Happy 2012!

Driveway Impressions Happy New Year 2012

HAPPY 2012! All of us at My Driveway Dr. and Driveway Impressions would like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year. May everyday be better than the last! This year has been a time of great growth for My Driveway Dr. We received our yearly summary of our blog activity and would like to share it with you all. After all, you are the reason why we do what we do. So here are some Stats!

This year 2011, My Driveway Dr. was viewed about 13,000 times! According to WordPress…if we were a concert at the Sydney Opera House, we would have 5 sold-out shows!

In 2011, we uploaded 87 pictures! That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was on April 1st, with 150 views in a single day! This is when we launched our first ever video contest, “So You Think You’re Awesome” Video Contest! You can check out the winners and other entries on our Youtube page.

The majority of our readers are from The United States, Canada, and Australia.

And lastly, some of our most read posts of 2011 were:

1. About How Much Does A Stamped Asphalt Driveway Costs?

2. Stamped Asphalt – What’s It All About?

3. How Much Maintenance…Is Too Much Maintenance?

4. 10,700 Visitors & Creative Driveway Ideas

Thank you for continued support! We will strive to make this year better than the last!

Driveway Impressions stamped asphalt-My Driveway Dr – Driveway Impressions: Distinctive Driveways for Distinctive Homes

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Stamped Asphalt Driveway, Can I Clean It? With What?

Hello again and happy Fall.

In the last couple of weeks we have been getting several calls from customers about their stamped asphalt driveways, and how to remove oil stains, wet leaf stains, and other stains off of the driveway without damaging the coating. Because of the unique StreetBond coatings that each Driveway Impression‘s driveway receives, typical stains that would normally stain plain asphalt and concrete will not stain the StreetPrint driveway. This is of Driveway Impressions Stamped ASphalt Drivewaycourse if you don’t leave stains sitting for 6 months.

After the Driveway Impressions decorative stamped asphalt driveway is installed you should periodically flush the driveway with water. this is to remove any abrasive materials like sand and dirt. It is also recommended to use a low pressure, high volume rinse. Leaving excessive abrasive materials on the driveway can decrease the overall life of the surfacing system.

One of the great benefits and advantages of a Driveway Impression‘s driveway that homeowners love, is that it is resistant to oil, grease and gas. However, it is recommended that you remove any stains from the pavement as soon as possible. If plain water does not remove the stain homeowners can use ZEP Citrus Cleaner or Simple Green; scrub the area with a stiff broom or brush, and follow it up with a high volume, low-pressure rinse. ZEP and Simple green are common cleaners that can be bought at your local hardware store.

-My Driveway Dr – Driveway Impressions: Distinctive Driveways for Distinctive Homes

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Welcome The Fall Season…a Perfect Time To Visit a Show

Can you smell the Fall season approaching? The shortening of the day, children returning back to school, the cooling of the temperatures…and of course, the last finishing touches on those few final home improvement projects.

It’s the perfect time to squeeze in some final home repairs or touch ups before Winter comes…and what better place to get the most information, ideas, and advice about these projects then at a Fall Home Show.

The Fall season is a time where home remodel shows and expos are at their busiest. These shows can be found throughout the United States, with the primary goal of providing the homeowner with a one-stop-shop of local home improvement contractors to fit your every need…from roof repair, window installation, driveway paving, fencing, winter proofing  etc.

Here is a very popular and well known show in the Washington DC metropolitan area: The Capital Home Show. This show is located at the Dulles Expo Center. With Ty Pennington from “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” as the official spokesperson, as well as other celebrities who make guest appearances, the Capital Home Show often draws large audiences.

If you are in need of remodeling ideas, tips, or contractors, we highly recommend attending a local home & garden show. They are both fun and helpful.

Here is a special offer for our valued readers. Use the promo code “DRIVEWAY”, and receive $4 off admission! We hope to see you there.

Capital Home Show

“The Capital Home Show is the place to experience an abundance of design inspiration, remodeling tips and new ideas.  Speak with over 500 experts and shop, compare and save on all of your home improvement projects.”

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10,700 Visitors & Creative Driveway Ideas

Thank you all for visiting My Driveway Dr. We are proud to say that My Driveway Dr. has hit 10,700+ visits since we started less then a year ago! It has been a great ride, and we strive to continue bringing informative and creative ideas to your driveway.

So let’s talk about some creative and cool driveway options. Here at My Driveway Dr. we always emphasize the importance a great driveway can play on your home’s appearance, curb appeal, and value. Here is a good article “Cool Driveways Are a Smart Approach” by John Riha of “Houselogic” discussing unique and creative approaches to your driveway. The post talks about ways to change the entire look of your driveway, or simple additions that add aesthetics as well as functionality. These are not common, or necessarily the most well known approaches to driveway design, so it may spark some creative juices for your next project.

The article includes driveway options like:

  • Hardy Ground Covers and Paving Bricks
  • Brick Driveways
  • Durable Porous Pavers
  • Stamped Asphalt
  • Real Stone
  • Stamped Concrete
  • Coloring/Dying/Staining Concrete
  • Low-Voltage Power Lights
  • Combination of Asphalt and Concrete

Porous Pavers Credit: Green Innovations

Stamped Asphalt Credit: Driveway Impressions

Low-Voltage Paver Lights Credit: Kerr Lighting by SEK/Surebond

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of my personal favorite photos from the article. Give the article a look for more details

-My Driveway Dr – Driveway Impressions: Distinctive Driveways for Distinctive Homes

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Can You Spot The Difference…?

Having a decorative driveway looks great; and any homeowner that has one can tell you how much it has improved the look of their home. Before, real brick and stone were the only ways to go…even with all the costs, maintenance, and potential hazards. But with the popularity of alternatives like stamped asphalt, you can now have the look of brick and stone, but with less cost and more benefits.

Of course there are always advocates for every option; all with their own opinions of which one looks better, which looks more authentic, and which is better for you. But based strictly on looks alone, can you tell the difference. Which one do you think looks the best? Take a look at the photos below and see if you can spot the right one…what do you think looks better? Brick, stamped asphalt, or stamped concrete?

Which photos are of brick, cobblestone, stamped concrete or stamped asphalt?
Answers (But try to guess first! )Tell us how many you got right!

2.

1.

4.

3.

5.

6.

8.

7.

9.

10.

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Asphalt & Concrete: Breakdown On Maintenance and Care

Asphalt and concrete are the traditional (and most common) choices for homeowners’ driveways. Asphalt and concrete are both functional, and less costly than brick or stone pavers (practicality and function ability depending on where you live and the climate conditions of course). With the right foundation, installation, and maintenance, asphalt and concrete are durable and dependable; and homeowners have been using them for decades. Asphalt and concrete must be doing something right… But maintenance and care are the keys to a long lasting and “good looking” asphalt/concrete driveway.

Asphalt:

Asphalt is “traditionally” less costly than concrete. Foundation and installation are keys to a good performing driveway because without it you may encounter cracks and drainage issues in the future.

Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt Driveway

Washing your driveway will be important to keep stains and leaks from permanently staining the pavement. Even though asphalt isblack and oil leaks may not be as visible as it would be with concrete, oil/chemicals that sit for long periods of time will stain.

To protect your asphalt from the damaging effects of the sun, wind, and water, homeowners are recommended to seal/sealcoat the driveway every 2-3 years. These natural occurrences cause the asphalt to harden due to oxidization. Even though oxidation will occur regardless, sealing will help slowing down the process. You can do this your self by purchasing buckets and sealing it on your own, or by hiring professionals that specialize in this and will do it right. A popular company is Jet Black; but there are numerous others. We recommend not to trust the random guy that shows up at your door one day asking if you want them to sealcoat your driveway.

But as mentioned before, the most important thing is that the asphalt driveway was installed with the right foundation, and constructed with the proper materials, grading, and requirements for your environment. With a poor or improper foundation, no sealcoat will prevent the potential damages.

If cracks and other damage does appear there are varies options that can be taken. There are crack repair materials, patch work can be done, resurfacing etc. However, you may want to contact an asphalt contractor or other professional to properly access the issue and direct you in the right course of action.

On hot days you may feel that the asphalt driveway is a little “softer”. This is the nature of asphalt because it flexes unlike concrete. You can also put salt and de-icing chemicals on asphalt unlike concrete.

Asphalt is functional and practical.

Concrete:

Concrete is a durable and strong substance that can last for decades if installed and treated correctly.  Proper maintenance is the key to a concrete driveway.

Concrete Driveway

Concrete Driveway Photo by: Geek Tonic

It is recommended that a new concrete driveway be sealed after construction. A sealant should be applied every year or so depending on the type of sealant used. Before any sealant is applied however, you should wash the surface of debris or chemicals. Concrete sealants are available in a clear or tinted solution.

Concrete driveways, like asphalt driveways can be stained due to oil and gasoline. In addition, salts and de-icing chemicals can severely damage concrete and is not recommended. Instead, sand is preferable for concrete driveways. Even if homeowners are not directly putting de-icing chemicals on the concrete driveway, car tires still drag it in from the streets. This will eventually eat away at the concrete.

Winters can also cause potential harm to concrete. Unlike asphalt, concrete does not flex. It is rigid in nature; which is why expansion joints are used in order to lessen the impact. Because of this rigid nature, freezing and thawing cycles can cause severe cracks.

Heavy weight should also be avoided. The average concrete driveway is built to handle the everyday automobile or van. It is not however, made to handle large dump trucks, construction vehicles, and other heavy equipment. This may cause possible cracking as well.

Like with asphalt, a concrete professional will be able to better access any damage and issues.

Concrete is known for its strength and durability, and with proper maintenance and care you can help it live up its full potential.

Summary:

Both asphalt and concrete (when installed correctly) will do the job of providing a functional and working driveway. Depending on where you live and the look you prefer, you can determine the best fit for you. Both are the traditional and most cost effective options for homeowners’ driveways. But proper care and maintenance is needed for it to reach its full potential. BUT, of course you can always get a driveway with our decorative/protective coatings and have no maintenance altogether 😉

If you have any additional questions/comments, please feel free to ask us below!

-My Driveway Dr

See Our Driveways: Driveway Impressions

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How Much Maintenance… Is Too Much Maintenance? Brick Pavers, Stamped Concrete, Stamped Asphalt (Driveway Impressions)

With all the other things we deal with concerning our homes and families, any maintenance needed can be too much maintenance… especially for something like a driveway. Even though we love the remarkable curb appeal a decorative driveway gives, we don’t want to be spending year after year sustaining/maintaining it. So here is a short and concise breakdown of some of the possible maintenance needed for various decorative driveway options. Also, look for future posts for additional comparisons.

Brick pavers:

Brick Pavers
Brick Pavers: Potential Wear & Tear

-Susceptible to snow ploy damage, and

shifting of bricks

-Weed growth

-Poses trip hazard when bricks shift

-Labor intensive removal

-Difficult to prepare substrate under area to be repaired

-Maintenance and repairs often leading to replacement of much larger areas

Brick Pavers Weed Growth

Brick Pavers: Weed Growth

-Costly and slow maintenance and repair process

Stamped concrete:

-May crack at expansion joints due to rigid nature

-Damages due to salt and de-icing chemicals

-Possible fading and discoloration

-Surface sealer may glaze or become opaque over time

-Poses trip hazard when cracked

-Not effectively repairable

-Often requires complete replacement

Damaged stamped concrete

Possible Stamped Concrete Damage: Photo by: Sullivan's Corner

Stamped Asphalt (Driveway Impressions):

-Never needs sealing ever again

-Resistant to snow plow damage

-Solid surface prevents weed growth

-No trip hazards

-Stain and chemical resistant

-Resistant to salts and de-icing chemicals

Stamped Asphalt

Stamped Asphalt

-Perfect color matching

-Seamless, inexpensive and fast repairs

-My Driveway Dr – Driveway Impressions: Distinctive Driveways for Distinctive Homes

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