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I live in New England and my asphalt driveway is showing a lot of cracks. There's also a little divot in one flat spot that collects water.

What are my options for getting the driveway back to looking good, and stopping any further damage?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Depending on the size of the cracks an asphalt sealant should close things up and protect the driveway. If the cracks are large you might have to get some asphalt patch and then seal it. your local home improvement store should have asphalt sealant and may have asphalt patch available.

Asphalt sealant is pretty messy stuff though, best to wear throw away clothes and boots.

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If you live in an area where salt is used to keep roadways ice free, you will want to pick up the sealer at a professional grade store as the sealers at most box stores will not hold up well against salt. –  Tester101 Sep 22 '10 at 16:20

I'm repairing my asphalt driveway currently. I have lots of cracks that grow weeds through. I tried to get it sealed with liquid sealant, but within a couple of months it was clear that this didn't work, because many new weeds have grown through the sealant.

I think the workers who did the sealing did a really poor job, and I regret hiring them. Since then, I've read several DIY articles about it and I've started fixing the cracks myself. Here's what I'm doing:

  • Clean driveway. I used a stiff broom, and even my shop-vac right over the cracks.
  • Clear out the cracks. Remove weeds, dirt, debris. Scrape the crack out with a prybar. Clean again with a garden hose on "jet" setting. Let dry.
  • Fill the cracks with asphalt filler. This comes in tubes like caulk, and I use a caulking gun to apply it. I use a cheap putty knife to smooth the top of the caulk. It's messy stuff, and I need to clean my tools with a powerful solvent. I use Gunk, an engine de-greaser.
  • Once I have all the cracks repaired with caulk, I plan to re-seal the driveway again with liquid sealant. I agree with @Scott Vercuski, wear clothes you plan to throw out. I saw the workers using a pushbroom to spread the liquid, so I recommend getting a pushbroom you plan to use only for this project.

I also have a couple of spots where a crack has let water seep in and erode a cavity beneath the asphalt. I'm going to have to chip out a section of asphalt with a hammer and chisel and restore it with with asphalt patch. This might be what you have to do with your low spot.

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Repair the cracks. If water gets in, you will not stop it from causing more cracks from freeze/thaw cycles.

Next, use a better quality sealer. Messy stuff, but it will help.

The problem with a low spot is something you cannot solve with a sealer or crack filler though. A low spot may mean that cars parked on the driveway have caused settling. (It seems silly to say that parking your car on your driveway is a bad thing, but what else can I say? If you really want a perfect driveway, don't use it.)

Dips where your tires sit suggest that the base for the driveway was not sufficiently thick, or inadequately compacted, and over the years has sagged. If this is so, then water will continue to collect in the dips, and cause future problems until you choose to have a new driveway done.

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