How Should I Repair My Driveway After Winter Ends?

How Should I Repair My Driveway After Winter Ends?

November 27, 2019

The cold temperatures, snow and ice of a Midwestern winter can wreak havoc on paved asphalt surfaces. The winter can cause cracks and holes from harsh temperatures and brittleness. As such, it is crucial to repair those cracks and holes as soon as possible—otherwise, you can expect them to become larger and pose potential dangers to you and your vehicle.

The good news is that repairing cracks and holes is a job you can take on yourself, so long as you have the proper tools and materials, and it won’t even take you that long to accomplish. However, you’ll need to wait until you have warm, dry weather, or else you won’t get the best bonding result.

Here’s some info about driveway repair in Des Moines, IA after the winter months are over:

  • Surface prep: Your first step is to prepare the surface for the repairs. Make sure you’re wearing all the proper protective gear before you get started. Clean off the surface and ensure it’s clear of residue and debris, as dirty asphalt will not properly accept the patching material. Use a broom to sweep away all debris and dust.
  • Remove damaged sections: There is likely to be loose asphalt material in the cracks and holes. Use a wire brush to clean out the cracks and holes after you’ve pulled out the larger chunks by hand. Remove weeds and plant life that might be growing through the cracks and holes, and apply a weed killer to prevent them from growing back.
  • Vacuum: Bring out your shop vacuum, and suction any remaining debris away from the area. You can also use a garden hose on a strong spray setting to spray the debris away, if you don’t have a shop vacuum available—just make sure that you wait until the driveway has fully dried before proceeding with the patching.
  • Fill cracks: Fill the cracks before you move on to holes. You’ll likely be using a rubberized asphalt product. Start with the smallest areas (those less than a half inch in size). You’ll likely use a caulking gun for this process, and a putty knife to smooth out the filler. Let it fully dry before you start using your driveway again.
  • Fill larger holes: For any larger damaged areas, you’ll need to use small, crushed gravel, and a wood post to tamp it down. Apply the asphalt repair mixture on top of the gravel and tamp the area again, as this will help remove air bubbles from underneath the mixture. Keep applying the mixture until you’ve completely filled the hole or crack to the point where the damaged area is level with the rest of the driveway.
  • Wait: After you’ve patched, wait at least 48 hours to allow the surface to dry before you resume regular usage habits. You’ll need to wait several weeks before applying a sealant, which you can do by following the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also hire a professional to perform the sealing work for you.

For more information about the process for proper driveway repair in Des Moines, IA, contact the experts at Pearce Paving today.

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