ChrisMendlasCorner.com A Cornucopia of stuff
Last Updated on 2 months by Christopher G Mendla
I was faced with a well worn asphalt driveway. It had not been sealed in a number of years. Was it worth trying to crack fill and seal?
My home is located in southeastern PA. Asphalt driveways take a beating. I have a driveway that is about 20′ wide by about 170′ long. From what I can tell, the driveway was resurfaced at one point. A stand of Hemlocks along the property lines provides shade for a portion of the drive thus reducing some of the sun’s effect. On the other hand, ice remains longer.
The portion closest to the street gets a lot of sun. A general rule is that if you have ‘Chicken Wire’ cracking, then you should replace or resurface the driveway. Unless I hit the Lottery, that is out of the question for now.
My neighbor had their driveway resurfaced a couple of years back. They had about 2000 square feet and paid about 10 thousand dollars.
Let’s start with estimating square footage. Google has a nifty google maps measuring tool. If you create a closed area, it will calculate the square footage. First, find your property in Google Maps. Then turn on the satellite view. That *should* help you see your driveway. In the example below, it appears that they forgot to clean the camera lens on the satellite when they imaged my place. Start with one part and click on the various corners. You will end up with a fairly good estimate. In my case, I’m a little over 3100 square feet.
Given the price my neighbor paid and a comparison of the sizes of our driveways, I can rough guess that the cost would be about $15,000. In this case bigger is definitely NOT better. I could get quotes to be sure, but I doubt that they would be that far from this estimate.
My next step was to assess the current state of the driveway. I am not an asphalt professional but here is what I saw and the factors involved in deciding if I should proceed. :
The cracks were filled with grass in many places. That is a huge WTF. When I plant grass seed, I have to beg the grass seed gods to get it to grow. However, it will grow like crazy in the tiniest driveway crack. Oh, and one of my gutters looks like a deranged Chia Pet.
Below is the driveway closest to the garage. A word of caution. It will be a lot worse than what you originally think it will be. When you are on your knees filling cracks and potholes, you will see things you didn’t see while walking around.
Another gauge of the driveway is to look at it after a rain. That will give you an idea how bad any ruts or holes are. You can also take a broom handle and ‘tap around’ listening for hollow sounds. That would indicate delaminated layers.
You can do this the right way and try to figure out the coverage. I used the Latexite Airport Grade sealer and their 2x crack filler. I also used a couple of tubs of trowel patch along with asphalt rope and tape.
In my case, the sealer claims a coverage of “300 to 400 square feet”. That estimate is for normal people who don’t let their driveway go to crap. I found that I was getting about 100 -150 square feet of coverage per pail at best. That means about 20 to 30 pails at 16.00/ pail . HINT – Home depot had a great bulk price for 3 or more pails.
So, for a 3000 square foot driveway, I expect to spend around $1500 in materials and maybe 40 hours or more in time. I’m not tracking my time.
Keep in mind that you will have to work around the weather and the curing time of the crack filler and sealers. This is NOT a weekend job. It would be more like half of your summer.
I decided to go ahead with the project. The cost was reasonable compared with a resurfacing.
The driveway is holding up fairly well. I was planning on going back over the cracks, cleaning and doing another coat of sealer. Unfortunately a bunch of large branches came down in the woods and that seems to be occupying a lot of my time. The sealer is holding up well. I didn’t seal the areas I patched. If time permits, I might try to do at least that part of the driveway.
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