As your asphalt driveway ages, it will begin to show signs of damage from weather and the sun's rays, resulting a dry, faded, and cracked surface. This condition can allow your asphalt to further receive damage from moisture and freeze-thaw patterns if you live in a northern climate, resulting in further deterioration and leaving its appearance to degrade. To help keep your asphalt driveway in good condition to look great and last many years, here are some tips to help you complete some maintenance and repairs.

Repair Cracks and Fill Holes

The first step in repairing and filling holes that have begun to appear on your asphalt's surface is to prepare its surface for patching. This includes removing  any vegetation growth, dirt, and debris from its surface to help the patching compounds adhere properly to the asphalt. You don't want the repair failing after a short time, as this can cause additional damage.

Use the sharp end of a screw driver or a garden trowel to remove any vegetation growth within the asphalt's cracks. Then use a broom or pressure washer to remove dirt and debris that have accumulated inside the asphalt's cracks and holes. Remove any rocks and chunks of asphalt, as well.

Fill thin hairline cracks with a tube of liquid asphalt filler, and larger cracks with cold patch asphalt filler. Be sure to fill the cracks down to their base and compress the filler into the cracks up to the surrounding surfaces to ensure the repair's stability.

Apply Sealcoating

Before you can apply a protective sealcoating barrier, you will need to clean the surface of your asphalt of any oils, grease, gasoline, and other damaging vehicle fluids. These types of fluids can dissolve the binders within the asphalt's emulsion, causing the gravel to loosen and the asphalt's surface to soften and deteriorate. And if you apply a layer of sealcoating over the top of any existing fluids, the fluids will continue to damage the asphalt and cause the sealcoating to fail.

Use an asphalt cleaning solution, which you can find at most home improvement stores, to clean the surface of the asphalt. You can also use a liquid degreaser dish soap and water to clean your asphalt. Use a long-handled scrub brush to apply the cleaner combined with any water and scrub the asphalt to remove these fluids. With your garden hose or a pressure washer, rinse the solution completely from the asphalt and allow it to dry.

Hire an asphalt company to apply the sealcoating layer to your asphalt, which will create a waterproof barrier onto the asphalt. The sealcoating tar emulsion will also fill in any small cracks and coat any oxidization of your asphalt's surface, restoring the black color to its appearance. Allow the sealcoating to cure fully before walking or driving over its surface.