May Project: How to Fill Cracks in Your Driveway

You probably have one of the two common types of driveways: concrete or asphalt. As the weather changes, these surfaces are prone to cracking; however, you can do something about it. We'll give you tips to handle both cracks in concrete and asphalt.

Cracks on Concrete DrivewaysHank Filling Driveway Cracks

You'll need the following supplies to repair cracks in concrete driveways:
         Chisel
         Hammer
         Small Brush or Broom
         Paint Brush
         Bonding Adhesive
         Vinyl Reinforced Patching Compound
         Trowel
*If it's an exceptionally large crack, you'll also need sand, sand-mix concrete and concrete fortifier.

To repair a smaller crack, start by using the chisel and hammer and chip away an angled cut around the edge of the crack. Then, brush away the excess material to clean the area around the crack.

Grab the paintbrush and apply a thin layer of bonding adhesive to the crack. It will help mold the concrete to the repair material making a stronger connection. Next, mix vinyl reinforced patching compound and fill the crack. You must apply the compound in layers no thicker than ¼” to ½.” You may add more layers; however, allow 30 minutes between layer applications to make sure the compound dries.

When the crack is filled just above the surface level, use a trowel to make the compound filler even with the original concrete. Then, let the compound dry completely.

A large crack is characterized as one that is greater than ½” wide. You'll need to fill it with sand until it's within ½” of the top. Then, add the sand-mix concrete mixed with concrete fortifier, trowel the mixture into the crack. Make sure you let it dry, and you can use the trowel to touch it up at the very end.

Cracks on and Sealing an Asphalt Driveway

You should fill cracks on asphalt driveways during the winter months. During that time period, cracks are at their widest. However, filling cracks in the early Spring can still be effective. First, clear away any chunks and use the chisel to pry any other chunks from inside the cracks. Remember to use asphalt fillers to repair cracks or holes in asphalt. “Rubberized asphalt emulsion” is a critical ingredient in those fillers. Most fillers come in a caulk-like dispenser. With larger cracks, you can pour the filler.

To seal your asphalt driveway, the primetime is when the temperature is 50 degrees and getting warmer. The sealed surface can then heal under sunshine, and you also need to make sure it doesn't rain within 36 hours of application. You'll want to monitor the weather forecast before starting the project.

Prior to sealing, you should clean the asphalt thoroughly. Sweep it clean of debris and pull grass or weeds from the driveway. Then, with a hose you should wash the driveway, and use a broom to scrub the asphalt. Finally, scrub off oil stains and gas leaks with a stiff brush. You may use household detergent to do this.

Mix the sealer and then apply a mist layer of water. Apply the sealer across the driveway in a one-foot wide strip. Then use a squeegee to spread that strip three or four feet wide. Use a brush to pull off any excess sealer. Repeat this process until you finish the driveway. If you decide to add another coat, wait at least 12 hours before doing so.

Wait 24-36 hours before driving and parking on the driveway. You'll want to put barriers up to prevent people from walking on it, so your work isn't ruined.

Taking good care of your driveway can add value to your home. You'll want to consider sealing and filling driveway cracks every two years. That way, maintainance won't get out of control, and you'll avoid some of the larger cracks.

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