If you are selling your home; it is important that you repair those driveway cracks before potential buyers see them. Some people may look at those cracks and associate them with neglect (even if they are brand new). They may wonder if the rest of the house has been neglected. They also take away from your home’s curb appeal. Fixing cracks will go a long way in helping you get top dollar for your home, and making sure it does not get overlooked because of minor repairs. Some of the best moving advice you get is to fix the small stuff. Alternately, maybe you just moved into a house, and the driveway looks less than perfect. This guide will help.
The reason why cracks in asphalt can be very unsettling is because they allow water to get under the pavement. During the freeze and thaw cycle, this water compromises the stability of the base. Once it is unstable, more cracking will occur rather quickly.
Cracks in asphalt can be filled in the winter providing they are bone dry. April through November is recommended, but late fall is really ideal because the cracks are at their widest point due to the cold.
Your first step is to assess the crack. Anything deeper than an inch should be repaired professionally. Cracks in asphalt are easiest handled when they are less than half-inch.
- Gather Support – You will need an asphalt repair kit, pressure hose washer, caulking gun, sandpaper, and asphalt repair kit.
- Clean – Use a high water pressure to clean the crack. You will see that when you spray water inside a lot of dirt and debris will come out. A vacuum cleaner will be useful for this purpose, as well.
- Fill the Crack – Use the asphalt repair kit and caulking gun to inject asphalt into the crack. Place your sandpaper on top of it to level out the filling. Do not rub the driveway with the sandpaper. You are simply doing this, so the filled crack doesn’t end up taller than the rest of the driveway.
- Seal – If you are moving out of a house, you probably will not be sealing the entire thing. However, if the driveway in your new place needs to be sealed it should be at least 50 degrees consistently, and you need to make sure there is no chance of rain for 36 hours. Scrub the driveway clean before applying the sealant. Pull away excess with a brush, and wait at least 12 hours before applying a second coat. Don’t forget to stock up on your equipment and supplies.
- Prep – Use a cold chisel and hammer to chisel out the cracks. This will ensure that there are no loose pieces waiting to break free. A whisk broom or wire brush will clean away debris.
- Fill Cracks – If using a tub of filler, simply cut the bottle’s nozzle and start filling. If you are using concrete patch it is a good idea to apply a layer of bonding adhesive to the crack first. Feather the repair using a trowel, so the filler is level with the ground. Regardless what product you are using, give it a few minutes to settle, and then add more, if needed.
- Seal – If you are filling cracks and holes in concrete at your new place then the best moving advice you will get is to seal it as soon as it dries. The sealant will prevent the concrete from absorbing stains.