As Asphalt Ages: 3 Tips For Sealing Cracks In Your Driveway

Jason Hunt

It should be expected that, as asphalt ages, cracks will naturally develop. Unfortunately, in addition to leading to more serious problems, those cracks can be a real eye-sore. If you have an asphalt surface that is beginning to develop cracks, read on. This article will present three useful tips for repairing a crack using asphalt sealant.  

Begin by prepping the crack.

Applying sealant to a crack that hasn't been properly prepared will result in poor bonding, and may not stop the crack from continuing to grow. Thus it is important to first remove any debris from the inside of the crack. There are several ways to go about this.

Perhaps the simplest is to simply sweep the crack out as well as you can using a broom. A more though cleaning can be achieved by using either a shop vac or a compressed air gun. Either of these will help to remove tiny bits of debris that your broom might not be able to reach. Yet to ensure the best results, consider renting a heat lance from a local building supply store.

A heat lance combines propane with compressed air. This results in a high-pressure heated air stream--one which not only blows away any loose bits of dirt or vegetation, but also dries out any moisture that may be present in the crack. Using a heat lance to prepare your crack can increase the chances of adhesion by up to 40% over other methods.

Apply the sealant generously.

Applying a tube of crack sealant should be a familiar process to anyone who has ever worked with caulk. Yet the main problem encountered when filling an asphalt crack is applying too little of the sealant. You see, the sealant will shrink slightly as it dries. If you don't apply enough sealant, this will result in a slight depression where water will pool and cause problems down the line.

Therefore, be sure to apply a generous enough amount of sealant so that it forms a rounded hump slightly higher than the asphalt on either side of the crack. Now smooth down this excess using a piece of scrap wood. Make sure that it is fully contacting the lip of the crack on either side.

Blend in the sealer using bits of loose filler.

It's hard not to notice places where cracked asphalt has been sealed. Yet it's fairly easy to mask the patch so that it blends in with the rest of your asphalt surface. Simply spend a few minutes hunting around the edge of your driveway for bits of gravel that have come loose from the asphalt.

Once you've found a handful of these, you can press them carefully into the sealant. Just be careful to keep these bits of gravel level with the asphalt at the edges of the crack. If done properly, this should help to visually blend the crack in with the rest of your driveway. Congratulations, you did it! To find out more, speak with a business like Larry's Asphalt Paving Co Ltd.