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Asphalt Driveway Sealing, Crack Filling, and Surface Correction

September 19, 2011
I tried at all ends to avoid doing this project. Nothing about glopping stinky asphalt sealer on my crumbling driveway was enticing. I tried to pay someone else to do it. It’s not that expensive 100-$250 for a driveway our size. I called two separate residential asphalt sealing companies in my area. I was never able to reach a human at the first place, so they were automatically struck off the list. The second place I called politely took my information, address, and inquiry and promised someone would call me for an estimate. A week went by without a peep. I called back, mentioned I had contacted them the week before, they didn’t really seem to care. I left my information again and…… one called me. Are these companies so busy they don’t want any more customers ever? Even if they were not able to do my job this year, maybe I would have called them in the future. Not now though, they didn’t even take the time to return my call so they will not be getting my business.

sorry for my thumb!

So the task was left to me…unfortunately. Our driveway is in bad shape, a mess really. It was originally concrete that someone laid asphalt over instead of replacing the worn concrete. When they did this they raised the level of the ground in respect to the house, leaving the basement window sills almost flush with the driveway – not ideal when it rains as you can imagine. They also didn’t slope it properly and now water runs towards the foundation instead of away from the foundation. I suspect this is why the PO ended up putting a B-Dry system along the driveway wall of the basement. I am starting to realize that this house might be in perfect shape if no one had done any improvements ( driveway, deck etc..).

We have major cracks running the length and width of the driveway, they are very deep – in fact I think they go straight through the asphalt layer altogether. The asphalt has also alligatored – a crackly alligator skin look the asphalt gets as it begins to wear. The previous sealant is almost completely gone, the edges have crumbled and are slowly breaking away, and there are low spots which cause puddling.

I did a little online research, watched some you tube videos and decided to give it a go. I purchased 5 products and 2 tools to do the job:


  • push broom with built in squeegee
  • masonry trowel


All of the products I purchased, except the cold patch, were from Home Depot and made by Latex-ite.Click on the product to go to the website. Latex-ite has a nice little video to show you how to do the whole process, however, the timeline in the video directly contridicts the timeline for curing and drying on the product instructions……I followed the product instructions.

There is a short window of time to do a project like this. The driveway should be dry and you need a rain free forecast for 24-48 hours after sealing. Prior to sealing you need a 2 week window to use the cold patch and for it cure prior to sealing, 24-48 hours for the crack filler and patch filler to cure prior to sealing. The cold patch is the only product you can use in wet conditions, for everything else you need dry weather.

I might have picked the worst week to start this project.  On Saturday we filled the cracks and used the patch filler, and then it rained every day, all day, for a week. Ughhh…….when the weather finally came around I was working crazy hours and couldn’t get to finishing the project until yesterday – as it turns out though, it was exactly two weeks the recommended amount of time to wait prior to sealing the cold patch. Having a head cold didn’t make it any more fun.

Here are the details:

Day 1:

Power wash and sweep your driveway. It needs to be completely clear of all loose debris and dirt.

This is the best day to do the cold patch since it has the longest curing time. It’s called cold patch, because unlike the asphalt mix originally used it is pliable at room temperature, and does not need to be heated. It is a pre-mixed asphalt. This stuff is sticky and will only wash off with paint thinner or turpentine, so have that on hand.

I overfilled the holes and area where the asphalt had crumbled away with the cold patch and used a tamper to pound in flush and into place. The idea is to pack it as tightly as possible. I used this to raise the level of the driveway along the foundation where the water was running, and along the edges that were starting to break off.

Day 2:

To make life easier keep the crack filler inside. The warmer it is the better it flows. This stuff is soooo easy to use. Cut the tip at an angle and like a pastry bag squeeze the material into the cracks. If your cracks are really deep like ours were overfill a little bit. The filler is self leveling and will sink into the crack as it dries. I actually had to apply the filler 3 times because every time it settled into the crack. With the last treatment the crack was finally filled. This product also comes out of the container brown, and turns black once it has cured.

please forgive my thumb for being the photo!

I used the patch filler to fill in low spots, cover over the alligator areas, and areas with spiderweb type cracks. This was really easy to use and cleaned up with water.  I used the masonry trowel and it went on like joint compound, but has a gritty texture. I made sure to feather the edges out for a smooth finish. Just like the crack filler this stuff goes on brown and turns black once it has cured.

2 weeks later:

Use the driveway cleaner to wash the driveway. I sprayed on the cleaner, let it soak in and then used the push broom the scrub the driveway. I rinsed it clean with water and waited for the driveway to dry.

The sealant is the easiest part of this process – go figure! If our driveway were in good shape, this is the only step I would have to do.  They recommend two thin coats applied with the squeegee side of the push broom. I stirred the sealant really well – at least 2-3 minutes with a long paint stick until it felt like an even consistency.

Then I just poured some right out of the bucket on the driveway and used side to side sweeping motions with the squeegee to work it in. 1 bucket covered the entire driveway. I will go over over it in a few days for the second coat.

The sealer is still wet in the photos above.

So it’s almost over………..price wise, I’m about even with paying some one to do it.

  • 3 containers of crack filler – $30
  • 2 buckets of sealer – $30
  • 1 bucket of patch filler – $15
  • cold patch – $10
  • push broom/squeegee – $15
  • trowel – $12
  • cleaner – $10

Total: $122 – sucks!

Silver lining – the sealant is only $30, so in two years (as long as I stay on top of the cracks) I can seal the driveway myself for $30 instead of $100 + a company would charge.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2012 3:02 AM

    We did a driveways JUST like yours. Asphalt had been laid over concrete and he had 170 feet of cracks, some potholes and 1200 sqft to be sealed

    Hot tar would have worked better for the cracks but for a DIY job, cold will do, you might need to re-apply more often though.

  2. September 19, 2011 7:27 AM

    It's such a very helpful info!I thankful for this shring.Good job.Keep it up…—-asphalt driveway Oakland County

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