ASPHALT COATING AND DRIVEWAY SEALING


Most quality asphalt coatings and driveway sealers usually stand up well to vehicle tires, foot traffic and the occasional whack from a dropped bicycle.

Applying a coating or sealer to your driveway, will also help fight against those inevitable environmental elements such as the suns rays, pouring rain or a ten foot thick layer of frozen snow. With that said, even when an asphalt coating or sealer is applied properly, a driveways surface can eventually start to break down resulting in repairs needed and a re-application of asphalt coating or driveway sealer.

The information you find below, consists of how to advice for fixing holes and cracks in your asphalt driveway.

A few other items you can learn on this page are types of product to use and techniques for the actual application of asphalt coatings and driveway sealers.


SAFETY


Most asphalt repair and sealant products require you to wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles and rubberized boots.

Gloves, boots and goggles not only protect you from the coating that your applying but will also save you from flying debris when your chiseling away trying to make a repair.

Be sure to follow all label instructions on products that you may purchase. You might also want to throw on a pair of coveralls or choose clothing that you can discard once your asphalt coating and driveway sealing is completed.


PRODUCTS & TOOLS


Asphalt repair products, sealers and tools can be found at most home improvement centers. Each specific coating can require a certain tool. As an example, some sealers are applied with a paint roller, while others are flow-able and are laid out using a squeegee.

Talk to your local home improvement representative for advice regarding the best products and tools to buy, for the project you are about to do.


PREPPING


Depending on the type of coating you use, cordoning off your driveway might be an option to consider, so as to insure cars don't drive on your driveway when your waiting for repairs, asphalt coating and driveway sealing to dry.

Use wide drop cloths, painters tape, plastic, and paper, as needed to protect areas such as house parging, side walks and vegetation that you don't want coated with asphalt.

This would also be a good time to give your lawn a cutting (or edging), especially if your lawn runs along side of your driveway. The same goes for any other plants that gets in the way of your asphalt coating and driveway sealing project.


CLEANING THE DRIVEWAY


Start by sweeping away the dirt with a broom. Caked on mud can be removed with soap and water, dish soap works fine as well as laundry detergent, just be sure not to use a product that might be harmful to your lawn or plants.

Oil, gas and fluid stains on the driveway must be removed, to do so you will need to purchase a cleaner from your home improvement center to do the job properly.


DOING REPAIRS


To make sure your repairs stay in place when doing asphalt coating and driveway sealing , you will want to use a good flat screw driver or cold chisel to remove loose old asphalt from holes and cracks. You will also want to chisel out areas that feel spongy or soft to the touch.

Spray water with a pressure washer or compressed air (the higher the pressure, the better, so make sure you wear those goggles) into any cracks and holes you see, then scrub with a stiff brush and soap and water.

If you still have stains (or areas where water beads) you may need to talk to your local home improvement representative to find a coating to use for spot priming such areas.

Cracks that are less than a 1/2" wide can be filled with a filler that expands and contracts and is specifically designed for filling cracks in asphalt, smooth the filler out with a putty knife if needed.

Larger cracks should be stuffed with a foam backer rod, leaving room to fill the rest of the crack with asphalt filler.

Holes and extremely wide cracks need to be repaired with cold patch, fill the hole a little higher than needed, level it with a metal rake, then tamp the cold patch down with a tamper, if the hole is easily located, you can drive over it a few times with your car, then fill the hole or crack again and re-tamp.

When chiseling (cold chiseled) large holes, under cut (sides sloped at an angle like an upside down funnel so the cold patch will stay in the hole.

After doing repairs, you may need to wait up to 30 days for your repairs to cure before applying a sealer .

Once the driveway is clean, give it a good rinsing with your garden hose, blow the water from the highest part of the driveway to the lowest. Loss debris can be removed with a shop van.

Finally, once your driveway ages, try and do repairs when they occur as this is the best way to help your asphalt driveway last.


SEALING THE DRIVEWAY


To get the best results when asphalt coating and driveway sealing, sealers should be applied every three or four years. A sealer gives a new look to your driveway, especially after doing repairs.

Sealers also protect against damage caused by fluids such as oil or gas and the elements (wind, rain, snow, sun) along with regular were and tear.

As each sealer is different (some are flow-able, while others are not), application is different for each product. Just keep in mind, some sealers are applied to a clean, dry surface, while others require a damp asphalt surface prior to application.

When using a squeegee for asphalt coating and driveway sealing, pour the sealer on in sections, then use the squeegee to distribute your flow-able sealer evenly, pull the wet sealer towards you, from the highest part of your driveway to the lowest.

Sealers that are brushed and rolled on (with the use of an extension pole), can be applied in the same fashion as painting a floor. The difference being that you probably wouldn't want to clean the brush and roller cover for later use on your living-room walls.

Adding sand to your sealer is a good way to improve traction, one of the best ways to add sand is to pour it right into the sealer, don't use to much sand and be sure to stir your sealer regularly so that the sand is evenly distributed through out the sealer while you are applying it.

Another way to add traction to your asphalt coating and driveway sealing project is to apply the sealer in sections, once the sealer is applied throw sand onto the wet surface and sweep away the excess sand after the sealer is dry.


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