Asphalt driveways take a beating. Not only must they withstand the weight of large vehicles, but they must suffer through the seasons: cold and ice in the winter and extreme heat and rain in the summer and spring. It's no surprise that asphalt driveways are prone to cracking and crumbling if left unprotected. The average cost of installing a brand-new driveway is around $5,000, but don't forget the added expense of digging up and hauling away the old one [source: HomeAdvisor].
The best way to preserve your asphalt driveway is to keep it sealed against the elements. When the weather is hot and dry, give the driveway a good scrub with a mild mixture of warm water and laundry detergent. Once it's dry, apply a layer of driveway sealer. You'll need a special squeegee to spread the sealer evenly. Don't drive on the driveway for 24 to 48 hours until the sealer has a chance to cure [source: Lowes].