Is your asphalt pavement cracked? A cracked asphalt driveway is very unsafe, and if not taken care of in advance, these cracks can widen with time, leading to potholes, which can ultimately force you to replace your driveway. Besides, the unsightly appearance of cracked driveways can damage the curb appeal of your home, lowering the value of your home.
What causes cracks on asphalt driveways?
It is very important that driveways are built with a slight slope towards either side. This will help water drain away from your home, preventing puddles and erosion. An asphalt driveway without proper drainage can lead to moisture accumulation, which ultimately leads to cracks on the surface.
Wrong mix design
Using poor mix designs may not stand up against everyday traffic across thousands of tires if you are using poor mix designs. These poor mixes might begin to crack after just one year of installation, resulting in uneven surfaces or repaving.
When it comes to asphalt paving, having an even surface properly compressed is of utmost importance. If there are low spots on your driveway, then the weight of cars will be concentrated on these areas, causing them to deform under heavy traffic. This could result in cracks all along your driveway.
Previous pavement repair
If you had to repair your asphalt driveway after cracking it, the chances are that there might be a bunch of seams on the surface. These seams, which often do not get filled properly, cause cracks and other issues as time passes.
According to the Orlando experts from CSG Sealcoating, mismanaged snow can cause irreparable damage to your asphalt driveway over time, leading to cracks and potholes. If you live in areas with heavy snowfall, then you will have to clean your driveway twice daily during the winter. The best solution is to hire professional snow plowers or get a snowblower to keep up with all the snowfall.
Can sealcoating repair these cracks?
Now, if your driveway is cracked, you might be wondering whether sealcoating can help repair these cracks. The answer to this is no. Typically, sealcoating is meant to protect and improve the appearance of asphalt driveways. To replace or fill in any missing asphalt is essentially what’s required to repair cracks—and sealcoating cannot do that.
Asphalt sealcoating, however, does help to prevent asphalt cracking. Once applied, it prevents water from seeping into the base layer of your asphalt, which can lead to cracking. Thus, while sealcoating is an essential part of asphalt maintenance, it cannot fix the cracks on your pavement. Rather, you will need asphalt filler.
Fixing cracks before they widen
It is very important to address any cracks or uneven surfaces as early as possible. For smaller surface cracks, you can use crack filler which expands when exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Ensure that the mix design for this kind of repair material matches your original driveway.
Large-scale repairs may require strip patching, which consists of stripping the top layer down to a depth of 1/4 inch. The missing asphalt is then replaced using hot-mix asphalt, and the entire road surface is compacted with a roller or pneumatic compactor. You can then sealcoat your driveway to protect it from future damage.
However, you need to be careful when choosing an asphalt repair company for this kind of work because many fly-by-night companies may not offer good quality service. A reliable company will guarantee their work, so always pick one that offers a warranty on their services.
Steps of repairing driveway cracks
Step1: Prepare the surface and remove debris
Before fixing any cracks, you must clean the surface and remove all stones and other loose materials. You can sweep it away using a broom or a leaf blower to get rid of any stubborn pebbles. Ensure that the surface is completely dry before getting started with repairs. Do not add water when cleaning up because this could lead to potholes in humid weather conditions.
Step 2: Fill the crack with asphalt filler
The next step is to fill the crack with asphalt filler until it reaches the top of the pavement. Use a metal rod to pack down air bubbles and excess material, preventing proper curing later on during hot weather conditions.
At this stage, make that there are no gaps or missing patches. You can use a level to hold the asphalt filler in place while it cures.
Step 3: Compact and smooth out the crack
Once the filler is completely dry and has cured, you will need some help from workers to compact and smooth out the entire surface of your driveway through proper rolling or compaction. Without compaction, cracks will reappear after a few months when temperatures change. This step cannot be skipped because it ensures that the pavement becomes durable and resists water penetration for years to come.
Now, once you complete these steps, you can proceed to sealcoat your driveway. This way, you will prevent the formation of cracks in the future.