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Many of us have an asphalt driveway leading to our home or garage. This not only gives the look that the house is larger than it really is but also serves the purpose of parking cars. However, no matter how well you think a driveway might look, it could always need improvement. Think about the first time you had the driveway constructed. That solid greyish black look that seamlessly continued to your garage and home entrance.
Now, all that would be left is a dull worn-out grey with cracks, holes, and even patches. This is because like anything in life, things need to be maintained otherwise the process of wear and tear can affect the aesthetics. Don’t worry if your driveway has cracks or holes as we will show you
Fixing a crumbling asphalt driveway
Before we show you how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway, it is important to understand that this can be an easy DIY project if you can understand what is required. However, if you feel like you can’t handle it yourself and require help, then do not hesitate to approach experts. It is always better to have a perfect asphalt driveway rather than some patchwork because you didn’t understand the instructions.
Many people who follow “how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway” end up not following the instructions properly leading to a disastrous turn of events. You don’t want your home to have half-done work on your driveway, so read on to know ways to repair how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway.
There are three ways you can fix a crumbling driveway; repairing cracks, filling in the depressions (potholes or dents), and sealing your driveway.
How to fix crumbling asphalt driveway: Repairing cracks
This is the good bit as we show you how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway by repairing cracks. So, cracks are something that shows up due to the expansion and contraction of the driveway with heat and cold.
There are other reasons besides hot and cold temperatures that can lead to cracks in an asphalt driveway like extremely heavy loads or tree roots and more. The best way to deal with cracks or maintain them is by filling the cracks up.
Filling up small cracks is an easy DIY task. However, make sure to fix small cracks whenever they appear as minor issues that can turn into larger problems later on.
It is better to fix things as you go along otherwise major issues can be difficult and expensive to tackle. You would not only be required to call in a professional to have a look at the damage incurred but also pay large sums of money that could have easily been avoided if you regularly maintained your driveway.
Follow our set of easy instructions on how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway when it comes to repairing cracks.
- The first thing to do is to clean the cracks and for that you would need a wire brush. Start brushing around the cracks and in the inner area too to remove sediments, grits or loose asphalt.
- eOnce you’ve used the wire brush to get the asphalt clean, it is important to remove all the debris in and around the area. Simply use a vacuum cleaner to help clean the crack or a broom would do just fine.
- After vacuuming, get a garden hose. For this, you would require a pressurized nozzle to completely clean the crack. If the cracks in your asphalt driveway have dirt that can’t be removed using a hose, then get a cleaning agent specially for an asphalt driveway and use it to clean the cracks.
- After you’ve completely cleaned the cracks and left it to dry. Get your filler and start pouring it. Apply it only once. Use a chisel to fill in the cracks with the filler or any other equipment you think would work well and there you have it. A smooth asphalt driveway with no cracks.
How to fix crumbling asphalt driveway: Filling in potholes or dents
Now let’s look at how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway by filling in potholes or dents. Potholes or dents can be common in driveways due to heavy loads or vehicles standing in one spot for way too long. The expansion and contraction of the driveway also have a huge role in creating dents in it.
Follow our guidelines below on how to fill up these types of dents or potholes.
- Begin with cleaning the area inside and around the pothole or dent. Make sure to clean it properly by removing dirt using a pressurized hose or a deep cleaning agent. You can even use a detergent if you don’t have a deep cleaning agent available with you at the time.
- Let the area dry completely. Make sure there is no water left in the pothole or dent. Having water in that area will result in a disastrous DIY experiment. You can apply the patching materials even if the surface is not completely dry (In other words a damp surface), but we would rather that you not and wait for the surface to dry.
- Once the areas have been patched with your patching material, prime the region in and around the pothole or the depression. In order for best results, use emulsified liquid asphalt on the patchwork. This will ensure a solid layer instead of a flimsy one.
- The cold patching material needs to be filled in the depression using a cloth or a towel. Bring it to the level of the surface to make it look even.
- Let the area dry. It should take around 24 hours before you can use your driveway.
So now that you know how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway, what about sealing your driveway? Sealing the driveway is important to ensure its maintenance.
How to fix crumbling asphalt driveway: Sealing the driveway
Heard of concrete sealers before? Yes, they’re a thing and you must’ve come across tons of marketing campaigns for concrete sealers. Concrete sealers are used by home-owners to protect their driveway and also give it a fresh look. Sealers have been used to increase the longevity of the driveway and also help in reducing stains that are left behind by concrete upon direct heat impact.
We’ve also mentioned how concrete can expand and contract which leads to cracks. This is another repair job that the concrete sealer takes seriously. It protects your driveway from harsh environments, the constant heat, rain, moisture, and other elements. This reduces the amount of maintenance required for concrete driveways.
Now that you know what a concrete sealer is, let’s have a look at how you can apply it. Applying a concrete sealer is an easy DIY project that you can do over the weekend. It won’t cost you much as compared to calling in a professional to do the job and won’t take that long as well.
- The first step is to clean the driveway and remove it from any grit, dirt, or dust. Start by sweeping it with a broom and use a hose with a pressurized nozzle to get rid of all the grit, grease, and debris.
- Once you’re done hosing down the driveway, wait for it to dry. If your driveway has puddles left behind, use a sponge or any cloth to soak out the water.
- Start by blending all the concrete sealer ingredients together. Apply the sealant on your driveway using a roller and spread it evenly on the surface. You can also use the sealant on a damp surface. However, for best results, we do suggest using it when it’s completely dry.
- You’re all done, see it wasn’t that difficult at all right. Simply let the driveway dry for at least 24 hours before you can use it.
Although there have been heated debates on the use of concrete sealants, the reason why we prefer it is that it is a preventive measure. It is always better to fix smaller issues immediately using concrete sealants before such issues lead to larger ones. Now that you know how to fix a crumbling asphalt driveway, let’s look at whether you really need to use a concrete sealer or not.
Before you use a concrete sealer: Testing your driveway
Learning how to fix crumbling driveway is as important as routine maintenance. Maintenance of your driveway helps prolong its life and also give you an idea if your driveway requires a quick sealing job.
So, how can you tell whether your driveway actually requires sealing?
Okay, so for this test to work you would need to wait for a hot sunny day. When that day comes, go outside with a bucket of water and splash it across the driveway. All you now need to do is notice. Look at the driveway’s surface and determine whether it dries up or if the water still stays there. If it dries instantly, this is a great sign that the water does not soak in the driveway and the driveway is still good for another year before you can apply concrete sealant on it.
However, if the water soaks in and there is a damp water spot that doesn’t seem to dry that quickly, then you have a problem. Your driveway has cracks and needs to be sealed for which you can start applying the concrete sealer.
Like we mentioned earlier, how to fix a crumbling asphalt driveway is just as important as knowing when to fix it. Never seal a new driveway. A new driveway requires a couple of months (Ideally you’d be looking at 3 months but 6 to 9 months is perfect) to settle on the ground and cure under the harsh weather. Once the time period has passed, monitor your driveway for monthly maintenance. Some new driveways can go up to 5 years without requiring concrete sealing. Hence, don’t waste money immediately applying a sealant to a new driveway.
Fixing a crumbling driveway: DIY or a professional’s work?
So, not everyone has a DIY thumb and not everyone can follow instructions properly. Panic can set in at times but remain calm and collective during a DIY project reaps a lot more benefits. Now that you’ve read how to fix a crumbling asphalt driveway, whether or not you should fix it yourself or call in an expert depends on the situation.
If you’re good with DIY work and have undertaken many projects, then even a complex task like fixing a crumbling driveway can be a breeze in the park. This is great and will save you a lot of money as professionals do tend to charge quite a bit for a task like this.
However, if you’re not adapted to working on DIY projects, then we would suggest looking at the nature of the work. If the task at hand is not a lot and only a few cracks that you think can fill up using a roller, go for it. Experts and professionals will make a huge bill even for a small task as they need to visit your place, bring equipment, and more.
But if the task at hand is a lot, stay away from thinking about DIY. You might end up ruining your driveway rather than fixing it. Also, if your driveway has extensive crackings and large holes, you would need a new driveway.
Get a quote from local companies for fixing your driveway, however, if our guide on how to fix crumbling asphalt driveway gives you the confidence that you can do the minor job yourself, then cut on the professional and save yourself some money.