How A Homeowner Can Repair Winter Cracks In An Asphalt Driveway
Water and ice can cause a lot of cracks to appear in an asphalt driveway over the winter. Now that the weather has warmed up in most places in the United States and the spring rains are subsiding, it is time to repair those cracks so they don't get any bigger and cause the asphalt in your driveway to break apart. If you are a homeowner who likes to save money by doing as much of the maintenance work around the home by yourself, here is a brief guide on how you can repair the cracks that appeared over the wintertime in your asphalt driveway.
You Will Need:
- Asphalt Sealant Tubes
- Caulk Gun
- Backer Rod
- Leaf Blower
- Sidewalk Scraper
- Safety Glasses
You should fill in the cracks on a warm day without rain. The asphalt sealant is a lot easier to apply when the temperatures are above 60 degrees, and the cracks should be dry to help the sealant bond better to the existing asphalt in the cracks. The best way to clean out the cracks is to use a leaf blower. The pressure of the air will force out most of the loose debris that could negatively affect the ability of the sealant to bond with the existing asphalt. Make sure you put on safety glasses before you blow out the cracks. The debris can easily get into your eyes as it is forced out of the cracks. If you don't have a leaf blower, just clean out the cracks as best as you can with a broom.
Inspect the cracks for loose asphalt particles along the edges after you have initially cleaned them out. Use a sidewalk scraper to break loose the particles and then blow out the cracks once again to remove the pieces of asphalt that may have fallen down into the crack.
Apply Asphalt Sealant
Apply the asphalt sealant with a caulk gun. Cut the very tip off of the asphalt sealant tube and place the tip of the tube into the crack. Gently squeeze on the handle of the caulk gun when applying the sealant. Fill up the crack until the sealant is just above the surface of the driveway. For deep and/or wide cracks, you should put in backer rod or some other material to help support the sealant. Backer rod is a rounded length of foam that you can stick down into the crack to help fill it up before you apply the sealant. This helps to make the repair job stronger and helps you conserve the amount of sealant you have to use to repair the cracks.
Feather out the Sealant
Take a small stick or some other object and feather out the sealant from the top of the crack over the existing surface of the asphalt driveway. You only have to feather it out for an inch or two. This will help to seal the edges of the cracks. If you don't seal the edges, the water that leaks in during the winter will cause cracks to occur again.
Allow to Dry
The drying time will vary depending upon the exact product you use, but you should expect to keep everything off of the driveway for at least 24 to 48 hours while the sealant dries.
If you need help with this process, do not hesitate to contact an asphalt contractor from a company like Star Paving.