If you own any Billy Goat equipment, at least some of it can be used to clean and seal concrete: walk-behind and riding leaf blowers, the Grazor crack cleaner, and even pressure washers. How? This step-by-step guide will take you through the process so your driveway will survive another winter.
When Should I Seal My Driveway?
Your goal should be to have the sealant fully cured before the first freeze. Here’s how much time it takes for each step of the process.
Cleaning cracks and washing: One day
Applying liquid crack filler to small cracks: One day
Applying driveway patch to large cracks: Four to six weeks
Sealing: 5 days
If your driveway doesn’t have major damage, the entire job can be done in about a week.
Inspect the cracks and remove any rocks or solid objects. These can be picked up and thrown by the crack cleaner’s brush.
Don’t use a lawn edger to clean out pavement cracks. Repeated strikes against the pavement will damage your equipment. Billy Goat’s Grazor has a wire brush wheel and a shock absorber designed to handle these impacts.
Start by sweeping the brush side-to-side to remove grass and weeds. This makes it easier to see the edges of the cracks. Once the surface is clear, move the brush back and forth over the crack to lift out dirt. Use light pressure to push out dirt in thin layers. This is safer and easier on the brush than lowering the wheel and trying to remove the dirt all at once. The Grazor can sweep at a rate of up to 20 feet per minute, so it takes very little time to clean a driveway, even with several passes.
Use a crack filler to fill in cracks under ½ inch in width. This liquid patch is self-leveling, so you just have to pour in enough to reach the top surface of the pavement. Most liquid patch formulas are fully cured within 8 hours.
For cracks over a ½ inch wide, use driveway patch. Once you fill in the crack, use a shovel to tamper the patch, then level it with a scraper. Keep in mind it can take up to 6 weeks before the patch fully cures.
While you can clean your driveway before filling in cracks, you will still need to give the entire surface a thorough clean before applying sealant.
To remove surface dirt and mold, use your pressure washer with a 25-degree (green) nozzle. Narrower nozzles can erode concrete. As with any surface, you should keep the end of the wand at least 12 inches from the surface. Spraying at a slight angle will help push dirt away from the area being cleaned.
After removing surface dirt, apply a detergent to lift stains and ground-in dirt. While all-purpose pressure washer detergents will work, concrete and driveway formulas are better at removing oil stains.
In most areas, the storm drains go directly to waterways. Make sure the detergent you choose is biodegradable to protect the environment and comply with local water pollution laws.
Use the soap (black) nozzle to apply the detergent. If your driveway is on a hill, work from the bottom up to prevent streaking. Check the detergent instructions for dwell time: most formulas need to sit for 5-15 minutes to work, but they can stain concrete if left to dry. Use a scrub brush to lift tough stains, then switch back to the green nozzle to wash off the detergent.
Once the cement is dry, you can apply the sealant. Use a brush or leaf blower to push away any leaves or dirt that have collected on your driveway between washing and application.
Work from the top of the driveway down. Pour a line of sealant across the driveway directly from the bucket. Make several passes with a squeegee at a 45-degree angle to spread the sealant out in an even coat. Use a paintbrush to apply sealant to the edges of the driveway.
After 24 hours, you can apply a second coat to fill in any thin or bare areas. Wait another 24 hours before walking on the pavement, and 72 hours before driving on it.
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