Crack sealing is an important part of owning an asphalt driveway. If you're a homeowner who has recently noticed a crack in your asphalt driveway, knowing how to repair the crack can help you maintain the value of your property.
Why do you need to seal cracks in your asphalt driveway?
Cracks in your asphalt driveway allow water to penetrate the driveway's surface. This is a problem because water can destabilize the surface that the asphalt rests upon, which can create more cracks and potholes over time.
In winter, moisture penetration during freeze/thaw cycles can be especially problematic because water expands when it freezes. This can quickly break apart the asphalt, creating a phenomenon called "alligatoring." Alligatoring is what happens when the asphalt develops hundreds of very small cracks, so that the surface of the driveway appears pebbled.
In this way, moisture leakage from a simple crack can create a snowball effect that may eventually lead to the deterioration of the entire driveway.
Can you seal the cracks in your driveway as a DIY project?
Yes, you can seal the cracks in your driveway. Crack sealing compound is available for sale in home improvement centers. These products differ in consistency based on the width of the crack being filled, so you'll need to measure the width of the crack before making your purchase. When it's time to fill the crack, follow these steps:
- Clean out the crack. Chisel out any loose pieces of asphalt in the crack, then pull out any weeds growing up through the crack. When you're finished, brush out the crack with a broom.
- Put a bead of crack sealer on the crack. For very deep cracks, the crack sealer's instructions may tell you to fill the crack with crushed gravel before laying down the product. Follow these instructions as given, then fill the crack with the crack sealing agent.
- Flatten the crack sealing agent with a squeegee. Use a long-handled squeegee to flatten out the crack sealing agent, then allow the crack sealing agent to dry.
- Repeat the steps above as necessary. The crack sealer should fill the crack so that there are no dips in the driveway. If the surface of the crack is below the surface of the driveway, continue to fill the crack with sealer.
You can also repair the cracks in your driveway by contacting a professional asphalt paving company. Asphalt paving companies have expertise in this process and may have access to professional grade products that last longer and perform better.than those products found in home improvement centers. For more information, contact your asphalt paving company today.