LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crumbling driveways, patios and sidewalks not only take away from your home's curb appeal, but they can also be dangerous tripping hazards.  The Home Depot's Joe Autry shows the steps to sealing both an asphalt surface and an aggregate concrete.

Aggregate concrete sealing:

A quality sealer will not only make your patio or deck look great, it will also protect the porous surface from stains and weather-related damage.

-Clean before sealing. Several cleaners are available, but a simple solution of laundry detergent and water will be effective in many cases. Difficult stains may be removed with more aggressive agents, such as denatured alcohol, mineral spirits and TSP (or TSP-substitute). Before resorting to those method, check the compatibility of your specific aggregate composition with the cleaner in question.

-Choose the Right Sealer.  Acrylic, silicone and urethane-based sealers are widely available. Make sure whatever sealer you use dries to a thick film, resisting yellowing, accepts additional coats in the future and resists stains.

-Consider the type of finish. A glossy "wet-look" finish is desirable for many applications, but it should be avoided when sealing an exposed aggregate concrete pool deck. A gloss finish will become slippery when wet, creating a potential poolside hazard. Test your sealer on a small area of concrete, and take it back for a refund if you don't get the advertised finish.

-Apply sealer every two years. The good news is that once the surface has been sealed properly, subsequent applications will require much less sealer.

Depending on the surface texture and the consistency of the sealer, you might find yourself using anything from a short-nap roller to a mop-style applicator.

Asphalt or blacktop sealing:

Water can get into cracks and settle at the base of the asphalt and lead to potholes, when they freeze and thaw.  In the summer, those same cracks can be an invitation for grass and weeds to take root.  And many asphalt driveways need to be sealed to protect from ultraviolet rays and from oil and gas spills.

-Wait until the ground temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit or greater and no rain is expected for 3 days.

-Preparation is key and that includes wearing the right shoes and clothes. It's best to avoid skin contact with the sealants.

-Trim grass and the areas around the surface you're sealing. Make sure ot clean any oil or gas stains using a detergent, which can be found at automotive stores.

-Sweep the surface clean. Patch large cracks or depressions.

-Hose down or pressure wash the surface and allow to dry completely.

-Make sure to pre-mix the driveway sealant. And remember to stir periodically so that the sealer remains well mixed.

-Beginning in one corner, pour some of the asphalt driveway sealer on the surface. You'll probably find it easiest to work on one small square section at a time rather than strips. Apply your asphalt driveway sealer in thin, overlapping coats with a long-handled application brush or squeegee.

-Drying time is a minimum of 24 hours, during which time you should not allow traffic of any kind on the surface--especially automobile traffic.


-Asphalt driveway sealer should be applied within 6 months of installation and every one to three years thereafter.

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