dos and don’ts should help you do the best job possible, whether you’re cleaning, sealing, or filling cracks. Follow them closely to add decades to the life of your asphalt surface.


Latest Issue

BDC 311 : Dec 2023