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How to Repair Driveway Cracks

I helped you repair your potholes, remember? Now it’s time to tackle the cracks in your driveway, sidewalk or patio. Water that enters these cracks can accelerate the deterioration of the pavement, plus they look ugly.

With a little effort and a few basic tools, you can do magnificent crack repairs on either concrete or asphalt pavement. The repair methods are nearly identical and the products used are material specific. In other words, if you’re repairing a blacktop or asphalt pavement or walk, be sure the repair material says on the label its made for that pavement. It’s caveman simple.

Many repair materials are high-performance caulks, but you can do very well using the modern epoxies made for concrete and asphalt repair. The epoxies are not that hard to work with at all.

WATCH A VIDEO of me repairing a crack and cleverly disguising it in a blacktop driveway.

Degree of Difficulty: hammer-2-5

Step One: You’ll need a traditional broom, a caulk gun, possibly an old screwdriver, a Popsicle stick or similar small piece of wood. You’ll also need some small stones and some dry sand.

The small stones should be ones that are on the edge of your asphalt or blacktop driveway, preferably stones that have dislodged from the asphalt.

Step Two: Wait for the weather to moderate. Daytime temperatures that are in the 65-75F range are ideal. Read the label on the patching product you selected and work within the temperature range that’s specified.

Step Three: Use the broom to clean out the cracks removing any loose dirt, sand, weeds, etc. It’s best if you make sure the crack is at least one half to three-quarters of an inch deep. Use the old screwdriver as a tool to help dislodge debris and deepen the crack.

Step Four: Make sure the pavement crack is dust free and dry. Once again, read the instructions on the product label and follow them to the letter. Some repair products will not bond at all if the sides of the crack are wet or damp.

Step Five: If using a product that is a caulk, start working at the most remote part of your driveway. You want to make any mistakes here where you’ll rarely see them.

Step Six: Inject the repair material into the crack making sure very little excess rises up above the top of the crack. If you’re repairing blacktop cracks, you may want to keep the caulk material just slightly below the top of the crack. Only caulk about two linear feet of crack at a time.

Step Seven: Use the tiny stick to spread the repair material so it touches the top of the crack and bonds well. If working on blacktop, take the tiny stones and press them into the repair material so the stones are flush with the top of the crack. Orient the stones so they match the stones in the pavement. You don’t need the stones when repairing concrete cracks.

Step Eight: Once you’re happy the repair material is installed to the right depth in the crack, it’s spread out nicely and any stones are in place, broadcast dry sand on top of the repair material. Tamp it slightly with a fresh stick or your finger protected with a disposable glove. You want to push the sand into the repair compound so it bonds well. It’s fine to have excess sand on top of the crack for now.

Summary: The sand is the secret trick to disguise the crack. If you match up the color of the sand to that used in your blacktop or concrete driveway, you may fool many people into thinking your driveway is crack free! Good luck with this simple repair.

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