Repair Your Driveway
A driveway should be a safe place to park your car, not an obstacle course. If it needs repairing, it is important to get that repair underway. A neglected driveway will only get worse, so the sooner you start the repairs, the sooner you will have your beautiful driveway back again.
Because driveways are subjected to the elements on a full-time basis, they do occasionally experience cracks. Cracks are most common in regions of the country that experience freeze/thaw cycles. In most cases, cracks in the driveway aren’t a serious problem and can be fixed with relatively simple solutions. The key is fixing a driveway crack before it worsens from moisture entry, erosion of the underlying ground or subsequent freeze/thaw cycles.
Asphalt is by far the most common material used for paving driveways. And, just like the asphalt used on highways, asphalt driveways can develop cracks over time. Fortunately, fixing cracks in an asphalt driveway is a simple process that only requires a do-it-yourself spirit and a few tools and materials that are readily available at most hardware stores.
The most frequent cause of cracks in an asphalt driveway is water that has seeped below the surface and expanded or contracted with freezing and thawing temperatures. Repairing asphalt driveways and fixing concrete drives both entail similar work, but asphalt is a more specialized product than concrete. So be prepared to put more effort into buying the right product for the job. You will not be using hot asphalt, just a product meant to fill cracks in asphalt.
Although concrete is a durable surface, it can deteriorate and develop cracks over the years. Cracks in concrete can be caused by tree roots and soil movement, as well as freezing and thawing cycles in the winter and expansion during the summer. Rather than going through the expense of removing the slab and pouring a new one, repairing most concrete driveway cracks is relatively inexpensive and simple to do. Concrete driveway repair can be accomplished through an application of — you guessed it — concrete, which is readily available at home improvement stores. In addition, whether the crack is 1/2 inch wide or 2 inches wide, you can still fill it with plain old concrete.
Whether your driveway is asphalt or concrete, here are some simple steps you can take to repair the cracks before they become a hazard.
- Remove any weeds that are growing out of the crack.
- Clean the crack thoroughly to ensure proper bonding between the old surface and the repair material. A strong spray hose will do the trick.
- Apply a weed killer.
- If the crack is deep, fill it to within 1/4 inch of the surface with sand.
- Apply the patching compound – asphalt or concrete – to the crack.
- Allow the compound to cure.
- Apply a sealant.
Cracks not only make your driveway look unattractive; if left unattended, they can eventually grow and cause the driveway to crumble. Whether you have an asphalt or concrete, the more proactive you are at catching and repairing cracks, the longer it will last without the need for expensive resurfacing.