Cracks in asphalt and concrete can create big problems. Most often caused by water getting underneath a driveway, parking lot, or pavement, the longer cracks are left untreated, the more chance that water has to do long-term damage to the structure below the surface. Lets find out the Essential Equipment for Undertaking Crack Repairs.
To keep your asphalt and concrete surfaces smooth and sturdy for decades to come, you’ll need to carry out regular crack maintenance. As such, you have to invest in quality equipment that will allow you to undertake the best possible repairs. Otherwise, you could end up facing a pretty big bill further down the line for the installation of a whole new surface.
If you want to know how to repair concrete driveway, check out this guide. It has all the information you need on exactly what products you should be investing in and how to use them.
How to Repair Cracks in Concrete and Asphalt
Whether filling slight cracks in an asphalt parking lot or patching concrete driveway, your repairs will require the right equipment. Attempt to carry out an important repair with substandard products and, inevitably, you’ll get substandard results. Not only will this compromise the structure of the surface, but it will also adversely affect the way it looks.
As such, you must purchase products that are professional-grade and specifically designed to tackle cracks in the relevant surface. Different products will have to be used in different ways, so always read the instructions before getting started.
The same can be said for concrete and asphalt crack repair material. Whether it’s a cold crack sealant, tar tape, or hot crack filler, you need to ensure that you apply the materials as directed, otherwise you’ll never achieve the perfect finish.
Do I Need Professional Help?
The idea of investing in and regularly using professional-grade products for asphalt and concrete crack repair might sound a little intimidating. That’s why so many people still choose to use contractors for even the most common jobs. However, in most cases, it’s not actually necessary to bring in the pros to patch up driveway and pavement cracks.
There is plenty of equipment out there that can make driveway sealing and crack repair unbelievably easy. With the opportunity to get great results without blowing unnecessary money on overpriced contractors, there’s really no good reason not to invest.
What Concrete and Asphalt Repair Products Do I Need?
Once again, it depends on the exact repair you’re trying to carry out. If, for example, you find yourself regularly needing to repair large cracks in concrete and asphalt surfaces, you’ll need a different set of tools and skills to those you would need if you were only filling small cracks. So, here’s everything you need to know about the equipment and approach required for each.
For larger cracks that are more than half an inch wide, you’ll need to apply hot crack filler. Purchased in the form of blocks, the material has to be melted down from a solid to a liquid form and applied along the length of a crack. As the material cools, it bonds to the edges and forms an airtight seal, preventing water and debris from entering.
Using a crack filling machine and blocks of high-quality concrete or asphalt crack sealer, DIY homeowners, parking lot owners, and more can fill thousands of linear feet of cracks in one go. Each repair takes just seconds to complete and drying no longer than about an hour. The best machines on the market should also last a lifetime, making them a solid investment.
How Much Do Large Driveway Crack Repair Products Cost?
On the surface, the amount you have to pay for a quality crack filling machine and blocks of filler can be off-putting. But, while you can expect to put down around $1,500 for all the equipment you need, that’s still better value for money than calling out a contractor.
For just one call-out, you could be charged up to $1,500 if the repairs are extensive enough. So, for the same price, why not do the job yourself and keep the equipment? That way, you can carry out repairs whenever you need to.
How to Repair Large Cracks in Asphalt Driveway
It’s easy to use a crack filling machine on concrete and asphalt surfaces. All you have to do is follow these easy steps:
- Step one: Place blocks of concrete or asphalt crack repair material into the melter body of your machine, then light the torch. With the best machines on the market, it should only take around 20 minutes for the material to melt down into its useable liquid form.
- Step two: Once melted, begin walking your machine slowly along the length of the cracks you want to repair and press the trigger button on the machine’s handle. The crack filling material will be deposited into a scraper.
- Step three: The scraper will smooth the material out onto the crack, creating a seamless finish with an airtight seal.
Simply repeat this process for all large cracks on your concrete or asphalt surface and it will be ready for use again within an hour of application.
Small cracks won’t require such heavy-duty machinery. To fill in concrete or asphalt cracks less than half an inch wide, you will either need cold pour crack sealant or rubberized tar tape and a propane burner.
Cold pour sealer for cracks is easy to apply, but it doesn’t last as long as its slightly pricier alternatives. So, for permanent repairs, you should consider going down the rubberized tape route. As with the hot crack filler mentioned above, it melts into cracks and bonds to the edges, forming a tight, lasting seal.
How Much Do Small Driveway Crack Repair Products Cost?
Whichever option you choose, the materials you need are unlikely to cost you more than $100. However, cold pour sealer is the cheapest choice available, with a gallon’s worth of superior product likely to only cost you around $50.
If you’d like to opt for more intensive small crack repairs, then you can buy yourself a propane torch, again for around $50, and some burn-on tar tape for a similar price. Just keep in mind that you may need to purchase some protective equipment if dealing with hot crack sealant, so prepare to spend a little more on gloves and boot covers if you don’t already have some.
How to Repair Small Cracks in Asphalt Driveway
Of course, two different sets of materials will necessitate two different approaches. The easiest option is to use cold sealant because all you have to do is pour the material into a crack and smooth it out as directed.
There are additional steps involved when using rubberized tar tape, although it’s still a fairly simple process. Just do the following:
- Peel off the protective backing from the tape.
- Lay the tape along the length of the crack you want to fill, sticky side down.
- Light your propane torch and melt the tape. The material will flow inside the crack and bond it, creating a permanent seal.
- Wait until the melted tar tape is cool and the surface will once again be safe for cars and pedestrians. This should only take a few minutes.
How to Repair Concrete Driveway and Asphalt Driveway
The must-have equipment you’ll need to complete either asphalt or concrete driveway repair will depend on the size of the cracks you want to fill and the sort of finish you want to achieve. Small cracks, for example, can be filled using either cold or hot sealant, both of which are long-lasting and affordable to differing extents.
When repairing a larger crack, though, only the best hot crack filling machines will do. Without a good quality machine and professional filler, you won’t achieve permanent, attractive results that help to protect the surface from expensive structural damage.