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 Seal An Asphalt Driveway

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Asphalt driveways are a very common type of driveway, thanks to their high durability and relative affordability. However, because they are constantly exposed to the elements, they can begin to crack and break down over time. This can be prevented through regular sealing, which adds a protective layer over the top of the driveway to keep out moisture and prevent cracks from happening. Thankfully, you can seal your asphalt driveway yourself with the right tools and knowledge to keep your driveway looking fresh and new.

Inspection and Cleaning

Firstly, you should take a look at your driveway's surface and find any damaged areas or stains. Oil and grease stains can be cleaned using a degreaser, which is available at most hardware stores, while stains from leaves and other accumulated organic matter can be removed through pressure washing or old fashioned scrubbing with a mixture of warm water and soap.

Damage

Any damage to your driveway should be fixed before you seal your driveway. Cracks, potholes, and broken surfaces will break the seal that you apply on the driveway and render it ineffective. Thin cracks can be fixed through asphalt caulk (again, available at most hardware stores). Simply cut the end off of the tube and apply the caulk to the crack using a caulking gun, smoothing it out with your finger after it has been applied. You may need to apply the caulk twice in order to fully fill in the crack.

Larger and more extensive damage, like potholes, can be fixed using asphalt patches, which are also available at most hardware stores. This is asphalt that has to be shoveled into the pothole and then compacted so that it is level with the rest of your driveway.

However, if you don't feel comfortable doing these repairs yourself, contact a contractor, as improperly installed repairs can also cause your sealant to be ineffective.

Seal the Driveway

Sealing the driveway itself is a fairly simple process. Asphalt emulsion sealant is available at most hardware stores and is applied using a paint roller (using a long handle is recommended so that you can work standing up).

Simply prepare the sealant according to the included directions, stirring occasionally to prevent the sealant from hardening in its can. Then, use the paint roller to apply the sealant to the driveway. Be sure to spread the sealant out as evenly and thinly as possible, so that it dries quickly and all at once. Start at one end of your driveway and work backwards. For the edges of your driveway, you may want to make use of a paintbrush, though keep in mind that the sealant will most likely ruin the brush once you've finished.

Allow the sealant to dry. Each brand and type of sealant will vary, but a general rule of thumb is 12 hours of drying time. Once the sealant has dried, apply a second coat and wait for it to dry before using your driveway again.

If you'd rather not seal the driveway yourself, contact a company like Driveway Sealing Call Frank.

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18 May 2016