Eventually, all blacktop will crack. It doesn’t matter how good of a job the pavement people did when they came to install that beautiful patch of blackness over what once was a nice lawn. It will crack.
“So what, Jay. So my driveway has a few cracks in it. Why should I care?” you say. Well, let me just tell you this…it isn’t going to get any better. Especially if you live where there is a freeze/thaw cycle.
What happens is this; you get a few cracks in your driveway, from people driving on the edge of the pavement, the blacktop shifting, something heavy on the driveway, tree roots rearing their ugly heads or a bunch of other things. It doesn’t really matter. All that matters now is that there is a crack, or a bunch of cracks in your once very pretty driveway. Now that the crack is there, water is most definitely going to find its way in it. In the Summer, this doesn’t matter so much. When it matters most is in the Winter. In the Winter, the water finds its way into the crack and then freezes. When the water freezes, it expands. Do you see where I am going here? Your small cracks get a lot bigger, fast.
“Yeah, whatever Jay. I’ll fix it one day.” Hey, do you know how much a new driveway costs? Well, the longer it is and the more privacy you have, the more you are going to shell out for a whole new deal. Thousands and thousands and thousands. In my opinion, it’s a heck of a lot better to maintain your driveway instead of paying for a new one, as long as you can.
There are a few cracks in the driveway here. There is one area that needed a bag or two of blacktop, but mostly, these are easy to patch blacktop cracks. It’s easy and actually fun to fix them. Here is what I did today.
I went to Home Depot and I bought a few things. First, I bought some Latex-ite Driveway Re-surfacer. The bucket says this stuff is good for eight years. I don’t believe that. From what I have been reading, it’s best to seal your driveway every two to four years. I also bought a squeegee to spread the driveway sealer out with.
Then, I bought some Latex-ite Trowel Patch driveway crack filler. This is supposed to fill cracks up to a quarter inch. I like to push it, because some of the cracks here are more than that. Mostly though, I think this stuff will do the trick. The crack filler comes in a “loose cement” consistency and spreads like butter. It hardens like rubberized cement. I have to say, it’s pretty cool.
Below is a nice example of a crack that I had to fill in today. It wasn’t too wide and was about four feet long. I would say this is a prime example of what you might expect to see in your own driveway.
First, I completely cleaned the cracks with a garden hose. I sprayed the stream right in there and got all the gunk out.
After that, I got my trowel and started spreading. I made sure to get the crack filler all the way down in the crack. It didn’t want it just hanging out near the top.
The crack filler spreads on brown, but when it dries, it turns black. Also, if the crack is wide, the filler may shrink when it’s dried, requiring another coat.
The company recommends that you wait at least twenty four hours before you drive on it, do a peel out on it or dance on it. Longer if it’s cooler outside. I guess the hotter it is, the faster the crack sealer cures.
Tomorrow morning, I am going to pressure wash the lower portion of the driveway and seal it. I was told that if you keep the driveway wet when you are sealing it, the sealer goes further. We shall see.