When winterizing your property, do not forget about the driveway and sidewalk. These areas are constantly exposed to weather conditions, making them susceptible to cracks. Rain and snow can make existing cracks worse, creating the need for expensive major repairs. Save time and money by winterizing the driveway and sidewalk before Old Man Winter arrives with snow, wind, and rain.
You will need:
• Concrete crack filler
• Strong detergent
• Blacktop sealant (for a blacktop driveway)
• Caulk gun
• Putty knife
• Stiff brush
• Compressor or high-pressure water hose
• Liquid tar in squeeze bottle
• Foam window insulation
Step 1: Concrete sidewalk cracks are relatively easy to repair. Begin by using the stiff brush to clean out the cracks. Blow out the area with the compressor or use a high-pressure water hose to rinse the surface, then let it dry.
Step 2: Load the concrete crack filler into the caulk gun and squeeze it into the crack. Use the putty knife to smooth the area. Follow the directions on the crack filler regarding application and drying time.
Step 3: Expansion joints are the spaces between sidewalk sections. When a new sidewalk is laid, a felt-like material is inserted between these joints. Over time, this breaks down, making it necessary to fill the gap with something that protects against thawing and freezing. Follow Step 1 above to prepare the area.
Step 4: If the groove is deep or large, use the foam window insulation to back-fill the joint. When purchasing this product, match its diameter to the depth and width of the groove. Push the foam into the joint and use the tar to cover it completely. Both the foam and tar are flexible so they can handle tough winter weather.
Step 5: The driveway should be sealed every 2 or 3 years. Do this only when temperatures are higher than 50 degrees. Use a stiff brush to sweep the surface and remove remaining dust with a water hose.
Step 6: Use a strong detergent and the brush to remove oil spots. Rinse and let dry.
Step 7: For a blacktop driveway, use the squeegee to apply a thin coating of the blacktop sealant, following the instructions on the container. Do not drive or walk on the sealed area for a minimum of 24 hours even if the driveway looks or feels dry.
Step 8: For a concrete driveway, follow the steps above for repairing concrete sidewalk cracks.