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Archive for Monday, June 20, 2011

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Fix-It Chick: Apply an asphalt sealant

June 20, 2011

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Applying asphalt sealant to driveways increases curb appeal and prolongs the life of the asphalt. Sealant repels water, protects the driveway from UV damage and reduces damage caused by snow and ice. Depending on what product you choose, driveways should be sealed as often as once a year or as seldom as once every 10 years.

Step 1: Before sealing a driveway, patch any divots, holes or cracks larger than 1/2 inch. Wait at least 30 days after patching before sealing the driveway. New asphalt driveways should be cured six months, including one full summer, before sealing.

Step 2: Choose a day when temperatures are above 65 degrees and below 90 degrees. Sweep and clean the entire surface to be sealed. Clear debris from inside any small cracks, and cut back grass and shrubs around the driveway perimeter. Tape off any sidewalks or pavers that come in contact with the asphalt to avoid getting sealer on the non-asphalt surfaces.

Step 3: Rinse the entire area with clean water. Allow the driveway to dry before proceeding.

Step 4: Start at the top of the driveway near the garage or house and pour half a can of sealant onto the asphalt surface. Use a wide, long-handled brush to smooth sealant across the top of the driveway in a thin, uniform layer. Work in small sections, brushing in multiple directions, spreading sealant into crevices and eliminating puddles of excess sealant. Overlap each section to assure the driveway is coated completely as you work your way down the driveway.

Step 5: Mix the end portion of one can with the beginning portion of the next can to avoid color differences along the way.

Step 6: Once the entire driveway is coated, wait 4-12 hours and apply a second coat, this time brushing the sealer on in the opposite direction.

Step 7: Start at the top of the driveway and work your way down, making strokes the full length of the driveway. Overlap each section as you work your way across the surface. Applying the second coat perpendicular to the home or street eliminates annoying stroke marks and facilitates the even application of sealant over the entire driveway surface.

Step 8: Avoid foot traffic on driveway for at least eight hours after application. Wait 24-48 hours before allowing vehicle traffic on the newly sealed surface.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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