The pitfalls of DIY maintenance

Summer may be here but don’t reach for that power washer just yet! Do-it-yourself projects around your home may be an aspirational way to save money, but if you’re not careful, you could end up causing additional damage that’s even more costly to repair.

As asphalt experts, we’ve seen it all when it comes to DIY driveway repairs. We recommended having a professional evaluate the issue and make recommendations before attempting to repair your driveway on your own. When it comes to driveway maintenance, it’s crucial to recognize the potential risks and pitfalls of DIY approaches.

Here’s a rundown of some of the common mistakes to avoid—and why professional asphalt services are usually your best bet to safeguard your driveway’s longevity and beauty.

Power washing

We know it’s tempting, but power washing your driveway can actually pose significant risks when done improperly. High-pressure water streams can erode the top layer of your asphalt, stripping away the essential binding agents that hold the surface together. This results in premature deterioration and the development of cracks and potholes.

The forceful water pressure can also dislodge loose asphalt particles, further compromising the surface integrity. Instead of a beautifully cleaned driveway, you’ll end up instead with an uneven or deteriorating appearance.

If your driveway has been sealed with a protective coating, power washing strips it away. This will leave your driveway once again vulnerable to damage from UV rays and moisture.

Our recommendation? Skip the pressure washer altogether. Soak up oil by sprinkling it with sawdust or kitty litter, then sweeping it up and tossing it away. If you have staining, treat the area with washing soda and a scrub brush, then use your garden hose sprayer to give your driveway a thorough rinse.

Filling cracks

Cracks might seem like a straightforward issue to address, but proper crack filing requires the right tools, materials, and expertise. Resorting to off-the-shelf crack fillers often leads to subpar results.

If cracks aren’t adequately repaired, water will continue to penetrate them, causing further deterioration to your driveway. They may also have been caused by underlying issues that an expert can recognize and address, like poor drainage.

Our recommendation? If your driveway is experiencing anything more than a minor crack, it’s best to get a professional evaluation to determine the root of the problem and recommend an appropriate plan for repair. While some cracks may just be a sign of natural aging, they could also indicate a more serious problem that needs addressing.


Sealcoating can help to maintain the appearance and longevity of your driveway by providing it with a protective layer that prevents chemicals, moisture, and UV exposure from deteriorating the asphalt. Attempting this task on your own, however, can lead to undesirable outcomes.

A long-lasting sealcoat requires meticulous preparation, including thorough cleaning, crack repair, and proper surface priming. Inadequate preparation can prevent proper adhesion.

Doing this project yourself also puts you at risk for using lower quality sealants and incorrect application techniques. You’re more likely to end up with a driveway that appears uneven, and may even experience premature degradation.

Our recommendation? Find out if it’s time to resurface your driveway with an expert evaluation of its condition, and have a professional apply any sealants to provide you with long-lasting protection from the elements.

Drainage repairs

Water is one of asphalt’s greatest adversaries—when it enters cracks or depressions, it causes asphalt to age prematurely and can undermine the integrity of your driveway. It’s essential to address grading and sloping issues that might be contributing to water pooling.

Our recommendation? Don’t attempt to install drainage channels without professional guidance. You risk inadequate water diversion that can lead to unintended damage to your driveway, or even worse, your home.

Trust the experts

Maintaining your driveway’s appearance and functionality requires a cautious and informed approach to ensure its longevity and safety. While DIY solutions may be tempting, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll end up costing you more in the long run as your driveway ages prematurely.

Trust your driveway maintenance to the professionals. We offer repair and resurfacing services you can count on, with our expertise, experience, and specialized equipment that delivers exceptional results.

At Bulldog Paving, we’re committed to helping you keep your driveway in beautiful condition. Don’t resort to DIY pitfalls—let us handle the complexities of your asphalt maintenance while you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a functional and aesthetically-pleasing driveway. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and experience the difference that professional asphalt services can make.

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