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How to Repair Your Driveway

by Derek Crowden on Nov 7, 2014

Asphalt and concrete driveways are subject to wear and tear over time. Nature gradually damages the paving, and this will lead to potholes or cracks. Vegetation may also force its way up through the surface. However, repairing your driveway is much simpler than it may appear. The key is to repair the driveway before the cracks begin to expand, as this will allow moisture to erode the ground beneath.

Photo by Susan Sermoneta

Focus on the Root of the Problem

While weather can play an important role in damaging concrete paving, there are other factors that may be at work. You will first want to check to make sure that there aren’t any nearby trees with roots that are pushing the concrete up. If this is the case, these trees must be removed, as merely sealing up the crack in this case won’t prevent it from continuing to happen.

Clean Up the Place

When you’re getting ready to repair your driveway, you will first want to clean it up. Sweep the top of the driveway in the areas where the cracks appear, and remove any loose debris from the cracks. You may also want to use a screwdriver to tear off any loose parts of the driveway. Once the cracks and driveway are clean, the rest of the work should be much more effective.

Seal the Driveway

For driveways which are made of concrete, you will want to use either pourable grout, textured caulk or a concrete sealer. In addition to this, you will also need some tools. These should include a trowel, gloves and secure clothing, and you will also need a bottle filled with water. This water bottle should have a spray nozzle.

Those using textured caulk won’t need water, but anyone who has grout or sealant will need to use the water to dampen the area. This will create a stronger surface which the sealant can attach itself to. Place the sealant in the crack, and be sure it is completely filled. Use your trowel to force the sealant down. Be sure to cover each crevice both in the crack and around it. You can use your fingers to push the sealant down, just be sure you’re wearing your gloves, as they will protect them.

Once the crack has been filled, you will want to remove the excess sealant with your trowel and then allow it to dry. If you have to fill larger cracks, you may need to carry out a cutaway below the crack and then fill it with numerous layers of the sealant. It shouldn’t be thicker than 1/3 inches. This ensures that the sealant will be effective during the expansion/contraction that your driveway will experience in the future. This task is more complex, and you may want to call up a contractor for assistance.

Working with Asphalt

When dealing with the little cracks that appear in asphalt driveways it is important to clean out the cracks. You will also need to cut away any pieces which are loose before adding the emulsion filler. This filler can stain the driveway so you will want to follow the instructions and use a caulking gun for better accuracy.

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