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Coating & Sealing an Asphalt Driveway

One way to extend an asphalt driveway’s life span and to improve the appearance of lusterless, washed-out blacktop is to seal coat it (apply an asphalt-based sealant). As moisture penetrates cracks, then freezes and thaws, cracks grow and allow more water in.

carriage style garage door buying

Coating and sealing an asphalt driveway can keep it in top shape. Photo: Clopay

The problem grows. At the same time, sunlight fades and dries the asphalt, making it brittle. Seal coating a driveway is like painting or staining siding—it helps block damaging sunlight and seals-out moisture.

It also helps a driveway to repel gasoline and oil, which disintegrate the asphalt. One gallon covers about 80 square feet, but be sure to check the actual coverage listed on the can.[GARD align=”left”]

1) Pull any weeds and sweep the surface.

2) Use a cold-mix asphalt patch to fill holes or wide cracks, and remove stains, as discussed above.

3) Sweep again, then hose off the surface.

4) On a fairly warm day, apply the sealer according to label directions. Normally, you do this while the driveway is still wet. Allow the sealer to cure and avoid using the driveway for 24 hours.

Get a Pre-Screened Local Asphalt Driveway Contractor

Coating & Sealing an Asphalt Driveway

One way to extend an asphalt driveway’s life span and to improve the appearance of lusterless, washed-out blacktop is to seal coat it (apply an asphalt-based sealant). As moisture penetrates cracks, then freezes and thaws, cracks grow and allow more water in.

carriage style garage door buying

Coating and sealing an asphalt driveway can keep it in top shape. Photo: Clopay

The problem grows. At the same time, sunlight fades and dries the asphalt, making it brittle. Seal coating a driveway is like painting or staining siding—it helps block damaging sunlight and seals-out moisture.

It also helps a driveway to repel gasoline and oil, which disintegrate the asphalt. One gallon covers about 80 square feet, but be sure to check the actual coverage listed on the can.[GARD align=”left”]

1) Pull any weeds and sweep the surface.

2) Use a cold-mix asphalt patch to fill holes or wide cracks, and remove stains, as discussed above.

3) Sweep again, then hose off the surface.

4) On a fairly warm day, apply the sealer according to label directions. Normally, you do this while the driveway is still wet. Allow the sealer to cure and avoid using the driveway for 24 hours.

Get a Pre-Screened Local Asphalt Driveway Contractor

Driveway Staining, Stamping & Coloring

stamped concrete driveway

Stamped concrete driveway appears similar to look of cobblestones.

If your driveway needs more than a few minor repairs but you don’t need an entirely new driveway, perhaps a makeover will do. A driveway makeover could be as simple as laying down a fresh layer of asphalt or as advanced as stamping realistic paver patterns into a brand-new bed of concrete.[GARD align=”left”]

If you’d like to think beyond basic asphalt and concrete, you have many options. Stone, brick, and gravel, widely used for patios, also add a touch of class to driveways. But even concrete can be interesting. Many professional contractors now offer specialty treatments such as concrete engraving, coloring, and staining. While these alternative materials and custom effects can be costly, they are a sure-fire way to add to the value of your home. Most require a professional driveway contractor.

Following are a few popular driveway treatments:

Staining

By using professional concrete stains, you can give delightful finishes to a driveway that’s in good condition. Your contractor will first scour your driveway to cleanse it of grease and oil. Next, he will apply an acidic substance to the concrete, creating a permeable surface to absorb the stain. Effects range from the polished appearance of stone to faux finishes similar to those created using sponges or brushes.

Stamping & Tooling

Stamping and tooling are other ways of achieving faux stone effects with concrete. With these methods, however, you will need to either blanket your old driveway with a thin layer of polymer-enhanced concrete or pour an entirely new surface. Contractors then stamp the concrete before it has set (it is a good idea to be present during this phase to give feedback) and then stain it to create looks resembling everything from pavers to flagstone. You may want to draw out the pattern you are looking for before work begins so your contractor understands your expectations.

Engraving or Cutting Patterns

You can also engrave or cut patterns into a new concrete slab. With cut patterns, a concrete saw and straightedge break up the driveway into playful random shapes or ordered geometric sections. Paints and stains can then be applied to create bold, modern looks or whimsical styles. A more subtle effect can be achieved through engraving, in which special tools create superficial, winding grooves that mimic the appearance of grout lines. This adds textural interest and breaks up the visual tedium of long driveways.

Coloring

The most dependable way to dye new concrete is to combine coloring agent with dry concrete before adding water to the mixture. Another method entails lightly coating still-wet concrete with colorant. First, approximately two-thirds of the colorant is applied to the concrete, and the surface is floated. Then the remaining colorant is applied, and the surface is again floated and, finally, finished with a broom or steel trowel.[GARD align=”left”]

Seeding Aggregate

The casual, pebbly look of some driveways is the result of the seed aggregate technique. Professionals shovel on a layer of aggregate, which is comprised of small stones, shortly after the water that floats to the top of the freshly laid concrete driveway has evaporated. Using a float, they then press the rocks down just beneath the surface. Once the concrete begins to set, a gentle spray of water is applied and the surface is swept to reveal the tops of the stones. As a final step, muriatic acid is applied to ensure that the stones appear clean and shiny.

Depending on the treatment, the size of the project, and your location, cost varies widely. For a stamped concrete pathway that looks like brick or stone, for example, you’re likely to pay from $6 to $8 per square foot.

Find Pre-Screened Local Concrete Driveway Installation Help

Driveway Staining, Stamping & Coloring

stamped concrete driveway

Stamped concrete driveway appears similar to look of cobblestones.

If your driveway needs more than a few minor repairs but you don’t need an entirely new driveway, perhaps a makeover will do. A driveway makeover could be as simple as laying down a fresh layer of asphalt or as advanced as stamping realistic paver patterns into a brand-new bed of concrete.[GARD align=”left”]

If you’d like to think beyond basic asphalt and concrete, you have many options. Stone, brick, and gravel, widely used for patios, also add a touch of class to driveways. But even concrete can be interesting. Many professional contractors now offer specialty treatments such as concrete engraving, coloring, and staining. While these alternative materials and custom effects can be costly, they are a sure-fire way to add to the value of your home. Most require a professional driveway contractor.

Following are a few popular driveway treatments:

Staining

By using professional concrete stains, you can give delightful finishes to a driveway that’s in good condition. Your contractor will first scour your driveway to cleanse it of grease and oil. Next, he will apply an acidic substance to the concrete, creating a permeable surface to absorb the stain. Effects range from the polished appearance of stone to faux finishes similar to those created using sponges or brushes.

Stamping & Tooling

Stamping and tooling are other ways of achieving faux stone effects with concrete. With these methods, however, you will need to either blanket your old driveway with a thin layer of polymer-enhanced concrete or pour an entirely new surface. Contractors then stamp the concrete before it has set (it is a good idea to be present during this phase to give feedback) and then stain it to create looks resembling everything from pavers to flagstone. You may want to draw out the pattern you are looking for before work begins so your contractor understands your expectations.

Engraving or Cutting Patterns

You can also engrave or cut patterns into a new concrete slab. With cut patterns, a concrete saw and straightedge break up the driveway into playful random shapes or ordered geometric sections. Paints and stains can then be applied to create bold, modern looks or whimsical styles. A more subtle effect can be achieved through engraving, in which special tools create superficial, winding grooves that mimic the appearance of grout lines. This adds textural interest and breaks up the visual tedium of long driveways.

Coloring

The most dependable way to dye new concrete is to combine coloring agent with dry concrete before adding water to the mixture. Another method entails lightly coating still-wet concrete with colorant. First, approximately two-thirds of the colorant is applied to the concrete, and the surface is floated. Then the remaining colorant is applied, and the surface is again floated and, finally, finished with a broom or steel trowel.[GARD align=”left”]

Seeding Aggregate

The casual, pebbly look of some driveways is the result of the seed aggregate technique. Professionals shovel on a layer of aggregate, which is comprised of small stones, shortly after the water that floats to the top of the freshly laid concrete driveway has evaporated. Using a float, they then press the rocks down just beneath the surface. Once the concrete begins to set, a gentle spray of water is applied and the surface is swept to reveal the tops of the stones. As a final step, muriatic acid is applied to ensure that the stones appear clean and shiny.

Depending on the treatment, the size of the project, and your location, cost varies widely. For a stamped concrete pathway that looks like brick or stone, for example, you’re likely to pay from $6 to $8 per square foot.

Find Pre-Screened Local Concrete Driveway Installation Help

Clean or Fix a Concrete or Brick Driveway or Patio

Power washing is an effective way to clean grit from driveways, patios, and walkways.Marina Lohrbach / Shutterstock.com

Power washing (also called pressure washing) is an effective way to clean grit from driveways, patios, and walkways.

The main problems that happen to concrete driveways, patios, and walkways are stains and cracks.

Wide crack in concrete driveway can be filled with cement.

Both of these issues are relatively easy to handle with a little know-how.

If a good cleaning is in the cards for your concrete or brick surface, plan to rent (or buy) a pressure washer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Beware of eroding mortar between bricks—the spray of a pressure washer can be very powerful.

After a thorough cleaning, you can remove any deeper stains, seal cracks, and then coat your driveway with a translucent masonry sealer.[GARD align=”left”]

If grease or oil stains still remain, soak up the offending substances with cat litter, fine sawdust, hydrated lime, or cement powder, and then brush away the residue.

For older, persistent stains, try applying a commercial degreaser, emulsifier, or 1:4 bleach-water mixture. You may find that certain stains cannot be completely removed but can be significantly lightened.

Use a cold chisel to widen the crack.

You can seal hairline cracks in the surface of a concrete driveway with concrete-patching compound (applied using a caulking gun).

For any blemish wider than 1/4 inch, widen the crack with a mason’s hammer and cold chisel, sweep away the rubble, and trowel on concrete-patching compound.

Trowel cement into the driveway crack, then use trowel to remove excess.

When the compound starts to set, use a wet trowel to smooth over the patch so it is even with the surrounding concrete. Moisten the patch throughout the week to ensure the concrete dries slowly.

Get Pre-Screened Local Concrete Driveway Repair Help

How to Repair Asphalt Driveway Cracks & Holes

The methods used to repair asphalt driveway cracks and holes depend upon the nature of the problem.[GARD align=”right”]

To repair asphalt driveway cracks:

tools for asphalt driveway repair

For cracks, have asphalt repair compound, a weeding tool, gloves, and a broom.

1Sweep loose dirt and debris out of the crack. Then, using a caulking gun, apply a compound formulated for asphalt repair according to the label directions.

repair asphalt driveway cracks

Clean and fill small cracks with asphalt repair compound  in a caulking gun.

 

 

 

2Then press the repair compound deeply into the groove with an old putty knife.

 

As an alternative, you can ask at your home improvement center whether it carries a self-adhesive polypropylene rubberized fabric, sold in rolled strips, that you just cut, peel, and stick over a crack or small hole.

 

To repair asphalt driveway holes:

Allow the bag of asphalt repair compound to warm in the sun.

To repair asphalt driveway holes and large cracks, sweep or suction out dirt using a shop vacuum, and then fill in the gaps with cold-process asphalt-repair compound that is sold in large, 60-pound plastic bags. Before you begin the repair work, lay the bag down in direct sunlight if possible to allow it warm.

 

repair asphalt driveway pothole sweep

Sweep out loose gravel and dirt.

 

1Use a broom or stiff brush to sweep out the cracks. If you have a shop vacuum, use it to vacuum up loose dirt and debris.

repair asphalt driveway pothole emulsion

Coat the hole with asphalt emulsion.

 

 

 

2Coat the surface of the hole with asphalt emulsion repair compound.

repair asphalt driveway mix

Using a shovel, fill the hole with cold-process asphalt repair compound.

 

 

3Use a bagged cold-process asphalt repair mix to patch holes and large cracks.

Following the directions on the label break the bag open and fill the hole, slightly mounding the compound.

Then tamp the mix solidly into the hole.

 

 

Don Vandervort shows you how to fix asphalt driveway cracks and potholes in this video:

Get Pre-Screened Local Asphalt Driveway Repair Help

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