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 Use Asphalt Crack Filler

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Cracks in your asphalt are unsightly and can be dangerous if they get so big that they become a tripping hazard. There are several ways to fix small asphalt cracks. You can either use a cold or hot formula asphalt filler. Hot filler is harder to work with because you need to heat it up right before you apply it to the crack; but, some will tell you that the hot formulas create a stronger fill. However, many people use the cold formula because they are so much easier to work with. This article explains how to apply cold formula asphalt crack filler.

Prep and Clean the Crack

First, you need to prepare that cracks you are filling. If there are weeds and grass growing out of the crack, you need to kill and remove them. Use a hose to rinse out the crack of dirt and debris and let it dry. You also need to make sure that the crack is not too deep. You can fill most of the crack in with sand before applying the filler. Apply the sand into the crack until it is about 1" to 2" from the top of the crack. You also want to thoroughly clean the perimeter of the crack with a broom. Finally, you can apply some painter's tape along each side of the perimeter of the crack; this way, your filled cracks will look cleaner with straight lines. For instance, tape off a few inches on each side of the crack. Then, when you apply the crack filler, you can spread it just over the tape line. When you pull up the tape, you patch will look more controlled.

Apply the Filler

The crack filler comes in squeeze bottles so it is very easy to apply. The key is to squeeze it directly into the crack until it overflows a bit. Then, you need a squeegee to spread the overflowing filler. A handheld squeegee will work just fine, but you can also invest in a squeegee broom if you have a lot of large cracks to fill. Remember to spread the filler until it just slightly overlaps the tape. Once the filler dries you will likely need to pour a little more into the actual crack. The liquid filler inside the crack can sink as it dries, especially if the sand shifts.

As you can see, fixing small cracks is obviously very easy. However, if you don't fix cracks as soon as you notice them, they can become more expensive and inconvenient to repair down the road. Talk with a professional, like Gopher State Sealcoat, if you have numerous cracks or potholes are starting to form. 

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24 May 2016