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Cracks in Your Driveway: How to Fight Back

One common battle that homeowners in colder climates must eventually deal with and likely even fix on their own is cracks in their driveway. As the temperature outside freezes, water that has become trapped in the asphalt of your driveway expands and eventually leads to unsightly cracks. Owing to this, a topcoat sealant is typically applied when a driveway is first installed, which prevents this moisture from being absorbed into the asphalt. However, this protective coating wears off over time and should be applied every five years for maximum protection.

So what if you happen to purchase the perfect home, or rather it would be the perfect home were it not for the horridly cracked driveway? Before your driveway can get back that shiny black finish it had the day it was installed, as in applying a new layer of topcoat, it is going to be necessary to repair the asphalt first. This type of job is going to require some tools to get done:

  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Propane torch
  • Angle grinder with diamond wheel
  • Flathead screwdriver or chisel-like tool
  • Hammer
  • Trowel(s)
  • Putty knives
  • Squeegee(s)
  • Broom or leaf blower

Concrete resealing kits come in several varieties, but the coil rope variety, which will be discussed here, will require melting and is the one most commonly used and recommended. And as usual, please follow the manufacturer’s directions over anything you see below. These steps are meant for general reference purposes only.

When there is no rain forecasted for 24+ hours:

  1. Place coil rope in the sun to warm.
  2. Remove all weeds and debris as well as any old sealant from all cracks (necessary for a good seal).
  3. Widen hairline cracks with the angle grinder.
  4. Push coil rope into cracks using screwdriver or chisel-like tool.
  5. Melt coil rope with the lighter by sweeping over a foot-long section until it starts to melt, then move to the section next to it until it begins to melt before moving back to the previous section, which should begin to melt into the crack.
  6. Add trowel mix.
  7. Smooth out.

There are additional steps to follow should you need to apply additional coats, but these can vary between manufacturers. It will also likely be at various points when to add the different layers of topcoat should you need to. There are several different types of topcoat available, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Also bear in mind that any additional new coats within the first ninety days may make your driveway too soft and flexible, but the average time between driveway topcoats is 5-6 years. In no time flat you will have a safer and much nicer looking driveway for you and your family to enjoy for years.

How FAMCO Can Help

We are one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest manufacturers and distributors of HVAC supplies and accessories. If you are looking to improve your home and want to know how we can help, give us a call or send us an email. We can help you find a solution that works best for you.

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