A good driveway enhances the curb appeal. Though you may have a great landscape, the exterior of your house would be incomplete unless you have a proper driveway. Apart from enhancing the overall look of your place, it also adds to your convenience and safety. Due to weather changes and environmental impacts, your driveway could start crumbling or crack up. This calls for a professional touch to fix the entire driveway to ensure that it remains functional and continues adding charm and beauty to your landscape.
About crumbling driveways
Since driveways are constantly subjected to various elements of nature, they experience cracks occasionally. These are very common, especially in very cold regions, as they freeze and melt on and off. Water also is one of the major factors that creates cracks in the driveway. The most basic solution is to fix the cracks when they have just started to occur, rather than leave them unattended until they have worsened a lot.
For a gravel driveway, cracks are not a big deal. Bumps, potholes, dips, etc. form very quickly in dirt and gravel (asphalt) driveways than the concrete ones. When it comes to fixing the asphalt as well as concrete driveways, it involves almost the same type of work.
How to fix the driveway
- Look for the Cracked Spots: Start inspecting each square foot of the driveway, and note down or mark the areas of potholes, cracks, or stains. Carefully look into the edges of the driveway, as it is very common for these areas to get damaged.
- Clean the Cracks: Wherever you find grease or oil stains, just try to remove them by using hot soapy water and scrubbing them with a hard bristled brush. You may also use degreaser. Remember to remove all the loose debris as well using a broom or awl. You may also rinse way the tiny debris and let the area dry thoroughly. Using a hose with high-pressure water or a vacuum can also come handy in removing the tiny debris. It’s important to remove any unwanted weeds present in the cracks too.
- Filling the Cracks: There are different filling products available in the market, and you should choose the product based on the gap in the crack. For instance, tiny cracks that are less than ¼" can be fixed by using liquid fillers, whereas cracks between ¼” and 1 ½” would need roll-type fillers. At times, a combination of both could be used. However, make sure to follow the instructions, and use the filling products the right way to get effective results.
- Potholes: There are times when your driveway could have huge depressions and wide potholes. This may call for a cold patch or blacktop patch fixing. Blacktop patches are the readily available asphalt sold in bags.
- Sealing: This is the last step. Before using the sealer, clean your driveway thoroughly from the highest end to the edges. The most important factor is to check the weather before sealing, as the sealer requires at least 3 sunny and dry days for it to set and dry completely. However, you can also use acrylic sealers, which cure very fast, and require only a few hours to set in, as compared to other sealers that take about 24 hours. The price you have to shell out would vary depending on the quality of the sealing material and quality.
Despite understanding every step of fixing your crumbling driveway, it is necessary to use the right kind of tools and follow the right techniques. To enjoy the best results and save your energy and time, the best solution would be to hire a professional landscape company to fix your driveway, as they will have experienced professionals on board who can understand the exact problem, and provide long-lasting solutions to make your driveway functional and beautiful once again.