As a homeowner, you probably understand the importance of cleaning and repairs on your home's exterior. From enhanced appeal and protecting its value, it is easy to see the imperative nature of upkeep on your home. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough time and effort on your driveway. Considering it sees a great deal of abuse overtime, it can decrease your home's curb appeal without periodic cleaning and repairs.
While obvious to hear, cleaning your driveway periodically ensures an attractive look. However, small fissures and cracks are common problems you may face on your asphalt driveway. Although they seem unimportant, these imperfections can lead to future problems and expensive repairs. Using this guide on repairing cracks in your driveway, you can protect your home's value and appeal.
Finding the exact cause of the cracks in your driveway can be difficult, but the most common cause stems from improper installation. The underlying subbase should consist tightly-packed stone under a second aggregate base. Without two leveled and packed bases, the asphalt driveway will not have a proper foundation.
Here are some other factors that may contribute to a cracked driveway:
- Moisture – Over time, water can buildup on your asphalt. In many cases, the excessive moisture washes out the underlying base, leading to cracks in your driveway.
- Sun and Heat – The ultraviolet rays of the sun and the extremely high temperatures can dry out the asphalt. This dryness makes the surface brittle, causing it to crack in multiple areas.
- Chemicals – If you park your vehicle on your driveway or work on lawn equipment, the asphalt has most likely made contact with certain chemicals. Gas, oil, bug repellent, fertilizer, and even paint can soften the asphalt and create cracks.
- Weight – Your driveway should be able to withstand the weight of your vehicles, but excessive weight can crack your asphalt. Do not park anything over a few tons on your driveway, especially if you already have a few cracks in the surface.
Once you determine the root cause of your driveway cracks, you can begin cleaning and repair. In addition, you will have the tools necessary for preventing future imperfections.
Cleaning before sealing cracks is smart to ensure dirt, mold, or mildew does not become permanent features of your driveway. To get started, remove stains using the following solution:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 cup of baking soda
Pour onto stains and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the surface and rinse with your garden hose.
To clean your entire asphalt surface, combine 3 gallons of water with ½ cup of liquid dish soap in an outdoor sprayer. Douse one section at a time and spread the soapy solution across the driveway using a long-handled brush. Rinse the driveway with your garden hose.
After allowing the entire driveway to dry overnight, you can repair the cracks using a filler and sealant.
For cracks that measure less than an inch, apply rubberized asphalt filler using a caulking gun. Smooth out the filler using a scraper or putty tool and allow to dry for a few hours.
If you are dealing with cracks larger than an inch in width, spread fine gravel into the space. Be sure to pack it in tightly. Pour in a small amount of blacktop compound and spread evenly with a putty tool. Allow the compound to dry overnight.
Once you patch the driveway cracks, you can apply a coat of asphalt sealant for intense protection. Ensure the patched cracks are completely dry. Also, apply the sealant on a day with no wet or windy weather in the forecast.
Pour the sealant product on the end of your driveway, closest to your home. Use a long-handled paint roller to spread the sealant across the driveway. Work your way down towards the street, adding more sealant as you go. Be sure the sealant is even across the entire driveway. When complete, block off the driveway entrance to prevent contact to the wet surface.
Stress on your driveway is a natural when living in a house. With these tips, you can prevent and repair imperfections in your asphalt driveway. Check out sites like http://armourpavement.com for more info.