Cracks In The Driveway: Crack Repair, Overlay, And Driveway Replacement

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If you have an asphalt driveway and you notice some cracks, it's time to give your driveway some attention. Cracks in asphalt let in water, which can cause all kinds of problems below the surface of your driveway. If you live in a climate that has freezing temperatures, cracks in the asphalt create space for ice to form. When this occurs, cracks will only get larger and you will have to replace your driveway faster. Asphalt driveways can last for many years with the proper maintenance.

Repairing Cracks in Your Driveway

You can do some basic crack repair on your driveway yourself with some basic tools. You will need to prepare the area first, and this means cleaning out any grass, weeds or dirt out of the crack itself. Using a chisel and hammer, remove any broken asphalt from the crack. Make sure that all debris that can be removed from the crack is taken out, either by using a shop vac or a compressed air gun. Once the crack is completely cleaned out, you can fill the crack with patching materials found at your local hardware store. You will need different materials based on the size of your crack, so make sure to use the right filler on the right size of crack.

The Driveway Overlay

It's possible to put a new layer of asphalt on the existing layer. This is a cheaper option than removing the old driveway and having a new one installed. The layer of asphalt placed on your existing driveway will be thinner than the existing layer, and it will work as a solid cover for your driveway. While this type of repair isn't going to last as long as a completely new driveway, it is a cost-effective way to repair your driveway and make it last for a number of years.

Complete Driveway Replacement

When you have significant cracks in your driveway, and the asphalt that is there is just too brittle and broken for an overlay, it's time to get a complete driveway replacement. This is done by getting your entire driveway dug up and removed. The contractor might recommend re-grading your driveway, and will make sure the base layer beneath the asphalt is adequate for a new driveway. The type of driveway you choose will determine how thick the asphalt will be on your driveway. Talk with a contractor at about what the best options are for the area in which you live.