Even the best paved driveway needs a little TLC every now and then. If you know how to repair and reseal it yourself, you'll save a fortune on maintenance bills, and you'll be more likely to deal with problems as they arise rather than wait until they get worse. Here's how you can start sealing driveway cracks yourself.
Table of contents
- Cleaning Before Sealing Driveway Cracks
- Measurements Before Sealing Driveway Cracks
- Complete Driveway Patch Repair
- Let Filled Driveway Cracks Dry
- Apply Driveway Sealant
- stay out of the driveway for a few days
Cleaning Before Sealing Driveway Cracks
Before you start sealing driveway cracks, you need to clear a few things. We mean debris, plants and rocks – get them out of the cracks before you start. Otherwise, you'll end up sealing the tops of loose items and not get the smooth and professional repair you want.
Measurements Before Sealing Driveway Cracks
No single product can seal all driveway cracks. To decide what you need to use, measure the crack. Small cracks (less than 1/4 inch in width and depth) can be repaired with concrete or asphalt filler. Medium cracks (1/4 to 1/2 inch) should be repaired with patching compound or pre-mixed mortar.
Large cracks (more than 1/2 inch) will need to be repaired with ready-mix concrete or asphalt (the cold-patch variety). These are major repairs, and you may find that over time you need to re-check them to make sure they stay airtight.
Complete Driveway Patch Repair
Once you have the necessary product, you need to apply it properly to your driveway. For small cracks, a small amount of filler should be dripped into the crack. You can use a putty knife to smooth out the material to make sure it's completely filled. Continue sealing driveway cracks, adding more as necessary.
For moderate cracks, you'll need to mix the patch or prepare premixed mortar according to the directions on the package. Pour some into the crack, smooth it out with a putty knife, and add more until the crack is filled. Pour over material when sealing large concrete driveway cracks. If your driveway is made of concrete, you don't want to remove any excess material before letting it sit for at least an hour. If your driveway is made of asphalt, simply pour and level the material.
Let Filled Driveway Cracks Dry
Follow the directions on the material you've used to find out how long to let the driveway patch set or dry. You don't want any chance of damaging the material before it has had a chance to set. Remember that warm weather and sunlight will speed up the process of sealing driveway cracks. Moisture and humidity will slow it down.
Apply Driveway Sealant
Sealing driveway cracks with a premade formula isn't enough. Sealants ensure that your repairs hold and keep moisture and dirt away from driveway surfaces or concrete surfaces.
After completing the repairs, you'll want to power wash the driveway to make it a completely clean surface. Again, you'll want to let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step. When it's completely dry, pour it into a large bucket (usually a 5 gallon bucket will do just fine) following the directions on the sealant you purchased. Now dip the roller in the sealant and start applying it to the driveway. Resist the urge to do any touch-ups before it dries.
stay out of the driveway for a few days
Most driveway seals take a few days to dry properly. Make sure you have barricades or some other means of fencing off the driveway so no one drives or steps on the surface until it's fully set and dry.