While many homeowners fuss over maintaining the roof, windows, and the drainage around the sides of the house, keeping the driveway in good working order isn’t always a priority.
And why should it be? Most driveways are asphalt, which is pretty indestructible, or so most of us may think.
Causes of Damage
But asphalt does succumb to the elements and daily usage. The sun does its part in the summer, drying out the asphalt so it cracks and turns gray. Rain fills the cracks and accelerates damage. In the winter, frost and ice can heave it by inches. Once the ice and sun have their way, a driveway loses its elasticity resulting in large or small tears that go right through the asphalt.
Cracks and depressions can also result from daily usage. Fluids that leak from older vehicles are never good for the asphalt below. Gas, for example, can quickly dissolve the tar-binding agent in asphalt and leave an actual hole in the driveway.
Ounce of Prevention
As the old saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. A new driveway can cost thousands of dollars. Using the proper sealant is the recommended way to avoid that costly renovation. Here’s how to reseal and prevent a major cash outlay.
First off, you’ll need to makes sure the conditions are right. No rain should be expected for at least three days and the temperature should be steady at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to avoid contact with the materials as they’re often harmful to the skin. In preparation, it’s a good idea to have gloves and maybe even a mask at your disposal. Clip any overhanging grass from the sides of the driveway well before you apply any sealer.
Next, you want to fill in any cracks or depressions with filler that you can buy at most home improvement centers after sweeping away loose dirt. Finally, you can use a pressure washer or garden hose to spray the drive one final time in preparation for putting the sealer down.
The can of sealer should be tipped upside down first to premix the contents. Then open it and start in one corner of the driveway, applying the sealer in square sections rather than long strips. Make sure to allow for at least a 24-hour drying period where no traffic will be allowed on the driveway.