DIY Driveway Cleaning and Repair

DIY Driveway Cleaning and Repair

Cleaning, repairing and resealing your driveway can make it look brand new again. Since this is one of the first things people see when they approach your home, it’s important to that it looks it’s best. But before any in depth cleaning and repair can be done, the driveway needs to be thoroughly cleaned and washed. The best way to get a jump start on this is by renting a power washer. Once the driveway is cleaned you can then concentrate on deeper stains, cracks, or problems with the seal.

If there are still oil or grease stains, there are a number of ways to remove these stains. Many people will suggest using soda or toothpaste, but the benefits of using those are doubtful. Known winners in this area are cat litter, sawdust, cement powder, or hydrated lime. Use these substances to soak up the stain and then simply brush away all remaining residue. If you run across an older and persistent stain then you may have to go with something a little stronger. Try a 1-to-4 bleach and water mixture, a commercial degreaser or an emulsifier. This will handle most stains, but you may find that some stains simply cannot be completely removed. It is still worth a try and it will probably be lightened and could hardly be noticeable by the time you’re finished.

Any small cracks in the driveway surface can easily be handled with a concrete-patching compound. Simply use a caulking gun to reseal the small cracks. Concrete and asphalt crack for many reasons, improper settling, extremes in temperature or moisture. Most of these cracks are less than an 1/8-inch wide and can be handled with the caulking gun. Anything wider than that will need a bit more work to prevent a recurrence of the cracking. Use a hammer and cold chisel to deepen the crack to about an inch or a little more. Be sure to undercut the sides of the crack to that the concrete-patching compound will bond with it more securely.

Remove any loose debris with a wire brush and either sweep or vacuum out any remaining dust. Mix the concrete-patching compound following the manufacturer’s instructions. Trowel the compound into the crack, be quite generous with this and overfill it a little. Now you can skim off any extra compound with the trowel. Once the compound is set, smooth it out even more so that it’s even with the rest of the driveway. For the first week or so you will need to slightly moisten the patch with water a few times a day, this will ensure that it cures properly. Once it’s cured you can seal it to make sure the crack does not reoccur.