There are two types of solid-surface driveways: concrete and asphalt. The bad news is that each of these surfaces is prone to the cracks that come with age and weather, but the good news is that they can be repaired.
Filling Cracks in Concrete Driveways
The supplies needed for this project include a chisel, hammer, small brush or broom, paintbrush, bonding adhesive, vinyl reinforced patching compound, and trowel. For larger cracks, the additional items needed are sand, sand-mix concrete, and concrete fortifier.
To repair a small crack in the concrete, begin by using a chisel and hammer to chip away an angled cut around the edge of the crack. Then, brush away the excess material, leaving a clean surface. Using a paintbrush, apply a thin layer of bonding adhesive to the crack. It will help adhere to the repair material to the concrete for a stronger fix. Next, mix vinyl reinforced patching compound and fill the crack.
The compound should be applied in layers no thicker than to thick per layer. Each layer must dry for at least thirty minutes before applying additional layers. When the crack is filled just above surface level, Use a trowel to smooth the surface of the crack so that it is flush with the surrounding concrete surface. Allow the compound to dry completely.
For a crack greater than 1/2â€ť wide, add sand to the crack until it is filled within of the surface. Using sand-mix concrete (prepared according to package directions) mixed with concrete fortifier, trowel the mixture into the crack. Again, allow adequate drying time between applications. Finish by smoothing the surface with the trowel.
Filling Cracks and Sealing Asphalt Driveways
One of the most important tasks for keeping your driveway in good condition is to fill cracks whenever they arise. Cracks should be filled in the winter because, during the cold months, the cracks are at their widest. Begin by removing loose pieces of material in or around the crack, using a chisel to pry out stubborn chunks, if needed.
Use asphalt fillers to fill cracks or holes in the asphalt. Rubberized asphalt emulsion is an important ingredient to look for in fillers. Most fillers come in a caulk-like dispenser and are simply squeezed into the cracks. If there are cracks wider than Â˝â€ť, use an asphalt cold patch which is poured into the cracks.
The prime time to seal an asphalt driveway is when the temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit and warming. Late spring or early summer is best so that the sealed surface can cure under a couple of months of sunshine. There also needs to be no chance of rain within thirty-six hours of application, so be sure to check the extended weather forecast before starting the project.
Before beginning, it is important to clear the drive of any grass or weeds. Then, the area should be cleaned, first with a dry sweep followed by a wet sweep using a hose and a garage broom. Any areas on the asphalt that have oil-stains or gas leaks should be scrubbed with a stiff brush and household detergent then thoroughly rinsed.
After mixing the sealer, begin by misting the surface with a bit of water then pour a strip of sealer across the drive approximately a foot wide. Using a wide application brush (broom with both a brush and a squeegee), spread the sealer with the squeegee until it is three to four feet wide.
Make sure the sealer is thinly and evenly spread. Using the brush, pull the excess sealer off of the surface. Repeat this process until the entire drive is covered. If needed, apply a second thin coat, remembering to allow the first coat to dry at least twelve hours.
Allow the driveway to completely dry 24-36 hours before parking on the surface. Be sure to block off the drive until it has completely cured.
Remember, filling surface cracks and sealing driveways every two years is much easier maintenance than having to deal with huge cracks and potholes that arise from neglect. A well-maintained driveway will add function and value to your home.