Sealcoating And Filling Cracks In Pavement

Pavement is not as durable as it might first appear. It is not the rock in asphalt that is the problem; instead, it is the tar that holds the rocks together. As the UV rays of the sun beat down on this tar, they will bake out any residual moisture left in the tar, leaving it brittle and prone to cracking. All it then takes for cracks to start appearing is the constant cycle of heating and cooling, which causes the asphalt to repeatedly expand and contract. If left alone, your driveway will slowly devolve into a web of cracks, which leaves you with no choice but to replace it. To get the most for your money, you need to fill cracks as they form and treat your driveway with a seal coat. 

How to Fill Cracks

If you have a ton of cracks in your driveway, then you might want to hire someone to do the work for you, but if you only have a couple of cracks in your driveway, then you can easily take care of the problem yourself. Follow these steps:

1. Use a hoe to remove any plants that are growing in the crack. 

2. Clean the crack with a pressure washer to remove as much loose and organic materials as possible. 

3. Fill the crack halfway with a rubberized crack-filling compound. It is important that the compound is rubberized so that it can adapt to the expansion and contraction of the surrounding driveway. 

4. Let the compound cure for half an hour before using it to fill the crack the rest of the way. 

5. Let the compound sit for 24 hours before driving on it. 

Seal Coating

While filling cracks in your driveway will take care of the cracks that have already formed, it won't stop new ones from forming. Treating your driveway with a seal coat will allow the seal coat to absorb the UV rays of the sun, which otherwise could cause problems for your driveway. A seal coat will also seal out petroleum products, which eat away at the tar and cause pebbles to start separating. If left unchecked, such separation can lead to the formation of potholes. In other words, in that a seal coat protects your driveway, it will help to prolong the life of your driveway. You can buy premixed seal coat and paint it onto your driveway with a long-handled squeegee. Just make sure that you apply a thin, consistent coat. Don't use seal coat to fill in low spaces or cracks. If you are worried about your ability to properly apply seal coat, you can call in the professionals. 

It is easy to think of an asphalt driveway as permanent and therefore not something that you have to maintain, but the truth is that if you leave your driveway to its own devices, it will lose its fight with mother nature. Thus, you should immediately repair any damage you find in your driveway as well as prevent damage as much as possible in order to get the most life from your driveway.

For asphalt maintenance, contact a company such as Central Paving & Sealcoating Inc.