Driveway Spring Cleaning

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There was a time when most houses were reached by foot on the path in the garden and entered by the front door. Typically the horse or the carriage was left near the front gate. There have been a change in this and now homes are entered through a driveway or a parking space.   

You may have a long or a short driveway; you will have to maintain it from time to time. Inspect it once you are sure the last of the snow has melted and gone. In case you have a gravel driveway, clean the place and rake back all the gravel which may have been snowplowed outside. 

People who have a blacktop driveway must check for holes and cracks and if they are small you can repair them easily with the special tar available in lumberyards and hardware stores. It is also a good idea to coat the whole driveway with the blacktop sealer sometimes as it will create a new wearing surface. 

If you have long shale, split rock or crushed stone driveway you will need maintenance more often. Snowplowing will be essential.  You may find even small holes getting enlarged due to rain and use and can become a big hazard. You may have a very graded driveway but sooner or later it tends to develop depressions and ridges which start collecting water. 

You can slow the process by doing some raking now and then. After all the frost is gone and the lofted parts have settled the ground will be reasonably dry. You can fill in the holes with the material taken from the higher regions. You may have to install culverts to remove excess water if there are permanent channels across the driveway due to runoff and heavy rains. 

It is true that you should only begin to level the driveway or the parking area only when you are sure that the cold weather is over and the frost is gone. Best time to do it is during early spring, particularly if you are doing bigger repairs such as adding a parking space or resealing. With repair in spring your driveway gets compacted firmly with use in summer, and this decreases the loose surface material levels which the snowplows may later take away. 

All that has been written about driveways holds true to paths also. Walkways and paths which are not well drained or which have been made over a base which is unsuitable for the climate can also suffer a lot of loosened bricks, and flagstones. You must wait for the winter as well as the rainy season to subside before you make any repair attempts.

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