Your property probably has things made of asphalt or concrete, such as the driveway, your patio, or the foundation of your house. It's common for concrete and asphalt to develop cracks as they age. Cracks can happen due to tree roots, shifting soil, earth movement, or deterioration due to age and weather exposure. Here's why it's important to fill cracks when they occur and how you can do it with crack filler.
Why Timely Crack Repair Is Necessary
The bad thing about cracks in your driveway or patio is that they're subject to the outdoor weather. Rain can flow into the cracks and leak down into the base beneath the concrete or asphalt. As time goes on, this process can cause erosion of the base underneath your patio or driveway, and repairing the base is an expensive undertaking. As the soil shifts even more, the crack gets bigger and potholes can form. When you plug cracks with filler when the cracks are still small, you can prevent escalating damage that will be more expensive to repair.
Sometimes, foundation cracks are signs of damage that filling the crack will only cover up and not fix. If you're in doubt as to why the concrete is cracking, then it's a good idea to get a professional opinion on whether it's wise to fill the cracks or if your foundation needs repairs first. However, filling cracks in a foundation is important even when they're not signs of structural damage. Water can seep through foundation cracks and cause damp basement issues. Also, bugs such as termites can get inside your house through foundation cracks. Plus, there's always a risk that cracks will get larger and become bigger problems, so filling them early is a good practice.
How To Use Crack Filler
Buy the right crack filler for the job. You'll find a variety at a home improvement store, so read the labels to choose filler for asphalt or concrete. If your cracks are tiny, look for crack filler in a bottle with an applicator tip or that you can use with a caulk gun. If you need to fill a wider crack, you may want a filler that comes in a bucket that you can scoop out and apply.
Before putting filler in a crack, the crack has to be cleaned out first. In a driveway, this might entail pulling out weeds or digging out sand and debris. If you wash the area first, be sure to let it dry thoroughly. Then, insert crack filler deep into the crack and force it in if necessary. Before the filler dries, scrape off the surface of the asphalt or concrete above the crack so the surface is level. It's easy to apply crack filler and you can probably do it yourself. However, if you need to fill several cracks or big cracks and you don't feel comfortable with the job, you can hire an asphalt or concrete contractor to fill the cracks for you.
For more information, contact a company like Specialty Construction Supply.