Cracks between an asphalt driveway and concrete walls, foundations, and curbs can seriously damage a property and lower its aesthetic value. Learn how to fill and seal cracks professionally in just 5 steps!
Repairs should be done as soon as cracks start showing up to keep them from getting worse. Cracks between an asphalt driveway and a concrete surface, such as basement walls, house foundation, or curbs can allow water and moisture to seep in, causing these structures to grow weak over time.
Seepage poses a bigger problem in cold-weather areas where freeze-thaw cycles are common. During cold months, moisture that seeped into gaps between two surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete, will freeze, causing them to spread apart even further. When spring comes and the frozen moisture thaws, the gap loses its "support" causing the rims to cave in, creating even larger openings. This cycle can continue if the cracks are not filled accordingly. Eventually, the gaps can grow into sinkholes and pose more danger to both human and vehicular traffic.
Cold-pour crack sealants are used by most homeowners when filling shallow cracks in their driveways, however, this solution is not permanent. Since liquid cold-pour crackfiller is water-based, it becomes hard once it dries, and has a weaker bonding capability compared to its hot-pour counterpart. Due to this, cold-pour crack sealants do not stick long enough to the pavement surface, which means that the cracks need to be resealed after just a few months.
Below are 5 things to consider when filling cracks between asphalt and concrete surfaces efficiently and effectively.
- Weather conditions. Ideally, temperature should be at least 5⁰C without any rain forecast for up to 48 hours after applying crackfill. However, you can still fill cracks even during winter months, so long as the pavement or surface temp is at least 5⁰C. Use a torch or lance to heat up the cracks in case ambient temperature is below this recommendation.
- Surface preparation. Cracks should be cleaned as thoroughly as possible before applying crackfill to ensure bonding. Remove growing vegetation and route out cracks using a crack cleaning machine. Use a gas-powered walk-behind blower to blow off fallen leaves, twigs, debris and other loose particles. Power wash the cracks, if needed, however, allow them to dry completely before applying crackfill. You can also opt to use joint sealer spray to ensure better adhesion. Just spray the product along the walls of the cracks before applying crackfill or patching material.
- Shallow cracks. Cracks that are ½” or less should be filled using a hot-applied rubberized crackfill. Heat the cubes of crack filler material in a melter applicator, such as the RY10 Pro, until completely melted. Apply the hot material in a push-walking motion until the crack's filled.
If the cracks are too close to walls and it is not possible to use the machine efficiently, transfer the melted crackfill into a metal pour pot for an easier and more effective application. For contractors who are looking for a great investment with potentially large revenues, we have promotional combos featuring the RY10 Pro with half pallet and full pallet of crackfill material.
- Deep cracks. If the cracks or gaps between asphalt and concrete are 4” or deeper, pothole patching material is needed to fill these gaps. If the gaps are more than 4 inches deep, fill them up first with either crushed gravel, coarse sand or coarsely-ground limestone to form a base. Fill the remaining 4 inches with permanent asphalt patch and tamp down using a metal-headed tamper. This tool can be rented from tool supply shops and equipment rentals. For professional contractors, a vibrating plate compactor is recommended, to ensure that the output is evenly compacted and professionally done.
- Curing period. To ensure that the crackfill or pothole patch does not stick to shoes or vehicle tires and would not track, allow the material to set and cure for 24 to 48 hours (or more, depending on how cold the surrounding temperature is). Cordon or tape off the repaired areas, if necessary.
Avoid costly repairs, further damage to your property, or potential accidents and injuries by repairing cracks and gaps in a timely manner. Wide gaps along curbs are tripping hazards that can cause injuries to family members and guests. Cracks between your garage floor and driveway, especially those with jagged, protruding edges, can rupture the tires of your vehicle as you drive over them daily. Any of these circumstances can be easily prevented if you take a little time to walk around your property and inspect any potential hazards and having them repaired before it’s too late.