Driveways and sidewalks are an asset to your property. But if cracked, broken or stained, they detract from the curb appeal. Here are some tips for renewing those surfaces to make them look new again and increase the selling potential of your home.

Asphalt Driveways

These can become chipped and cracked from use. Simply cleaning it up, filling the cracks and sealing the entire surface will make it look like the driveway was just poured. Here are the steps for reconditioning your asphalt driveway.

  1. Power wash the surface to remove any dirt and grease.
  2. Pull any weeds growing up through cracks and clean out the dirt as far down into the crack as you can go. You may need to use a wire brush to clean the crack thoroughly.
  3. Pour the asphalt crack sealer slowly into the crack, making sure that it fills all of the spaces down in the crack. Fill the crack up to the top of the driveway surface.
  4. Smooth out the crack sealer so it is flush with the surrounding surface.
  5. Repair all of the cracks in the driveway this way and let them dry for a couple of days.
  6. If the crack sealer shrinks down into the crack as it dries, you may need to add a little more sealer to bring it up to the level of the driveway.
  7. For a shiny new look to the driveway, after the crack repairs have dried, poured a thin layer of asphalt driveway sealer over the entire surface. Smooth it out as you pour it with an old broom and allow it to dry for another couple of days. The entire driveway will look like it was just put in.

Sidewalks and Walkways

Concrete absorbs moisture and can expand and crack over the years. Once a crack begins, the edges continue to chip away and make the opening larger. Here is how to fix those cracks and prevent them from getting bigger.

  1. Clean all dirt and pieces of concrete out of the crack with a power washer and a stiff broom.
  2. Widen the base of the crack with a hammer and chisel. This keeps the concrete patching material securely in the crack without popping out. When done, the crack should be wider down at the base than at the top, like an inverted "V".
  3. Clean all of the debris out of the crack again.
  4. Mix the concrete patching material according to the instructions on the box. Force it down into the crack, pushing it into all of the spaces with a trowel.
  5. Layer the patching material this way until you reach the top of the sidewalk.
  6. Allow the patch to dry for a couple of hours, then dampen it and place a piece of plastic over the top.
  7. Remove the plastic and dampen the patch daily as the concrete cures. The instructions that came with your patching compound will specify how many days to repeat this while the concrete is curing.

If the prospect of filling your own cracks seems overwhelming, contact a company like Gopher State Sealcoat and arrange for them to do it for you.