Your driveway wears many hats. Sometimes it’s a driveway, other times a basketball court or the floor of “Dad’s Auto Shop.” Regardless of its role, a driveway can take a beating, be it from vehicles or weather – and cracks are just a part of life.
Thankfully, industry advancements in concrete, asphalt and sealant can save you from having to completely redo your driveway after cracking. Here are some quick fixes to repairing driveway cracks.
With small cracks in asphalt driveways it is essential that you clean the crack out and chip away any loose pieces thoroughly before applying a rubberized, asphalt-emulsion filler.
1.How prone is my driveway to cracking?
Every driveway is prone to cracks from time to time. Usually areas that have severe cycles of freezing weather and thawing create for the highest concentration of cracking. When you’re looking to repair driveway cracks, the key is immediate action. You want to get those cracks repaired before they expand and get wide enough for moisture and debris to erode the earth underneath them.
2.Solve the source, not the symptom
While most cracks in driveways are the result of severe full-time weather conditions, there are other causes that you should check for before sealing up those cracks. For example, if there are trees lining your driveway, check to see if a root system is pushing the concrete up, causing cracks. You need to remove the cause of the crack – otherwise simply sealing up what looks cracked won’t prevent further cracking – and you’ll have more work than intended.
3.Cleaning the area
When you’re preparing to repair a crack in your driveway, clean up the affected area first. Sweep or blow off the surface of the driveway where the crack is, sweep out the crack and dust out all loose debris in the crack. Additionally, you can take a small chisel or screwdriver and break off any loose pieces of driveway that are still desperately hanging on. Once you’ve got a clean crack to seal up, you’ll have a better chance at a permanent solution.
4.Hello hairline crack
If your driveway is a concrete one, you can use concrete sealer, pourable grout or textured caulk to seal the crack in your driveway. You’re going to want to use the following tools:
-Your caulk, grout or sealant
-A trowel or hand-float
-Bottle of water (preferably a spray bottle)
-Protective clothing and gloves
If you’re using textured caulk to seal the crack, you won’t need the water to wet the area, but if you’re using sealant or grout, wetting the crack will create a better surface for the sealant to adhere to.
Fill the crack entirely with your desired sealant, and push the material down with your trowel, making sure to fill every nook and crevice in and around the crack. Don’t be afraid to use your thumb or index finger to press the material down – but only if you’re wearing your protective gloves!
Once you’ve filled the crack entirely, scrape off any excess material with your trowel and allow it so set and dry. Voila!
If you’re dealing with larger concrete cracks, you can perform a cutaway underneath the crack and fill it with multiple layers of sealant no thicker than about ¼ inch to 1/3 inch thick. This method will allow the sealant to remain effective with expansion and contraction of the driveway over time. This can be a bigger job, and if you think this is what you may need to do, it is a good idea to contact your local contractor to help you decide your next move.
With small cracks in asphalt driveways it is essential that you clean the crack out and chip away any loose pieces thoroughly before applying a rubberized, asphalt-emulsion filler. This stuff is potent! It can stain your driveway, so be sure you read and adhere to the safety instructions provided with the container. If you have a caulking gun, use that to apply the filler for added accuracy. Once you have filled the crack entirely, you can use your trowel or even a putty knife to remove excess material and smooth out the top surface.
With larger cracks in asphalt, this is an area where it may be best to contact a driveway repair professional for assistance. Large cracks and deep cracks may need some small crushed, angular gravel to be added below the crack to bring the depth up to a manageable level. The same goes for multiple cracks in one area – a professional can help you figure out the root cause of your cracked area.
The sealant will take longer to dry for asphalt applications, so be sure to give it anywhere from a half-day to 48 hours before you can be sure it’s ready to go.