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Seal Cracks Before They Become Chuckholes

 

Cracked concrete and fissures in asphalt are relatively minor problems that, left unattended, can turn into major problems. With changes in weather, small cracks in concrete will continue to widen. Left unattended, cracks in asphalt will eventually turn into chuckholes.

Here's how to repair asphalt and concrete:

Asphalt:

- For tiny fissures, seal with a tube of liquid asphalt sealer.

- For larger cracks, pack firmly with a mixture of sealer and sand. Use a trowel to smooth the surface.

- If you have a chuckhole, fill with gravel to within four inches of the top of the hole. Use a commercial asphalt mixture to fill the rest of the hole, mounding it slightly over the top. Sprinkle sand over the mound, to keep your tires from picking up the fresh asphalt, then run your car over the patch several times to pack the hole.

- Regular maintenance: Asphalt should be resealed every few years, using a paint roller to work two coats into the surface.

Concrete:

- If you have crumbling concrete, chip away all the crumbling material until you're into solid concrete. Fill with a mixture of epoxy cement and sand; use a trowel to smooth.

- To re-level a concrete step, use a crowbar to pry up the low end until the step is level, then shim the gap with stones or sand. Caulk joints between steps and foundation so moisture won't seep in and cause damage.

- If you have an unlevel sidewalk, first determine what's causing the section to settle or rise. If tree roots are the culprit, you can cut the roots away, but they'll likely grow back eventually. You may want to cut down the tree and replant one further away from the sidewalk or driveway. If a section of sidewalk has sunk, pry up the section, then shovel a dry mixture of sand, earth and cement. underneath. Use more than necessary to compensate for settling.

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