You can’t avoid driveway maintenance. Since the condition of a driveway is reliant on the effects of extreme weather and your ability to repair and prevent the damage that the cold season causes, driveway maintenance is a constant household chore.
The seasonal nature of driveway maintenance also means that the time of year plays a huge role in when you can or can’t carry out essential tasks. Having a rough idea of what needs to be done throughout the year will save you from ruining your driveway surface over the long term. This will lessen the likelihood of having to shell out for driveway repairs and allow you to see at a glance what needs to be done each month. That’s why we’ve created an annual guide to driveway maintenance, which is broken down into twelve digestible chunks of advice — one for each month of the year.
You can use this driveway maintenance guide all year round to instantly check if you’re up to speed and to stay on top of tasks that need to be done at any point. Essentially, this is your driveway maintenance diary, so that you don’t miss any important appointments that you will inevitably have with the bleak, British winter weather!
January: Wise up on the Latest Trends
As it’s the first month of the year, January is a great time to catch up on the latest trends and map out what you want to achieve for the rest of the year.
For example, in 2019, we predict that the latest development in driveway surfaces — coloured tarmac driveways — will see a surge in popularity among residential homeowners. Coloured tarmac has revolutionised driveway surfaces. As a homeowner, you’re no longer restricted to parking your car on a bleak block of black tarmac. Instead, you can add a vibrant pop of colour to your home exterior.
If you’re planning on upgrading your current driveway, it’s worth thinking about how you want it to look and how much money you will need to save each month to be to afford it.
February: Review Winter Damage
Whether you’re opting for a fresh driveway or not, February is a good time to review any winter damage and take steps to make your driveway surface safe in the short term.
You’ll notice that due to the extreme temperatures in colder months, small cracks can start to appear in the driveway surface. You can treat these smaller cracks individually or you might consider re-sealing your driveway if the damage is severe. You should re-seal your driveway every two to three years, so your decision will also depend on whether you have recently taken this action or not.
Although you can make an assumption about your level of driveway damage at this point in the year, it is best to wait for warmer weather before re-sealing your driveway if this is what you decide to do.
Reviewing the condition of your driveway should start before the beginning of spring, as this will allow you to assess whether there is any standing water in your driveway after a period of rainfall.
If there are pools of water after heavy rain, this means that your driveway surface is uneven, and depending on the type of driveway you have, the surface could become dislodged from underneath. This is a clear sign that you need to re-seal your driveway as soon as possible.
March: Wipe out the Weeds
As we breathe a sigh of relief that British springtime has begun, the end of March also welcomes a whole new host of weeds that, fittingly, spring upfrom the ground.
You may grow weary trying to catch up with these fast-growing plants, so it’s worth investigating whether you can install a rubber edging to your driveway or a weed-proof mat underneath to stop growth. This tactic gets to the very root of the issue, so to speak.
Weeding is a prominent task when it comes to driveway maintenance, which is why it features on our month-by-month list twice. We recommend that weeding should be done first in spring and once again in autumn.
April: Spring Clean
Tie this next task in with your household spring clean to freshen up and shake off the cobwebs. It’s slightly more acceptable to have a less polished look in the winter time, but getting prepared for summer is all about making your home look pristine.
When doing your annual spring clean, you should prioritise getting rid of oil spills and any overgrown plants that compromise the look of your driveway surface.
Driveway maintenance doesn’t have to be all about repairs — it can also be fun. Consider using it as an opportunity to upgrade your driveway with fun enhancements like outdoor solar lighting and stone paving. Check out our portfolio page for some driveway border inspiration for making your driveway look stylish and distinctive.
May: Request a Site Visit
If you’re thinking of carrying out some contracted driveway work within the year, May is a great time to arrange a site visit. If you’re dealing with a reputable surface specialist, an initial quote should be free. In other words, a professional driveway installer should review your driveway in person, courtesy of the company.
Our free visit and quote service comes as standard, as we love to see what we’re working with so that we can give you the best possible price. At Bestco Surfacing, we deal with large commercial clients and rural residential projects — we specialise in surfacing, not client types. When deciding which company to hire to carry out contracted work, make sure that they have a website full of information and a contractor full of ideas before you agree to the project.
June: Re-Seal Your Driveway
If the winter brought out the worst in your driveway and you decided it was best to re-seal it, June is the perfect month to do so. At the peak of summer, June has the optimal temperatures and minimal rainfall needed for effective re-sealing work.
If you’re planning to take a trip in June, as most British families do, arrange your family holiday to coincide with your re-sealing work. Surprisingly, you don’t have to refrain from driving on a newly re-sealed driveway for that long. Still, you will need to avoid having heavy vehicles parked on your newly laid driveway for at least 48 hours.
July: Carry out Contracted Work
If you want a new driveway, you better get excited, as July is the most popular month of the year for this work. As a seasonal service, you should have agreed your project date way in advance — sought-after contractors can have a pretty hectic diary at this time of year.
Most driveway work doesn’t take all that long to complete, so you’ll still be able to enjoy relaxed days in the sunshine without worrying about construction noises ruining your peace and quiet.
A Smart Tip: Check the weather forecast when booking in your driveway work, as us unlucky Brits can be hit by a storm at an unlikely moment. Laying a fresh driveway requires at least a few days of decent weather to protect the fresh surface.
August: Deep Clean
As we approach the end of the summer season, its time to pick up where you left off at the start of spring. You should carry out routine spot checks throughout the year, but these deep-cleaning sessions are perfect for maintaining the overall condition of your driveway and identifying unseen hazards, such as the emergence of potholes.
This is likely to be the last clean-up before the harsh winter hits, so now is the time to make sure that any oil spills following long road trips are taken care of.
September: Wipe out Those Weeds… Again
We told you that there would be a second time for you to get your hands green. If you’re an avid gardener, the times to weed your driveway surface may match up with your seasonal gardening activities.
Just as plants and flowers tend to change their tune in the autumn and spring, so too does the emergence of weeds.
Why are weeds classed as one of the main priorities when it comes to driveway maintenance? This is more of an aesthetic issue. The sprouting of weeds disrupts the image of a flat surface, rather than posing a threat to the driveway itself. As mentioned in a recent article written by Bestco’s Cliff Best, How to Design a Driveway That Will Make Your Neighbours Envious, the appearance of your driveway forms part of a passerby’s first impression and acts as the first interaction that a visitor has when entering your home, so it’s something you should keep on top of.
October: Develop a Drainage System
October is all about getting prepared for the upcoming cold weather. The more work you do to prevent winter damage now, the less work you’ll have to do — and less time you’ll have to spend making repairs — in the following year.
A key action for dealing with dismal weather damage is developing an effective drainage system. This will prevent all types of damage, including cracks and internal flooding. If you don’t have an effective drainage system in place, or if your gutters are pointed in your driveway’s direction, pools of water will begin to form on your driveway’s surface.
The more moisture that your driveway has to absorb, the higher the risk that your surface foundation will become uneven, creating a bumpy terrain. Take some time to review the current system you have in place and make changes it if necessary.
November: Use Sand for Snow Protection
As freezing temperatures begin to appear on weather reports, you should stock up on sand for protection against snow. Of all things, sand is an effective substance for tackling a slippy surface. While your gut instinct might have you turning to salt grit to sprinkle over the surface, you should avoid this at all costs.
The harsh chemicals in salt can damage your driveway surface, along with the gritty texture it possesses, ultimately making your driveway more slippery. Switching to sand, which is a much more driveway-friendly option, will save you heaps of time and money in terms of your long-term driveway maintenance plan, as well as prevent unnecessary damage.
December: Switch to a Rubber Shovel
Now that winter is in full force, switch to a rubber shovel for the ultimate driveway protection. The sharp blade of a steel shovel is likely to cause long-term damage to the surface.
Although you need to carry out an effective job of preventing snow from piling up on your driveway, you will be thankful for using the right tools when the snow is gone.
When it comes to driveway maintenance, always keep in mind the long-term effects of your actions and the best ways you can avoid unnecessary wear to the surface.
Thinking of upgrading your driveway this year? Discover our range of residential driveway surfaces that will instantly reinvent the exterior of your home and repair inevitable weather damage.