Many homeowners spend a lot of time, and money, on landscaping and home improvements to give their home that “curb appeal.” But often, the first thing people notice when they come to your home is the condition of the driveway.
How Do Driveways Wither Over Time?
- Erosion – Wind and rain can cause cracks on the surface of driveways
- Sun Rays – The harsh effect of the sun weakens the concrete and causes expansion joints on concrete driveways.
- Water – Annual freezing and thawing cycles as water permeates through the cracks in the concrete to settle at the base, weakening the foundation.
- Gas, Spills and Grass – Gas and oil spills, and the growth of grass through the cracks break down the driveway even more.
Repairing the Damage
One however need not spend a fortune relaying damaged driveways. It is possible to restore driveways using driveway sealants and driveway expansion joint fillers.
Restoring your Driveway
Tools needed to restore the driveway:
The Restoring Process
- Fill the cracks – If the cracks are small, which is less than half an inch deep, rubberized crack fillers available in small tubes may suffice. For medium sized cracks, joint fillers are required. Squeeze the patch filler into the cracks, until it reaches the level of the driveway. Use a trowel to spread the joint filler and ensure a level surface.
- Repair crevices – When large cracks, gaps between the concrete blocks that constitute the driveway or crevices in the driveway are present, it is better to use grout instead. Use cement-based grout, which is a mixture of cement, fine gravel and water. Use a grout hand pump to mix the grout and make the task easy.
- Wait for grout to dry – Allow the grout to dry for a day or so before you proceed.
- Clean the driveway – Next, use a push broom to remove any dirt or debris, and wet the driveway with a garden hose lightly.
- Water and solvent-based sealants – Water-based sealants are environment friendly, but solvent-based sealers are more durable and better suited for heavily used driveways.
- Apply the sealant – Mix the water based or solvent based grout sealer, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply the sealant over the driveway in thin coats. This helps the driveway resist water, oil and other contaminants. Use the push broom to spread the sealant evenly.
- Wait for sealant to set – Do not use the driveway until the sealant has completely set in, which may take as much as 48 hours.
If you want your driveway to have the bright look all the time, you can seal it annually. Most good seals will last two or three years, depending on the type of winter you have and how much stress is put on the asphalt from plowing or snow blowing during the winter.
About the Author
Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.