Effective Home Solutions for Common Driveway Issues

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Sharing driveways comes with benefits and frustrations depending on how your neighbors use them. Some common driveway problems include cracks and potholes, unsightly grease and oil stains, and rutting. Concrete driveways can crack and crumble if not sealed and resurfaced regularly. Crack fillers and sealants are quick fixes for repairing small cracks in concrete but don't stop them from re-occurring.


Bumps and dips in your driveway can affect your car's ride and, in more serious cases, cause damage to your tires and suspension. They also look unsightly and are a safety risk for you and your family, especially children walking on them. Numerous methods are employed to keep asphalt pavement from degrading and to fix roads when they do. A quick fix is to use a cold winter mix asphalt patch, available at any hardware store. It is a soft asphalt poured into the pothole and then tampered with to flatten it and ensure it's level with the surface of your driveway. This type of repair is temporary and should be followed by a seal coat to help it last longer. If you want a more permanent solution, consider hiring professionals that specialize in residential paving services, which involve heating the existing pavement before filling it with an infrared-heating machine. It essentially "melts" the asphalt, allowing it to bond and harden against the existing concrete or asphalt. It's a more expensive option and a more durable and long-lasting one.


Cracks in the driveway can be unsightly and allow dirt and other debris to enter. It is particularly true of hairline cracks, which, if left unattended, can eventually expand to the point where they create tripping hazards and are a welcoming spot for unwanted vegetation and insects. Small and medium cracks are easily repaired with crack filler available in no-mess cartridges for a caulking gun or in pourable squeeze bottles. Follow the product's instructions to mix and apply. Wide concrete cracks are best fixed by undercutting the sides of the damage to give it an inverted "V" shape. It helps the repair material "key" into the crack, ensuring a strong mechanical and chemical bond. The damage is then filled with a standard concrete mix (no gravel), patching compound, or pre-mixed mortar. A foam backer rod is often used to support the cracked area. Once the cracks are filled, it is a good idea to seal them.

Crack Fillers

Crack fillers are a great way to repair small cracks in your driveway. They are designed to be injected into the cracks and can usually be applied with a caulking gun. You can also use a trowel or a putty knife to spread the filler. Before applying the crack filler to your driveway, ensure it is clean and free of weeds, grass or dirt. It will help ensure the fill stays in place and doesn't wash away. Always wear gloves and a dust mask to avoid inhaling the cement dust when working with concrete crack fillers. A good brush will also help you perform the crack filler into your driveway. For cracks less than a half inch wide, you can use crack filler that comes in no-mess cartridges for your caulking gun or pourable squeeze bottles. If the damages are wider, apply a non-porous foam backer rod before applying the crack filler.


Cracked, faded, and stained driveways must be lighter and decrease your home's value. A sealant will protect and revive the appearance of your driveway while slowing down deterioration. It also blocks elements that would otherwise damage your concrete, such as water, moss and weeds, the sun's UV rays and oil. Remove any weeds and grass tendrils growing in the cracks to prepare your driveway for sealing. Clean the driveway's surface using a power washer and asphalt cleaner, then wait for it to dry thoroughly. If you notice oil stains, use a degreaser to clean and disguise them. Pour a 1'-wide ribbon of driveway sealant over the entire surface. Before spreading and smoothing the substance out with a squeegee (like in a room), let it settle for a few minutes. If your driveway meets a structure like a garage or a sidewalk, use a brush to paint the edge for a finished look manually.

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