Improving Your Hardscaping

After I realized that our back porch was chipping apart, I decided that I needed to work a little harder to make things right. I started carefully analyzing the area, and I realized that the concrete needed to be completely removed and re-poured. I knew that asphalt work was beyond my comfort level, so I decided to call in a professional contractor to do the work. It was amazing to watch them work, and when they were finished our yard looked brand new. This blog is all about improving your hardscaping by replacing old, cracked, or discolored asphalt or concrete paving.

How To Fill Cracks In Your Asphalt Driveway

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One of the problems associated with an asphalt driveway is it ages is cracking. Cracks develop due to deterioration from UV exposure, temperature extremes, the weight of your car, and shifting of the soil base. Cracks detract from the appearance of your driveway, and they also speed up its deterioration. That's because rain seeps through the cracks, and when water gets under the asphalt, the cracks get bigger, the asphalt crumbles, and potholes appear. While you may need to hire a paving contractor if your driveway is filled with cracks, if you only have a few that need repair, you may be able to do it yourself. This is an overview of how it's done.

Clean Out The Cracks First

In order to get a good seal with the filler and to have level results, you need to clear out the debris in the cracks. Pull out weeds, gravel, and crumbs of asphalt. Brush the cracks to sweep away dirt or sand. You can use a power washer to make the job easier, but you'll need to allow enough time for the asphalt to dry fully before you begin repairing the cracks.

Buy Crack Filler For The Repairs

Asphalt crack filler can be found at home improvement stores. You can buy it in a small container with a squeeze nozzle to use on small cracks. If you have wide cracks, it's probably easier to buy filler by the bucket and apply it with a scoop or trowel. Be sure the filler you buy is for use on asphalt and not concrete. In addition to the filler itself, you'll also need tools for applying it and leveling off the top.

Fill In The Cracks

Filling the cracks is an easy job unless you have a lot of cracks, and then it can be tedious work. All you have to do is squeeze the filler into a crack, or place it in with a trowel, and then use the flat side of the trowel to scrape away the excess so the top of the crack is level with your driveway. If your driveway is fairly old and bleached out from the sun, there will probably be a noticeable color difference between the asphalt and the filler. This is to be expected, and if the appearance of the repaired cracks bothers you, you can apply a top coat over your entire driveway after you fill the cracks to even out the color.

If you plan to stay on top of driveway repairs yourself, be sure to fill cracks as soon as you notice them. Repairs are less visible on tiny cracks, plus repairing them quickly keeps the cracks from expanding and causing further damage to your driveway. If your driveway is filled with cracks, crumbles, and potholes already, it may be beyond DIY repairs. If that's the case, you can call in a paving contractor to put down a new layer of asphalt on your driveway that fills in cracks as it restores the dark color back to new. Contact a company like Central Paving & Sealcoating Inc for more information.  

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15 May 2016