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Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

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Overview: Benefits and savings Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Add kerb appeal

A well-maintained driveway keeps the front of your home looking attractive.

Mother Nature is tough on asphalt. Sunlight breaks down the surface, making pits and fissures. Then water seeps in, expands the fissures and erodes the gravel base below. Left alone, an asphalt driveway becomes a crumbling eyesore in about 15 years. But with a little maintenance, you can double the life of your driveway and save thousands in replacing costs.

Most driveways are big and conspicuous. And a long stretch of gray, cracking asphalt can give a home a scruffy seem , no matter how handsome the rest of the property is. So a fresh coat of shiny black sealer isn’t just protection against expensive driveway damage–it’s a face-lift for your home and yard.

You can keep your asphalt in tip-top shape by following the three steps we show here. Asphalt maintenance doesn’t require special skills, and you’ll only need a few inexpensive tools. You can get everything you need at home centers and hardware stores. However, as with exterior paint, high-quality results hinge on some perspiration and careful prep run. Expect to expend about six to eight hours completing the job. To fill cracks and seal coat an average driveway( 750 sq. ft .), expect the asphalt driveway repair cost to run $ 100 to $150 on materials. That’s about half the cost to to redo a driveway professionally.

Step 1: Fill fissures every year Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 1: Clean out cracks

Clean out fissures, excavating deep enough to completely remove roots. Clean the edges of the asphalt with a hand broom and explosions of air or water. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 2: Press in backer rod

Stuff backer rod into wide or deep cracks, leaving about 1/2 -in. depth to fill with crack filler. The foam rod preserves filler and induces the repair more flexible. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 3: Fill the crack

Pour in filler until it’s even with the driveway surface. Smooth out overfilled areas with a putty knife. Check for voids in the filler the next day and refill them. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 4: Saw out cracked areas

Saw around heavily cracked areas utilizing a circular watch and diamond blade. Chisel out all the loose asphalt down to the gravel base. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 5: Pack in new asphalt

Fill the cutout with new asphalt. Be sure to repack the gravel base first. Then add asphalt in 1-in. layers, packing each layer with a hand tamper.

Maintaining the asphalt skin is the best thing you can do to preserve your driveway. The asphalt layer serves chiefly as a protective skin over the gravel base. The weight of your auto is supported by the base , not the asphalt. If too much water gets through, the base erodes, causing additional cracking, potholes and total asphalt breakup.

The best way to keep the asphalt skin intact is to fill crackings, ideally every spring. Buy the high-quality pouring type filler. Read the labels. Our experts recommend the ones containing rubber compounds. They typically handle crackings from 1/8 in. to 1/2 in. wide. For smaller cracks, small tubings of filler in a caulking firearm are easier to use. For larger crackings, 1/2 to 3/4 in. wide, buy an extra thick filler that you spread with a trowel, or tamp in asphalt patching material.

Fillers adhere to the sides of cracks, so your first chore is to clean out the grime and old, loose filler 1/2 in. to 1 in. deep. This is time-consuming. Use a screwdriver or a 5-in-1 tool shown in Photo 2) for the packed regions. Go deeper if weeds have taken hold. If you don’t get all their roots, they’ll grow right up through the new filler. Tip: A week before you begin this project, apply a nonselective herbicide to kill roots. Clean the fissure edges( Photo 1 ). You can use a pressure washer or a garden hose, but then let the driveway dry for at least a day before filling.

Fillers need at least 24 hours to dry, so don’t fill cracks when rainfall is in the forecast. The fill technique varies with the product, so check the directions. With most products, you can simply pour the filler into cracks up to 1/4 in. wide. For wider cracks, stuff in backer rod first( Photo 2 ). Backer rod is available in several thicknesses at home centers at a low cost.

Neatness counts when you’re fill crackings( Photo 3 ). The jet-black filler contrasts with the gray asphalt and can look bad if you overfill or smear it.

Cracks that form a spider web pattern in a small area usually should be noted that the base has softened. Water will settle in this spot and build the problem worse. Fillers will help for a while, but sooner or later you’ll have to cut out and patch the cracked region. Cut the asphalt using a diamond blade in your broadside ensure( Photo 4 ). Then repack the gravel base by pounding it with a 6-ft. 4×4 or a hand tamper. Fill the cutout and pack with a 4×4 or hand tamper( Photo 5 ).

You can buy asphalt patching material at home centers and hardware stores, but it isn’t nearly as durable as regular hot asphalt. For better performance, seal coat the patch after about six months. And for regions larger than a few square feet, we recommend that you hire a pro.( See “Talk to a Pro, ” below .)

Step 2: Restore edges every two years Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 6: Remove invading grass

Cut back invading grass along the driveway. Left alone, grass roots will enlarge any fissures and gradually destroy the driveway from the edges inward.

Asphalt edges are especially prone to cracking because the base erodes at edges more easily. Grass invades the cracks and increases corrosion. So every two years, grab a shovel or lawn edger and cut back the grass( Photo 6 ). Then clean out and fill the cracks.

Step 3: Seal coat every four to five years Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 7: Clean off petroleum stains

Coat oil-stained places with a primer before seal coating. Without thorough cleaning and primer, the seal coat won’t stick with oily areas. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 8: Coat the perimeter

Apply the sealer around the perimeter of the driveway. Protect walls and the adjacent concrete with wide masking videotape. Repave Your Driveway for Instant Curb Appeal

Photo 9: Apply the sealer

Spread the sealer by running back and forth across the driveway. Pull the broom or squeegee at an angle to plow the excess sealer onto the uncoated area.

The purpose of a seal coat is to protect the asphalt against sunlight and water and to fill small cracks. It also garments up the asphalt by covering fillers and patches. You don’t need to do it every year. In fact, seal coat will peel if there are too many layers, and you’ll permanently ruin the appearance of the driveway.

Home centers carry several sealers. Buy the best one( the most expensive !), especially if you’re sealing your driveway for the first time. A better sealer means better long-term adhesion. Adhesion is vital, because you’ll apply more coats in future years, and each fresh coat is only as good as the coat beneath it.

To ensure good sealer adhesion, the driveway must be clean and dry. Fill cracks and edge the driveway at least a week in advance. Scrub with a stiff broom. Then sweep or blow debris off with a leaf blower. You can use a garden hose or a pressure washer, but you’ll have to wait for it to dry.

Sealer won’t stick to oily places left by a drippy vehicle. First scrape off the oily gunk with a putty knife. Then apply a detergent( such as dishwashing liquid) or buy the sealer manufacturer’s cleaner and scrub. After you rinse, examine the spot. If you find an oil film on the rinse water or if water beadings up on the spot, scrub again. You can clean the entire driveway surface at this time, since you’ll have to wait one or two days for the asphalt to dry anyway. When it’s dry, apply primer( Photo 7) to the spots.

Before you apply sealer, check the weather forecast and the sealer’s label to make sure you’ll get good drying conditions. Seal coats are water-based, and a rainfall before they dry will ruin them. Drying days will slow in cooler and more humid conditions.

Tip: If you’re a rookie, work on a cooler, more humid day to slow drying so you have more time to spread the sealer smoothly.

Coat the edges first utilizing a stiff brush such as a masonry brush( Photo 8). Then coat the entire driveway utilizing a seal coating broom or squeegee( Photo 9 ). Stir the sealer before application even if the label claims it’s a no-mix formula. Seal coating isn’t difficult, but it is messy. Wear old shoes and apparel you can toss. The worst blunder is stepping in drips, then tracking the seal coat across concrete or inside your home.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions and follow the recommended spread rate. Take care not to lay it on too thick. Puddles or thick areas will probably peel. Work the sealer into the surface. Although some sealers require only one coat, it’s better to have two thin coats than one thick coat. And you’re less likely to leave ridges or brush marks. Finally, surround the driveway with stakes and string or videotape. Keep everyone, including pets, off the finished surface until it dries. Otherwise you might find black, gooey paw prints on your kitchen floor!

Talk to a Pro

Before diving into an asphalt driveway mend project, call in a local pro for an asphalt driveway repair cost estimate.( Search online or look in your yellow pages under “Asphalt.”) That way, you can compare the asphalt driveway repair cost estimate with the cost of doing it yourself. The tools and materials purchased from a local home center for our 700 -sq.-ft. driveway expense about $130. The pro asphalt driveway mend cost bid was $300. Keep in mind that a quality professional task will include hot-melt crack filler and hot asphalt patching material. These materials offer longer-lasting repairs than you can construct yourself. And if your driveway has lots of heavily cracked regions or big potholes, the gravel base probably needs mend; that’s a undertaking best left to pros.

If you made the decision to hire a contractor, avoided those who give bids over the telephone. Good contractors will examine your driveway and give you a detailed bid. They should also tell you the products they’ll use and all the steps in their process. Seal coating warranties are often for no more than a year. But patches should be guaranteed for the life of the driveway.

Spider web cracking photo

Plate compactor

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start–you’ll save time and annoyance. Air compressorCircular sawPaintbrush You’ll also need a painter’s 5-in-1 tool, a whisk broom, a stiff push broom, a diamond broadside ensure blade, a hand tamper, a shovel, a lawn edger, a scrubbing brush, a masonry brush and an asphalt sealer squeegee.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping journeys by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list. Asphalt crack fillerAsphalt patch materialAsphalt primerAsphalt sealerFoam backer rod

Read more: familyhandyman.com

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