LESLIE: Helen in Indiana is on the line with a driveway-sealing question. How can we help you today?
HELEN: I have an asphalt driveway that when I purchased the home had some cracks in it. But it’s gotten worse and I now have a pothole.
TOM: And it’s officially grown to be a pothole, huh?
HELEN: Yeah. That’s what happens in the Midwest.
HELEN: I’ve had some estimates and they’re way out of my budget. So what can I do to prolong the life and make it look a lot better?
TOM: So there’s lots of stuff that you can do yourself.
First of all, you do need to patch that hole. And at your local home center, you can find blacktop patch. It comes in a bucket – either a small, 1-gallon bucket or something even as big as a 5-gallon bucket – where it has some stone in it and it has the blacktop material. And it’s usually latex-based these days, too, which is good news.
And you simply clean out the hole that you’re trying to fill, you trowel in the new stuff, you tamp it down. And you can do that with a board or something like that or – if you don’t happen to have a tamping iron.
And then once you have the holes filled, then you want to work on the cracks. And as far as the cracks are concerned, the driveway sealers and crack fillers, there are some that come in actually caulking-like tubes that you can use to sort of roll into those cracks.
So you seal those all up and then the last thing you do is to apply the asphalt sealer. And that comes in 5-gallon buckets and you buy an application tool for it. It’s kind of like a big squeegee. You start at one end and you squeegee it on, work down towards the other and you’re done.
So it’s totally a do-it-yourself project. The best time to do this is when the weather gets to be around 50 degrees or so, on average. You don’t want to do it when it’s really hot out, because it’s a difficult job and …
HELEN: Like now.
TOM: Yeah, like now. And it doesn’t dry that well. So you wait to slightly cooler weather and you can totally reseal that yourself. And then once you get all the cracks filled and the sealer on, then next year maybe you just do another coat of sealer and it’ll be really easy.
HELEN: So it’s a three-step process.
TOM: Pretty much. Patch the holes, patch the cracks, apply the sealer. That’s it.
HELEN: I think that’s something I can do.
TOM: You can. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.