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What Should I Know About Driveway Repair?

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  • Written By: Jonathan Stevens
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Driveway repair depends greatly on the type of driveway. If the driveway is cement it is simply a matter of buying and applying cement filler to the area in need of repair. An asphalt driveway repair requires some specialty applications that differ according to the size of repair.

In the case of the asphalt driveway repair, begin by cutting back any growth crowding the perimeter of the driveway to create clean edges all the way around. On the day you will apply the sealant -- the last step in the driveway repair process -- you may also want to tape or mask the home foundation and/or garage door area in order to keep the non-driveway areas free from the applications.

Properly clean and prep each targeted area in need of fixing. If there are any weeds or grasses growing through the cracks you’ll want to dig them out and apply weed killer. Clean each area with warm water and laundry detergent. Use a stiff bristled brush to apply and follow up with a thorough rinse from the garden hose. If there are any oil or grease stains, use an oil-stain cleaner available from the hardware store and follow the directions on the product. These products are primers that require a little time to work.

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For cracks less than ½ inch (12mm) wide, you will use a readily available crack filler compound that can be applied with a standard caulking gun, nozzle applicator or simply poured in. Smooth the application with a putty knife and allow to cure. If the driveway repair is unusually deep, you may want to first fill the crack with coarse sand to a tamped down level about ¼ inch (3mm) from the surface. Apply crack filler to the remaining space, smooth with the putty knife, and let cure. For cracks larger than ½ inch (12mm) wide, you’ll need to use what is commonly called “cold-patch” and available in many brands at the hardware store.

For holes, you’ll need a “cold patch” product but may also need to further break up the hole to create sturdy, straight edges and a squared shape. If the driveway repair is more than 2 inches (48mm) deep, break up the chunks you’ve just dug and use them as filler to a level about 1-½ inches (36mm) from the surface. Apply the patch in levels with a trowel and tamp procedure. Apply enough to result in a slight curve above the driveway level. Place a section of plywood over the patch and park your car over the plywood to compress. After allowing sufficient time to cure (ranging from 2 to 7 days or more, depending upon manufacturer’s recommendations and weather conditions), apply sealer to the entire driveway.

The clean and cured driveway typically needs to be misted with water prior to applying the sealant. Next, pour a one-foot (30cm) swath of sealer across the portion of driveway nearest the garage or home foundation. Use a sturdy, long handled squeegee to widen the swath to between 3 and 4 feet (about 1m) and cover the driveway edge to edge. Use a long handled stiff brush to smooth the surface and repeat this process to the end of the driveway. Finally, block off the entrance of the driveway until the appropriate curing time has elapsed.

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