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Come spring, we’re all happy to see the snow and ice finally melt off our driveways! What we’re not happy to see, however, is the damage our driveway may have suffered over the winter. Another spring repair is in order!
This repair job may be quick and easy, but if the damage is extensive, be prepared to create quite a mess in front of your house. You may need to dig up some concrete and asphalt. So, to make the cleanup easy for yourself, reserve a junk removal company to come and quickly remove all the leftover debris once the repairs are done.
Here are some tips for repairing driveway damage—both big and small!
Once cracks start to appear, your driveway is at risk of further damage through water seepage and the freeze and thaw cycles.
To repair the smaller holes, dig them to a firm layer, remove all the debris and fill them in with a sealer (ideally, a hot sealer). Slightly larger holes should be filled with asphalt patch mix. Both materials are readily available at your local hardware store.
If your driver has potholes, these are best repaired with a coarse-aggregate filler commonly called cold patch.
To start the repair, shape the cavity to a uniform configuration using a chisel and hammer. The cavity should be deepened to about 2 inches, and cleaned from any debris. Then, trowel in a ½ inch layer of cold patch. Pack it tightly in place and then add another layer. Repeat this process until the hole is filled.
To make sure the filler is tightly packed, place a piece of plywood over the hole and drive a car over it.
Spiderweb (A.K.A. Alligator Cracks)
Alligator cracks look like the interconnected scales of an alligator or a spiderweb, hence the name.
This is a more serious issue, indicating that the top layer of the driveway is failing. This can be due to the inferior quality of asphalt used, or too many applications of sealer—that builds up thin layers of sealer, which are prone to cracking.
The repair job here is a bit more complicated. You need to remove the asphalt where these cracks show, recompact the aggregate, and fill in the area with new material. Then you need to apply an overlay over the entire driveway for a cohesive look.
Depending on the extent of the affected area, you may end up with lots of heavy asphalt to get rid of, but that won’t be a problem for a junk removal company to deal with.
The problem here is either loose ground underneath the asphalt, heavy vehicles parking on the driveway, or ground expansion due to frost and thaw cycles.
The fix for this problem is also an extensive job. You’ll need to replace or patch the affected area, and apply an overlay to the entire driveway so the surface looks uniform.
A smooth, unblemished driveway is not only better for parking the family cars, but also gives a good first impression of the homeowners and adds to the curb appeal. To avoid having to replace the entire driveway, nip the smaller problems in the bud as soon as they appear. With a little help from a junk removal company to help you with the leftover trash and debris, you can correct these smaller flaws yourself now, and avoid spending thousands of dollars on a new driveway down the road.