Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Repairing an Asphalt Driveway

Repairing an asphalt driveway usually means filling in large cracks and chips or outright potholes, and then adding a coat of sealant over that area and the entire driveway to protect it from additional damage. This process is not very difficult, but it may sometimes be better left to a professional. Note a few questions you might have about asphalt repair of your home’s driveway and then discuss these with a contractor if you still are concerned about repair work you’ve had done or need to have done on your property.

1. How are stains cleaned from an asphalt driveway?

It’s always good to be very careful about cleaning stains off an asphalt driveway yourself, as many cleaning products meant for driveways will have a solvent in them. This solvent will usually dissolve any adhesive in the asphalt, causing it to separate and allowing for cracks and chips and even potholes to form. If you have very noticeable stains on your asphalt driveway, talk to an asphalt repair contractor about having them removed, or at the very least, purchase a cleaning product from them rather than from the hardware store. This will ensure you clean the driveway without damaging the adhesive and other materials keeping your asphalt together.

2. Can sealant address cracks?

The term sealant just means that the material covers and protects your driveway; it doesn’t mean that it seals cracks, chips, and the like. For cracks larger than what might be described as hairline, you want to have these filled in with asphalt filler or another compound and then have sealant placed over this. Otherwise, the cracks will simply get larger and more noticeable over time.

3. Why does sealant sometimes have different shades when applied?

The sealant that you put over your driveway or that is applied by a contractor needs to dry and may change color slightly as it does. Sunlight will affect how quickly it dries, so if part of your driveway is covered by a tree and is under shade, this part may take much longer to dry. You may notice that your driveway then has different shades or tones as the sealant dries. In time, as the sealant dries completely, it should then become completely black. If you still notice that it seems to be different shades after it’s completely dry, call a contractor. The sealant may be overly thick in one area and this too can affect its overall shade or color, and a contractor can tone it down and make the colors match.