One of the most common types of maintenance anyone will find themselves doing every year is driveway maintenance, from cleaning off an old tarmac surface to washing down paving or cleaning a concrete driveway.
Most of the work is just some water, elbow grease and time, but sometimes, it can require extra help. Some types of maintenance work, if not handled promptly, can lead to you needing to replace your driveway.
One such example of this is a tarmac or SMA (stone mastic asphalt) surface. If you get a fuel stain, petrol or diesel, on the surface of a tarmac driveway, it can lead to the tarmac unravelling and dissolving right before your eyes.
Tarmac is an aggregate stone bound together by mastic asphalt or bitumen. Fuel leaked on top of the surface leads to the bitumen dissolving and the aggregate falling apart since nothing is left to bind it in place together.
Act fast by firstly soaking up the fuel spill using some sand or similar. Follow that up by using a washing powder on the area with warm water by pouring the solution directly on top of it and gently brushing it with a soft bristle brush. Leave to act for a couple of hours and wash down.
Stone products do not suffer from the same problems, but stains are a big issue for stone. Stone products are generally manufactured products such as paving or ready mix concrete, not the natural stone you would use on a garden area. Click here to read about patio cleaning and maintenance as we are focused on driveway cleaning here.
Block paving is more or less immune to any damage from a fuel leak or oil leak, but it does leave an unsightly stain that can be hard to remove. You can use a surface cleaner combined with a pressure washer to remove most of the colours, including algae and moss. Paving seems to be a magnet for vegetation due to the sand jointing used on the surface.
For oil stains on either block paving or concrete, get a big handful of baking soda and place it on top of the colour. Leave it for a few hours and gently wash away. This will reduce most of the staining with little to no extra effort required.
The most significant benefit of block paving is replacing the individual blocks with a stubborn stain. It would be best to keep some spare block paving laid to one side in the same light as the driveway. This makes sure the paving ages at the same rate and will make a seamless transition when replacing the old with the new.