Outdoor Fall Maintenance

It may be fall…but now’s the time to get your house ready for winter.

Now is the time to look at your driveway. The first place to look is where it meets your house’s foundation. Water can get into the crack between your driveway and the house, seep down the gap, and through the walls into your basement.”

And if you’ve got just plain cracks throughout your driveway, water will freeze and make those bigger too.

When it’s raining or cold and icy, you’re not going to be able to make the repairs we discuss here, so the next time the sun is out, and the temperatures are above 40 degrees is when to get out there and spend a little time sealing up your house now.

Wet tar

One way to approach sealing up your driveway is with a product that comes in a liquid form. One product is Wet Stick roof cement, tar in a caulking tube. Just use the tip to fill the crack with a bead of tar. Each tube will fill up to 55 feet of crack with a 3/16″ bead of tar. The only drawback is that it takes about 30 days to cure. But can be applied in cold and wet conditions for emergency crack seals when the weather isn’t cooperating. Another product to try is Liquid Nails Mortar Repair Sealant, which is suitable for filling crevices next to the house.

The best product is a Self-Leveling Concrete Patch Sealant. This seems to be the most durable, and it’s gray, so it matches concrete better. Also, it will fill and level itself to the surface of the concrete for a durable, smooth, and abrasion restraint seal good for vehicle traffic.

Handling crevices

The products we’ve discussed are suitable for cracks and small crevices. However, if your gaps are enormous, you’ll want to consider using Caulk Backer Rod. First, push the backer rod part-way down into the crack, so you only need to put a thin layer of caulk over the top.

Another good product for filling a crack alongside the foundation of your house is a Pourable Asphalt Crackfiller for concrete or asphalt. A one-gallon container of this black tar comes with a nozzle that fits on the top. Just put the nozzle on and run it along the crack. This dries in about 24-48 hours as long as the temperature is above 50 degrees.

A similar product made by Quikrete matches the color of gray concrete. Quikrete’s Concrete Crackfiller is made of synthetic materials.