Asphalt patch/seal?

Can anyone recommend any specific products for repairing and sealing an old asphalt driveway? I have cracks and holes, but overall it is in good shape. I'd like to seal the whole thing as I suspect it hasn't been done in 20 years or so. Also where to purchase would be appreciated, if any of the good products are available at Home Depot or Lowe's. (I tried to look at HD the other night but never could find the stuff, or an associate that wasn't busy attempting to help someone else.) I do have several good independent stores around, if someone can simply recommend a brand/product.
thanks,
nate
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I just attended a seminar where we had a speaker on asphalt sealing. The pot to do it right is $10,000. Anything less than a professional job is just that, and won't last very long. One of the keys to knowing if you need sealing is cracking and turning grey.
Do it right, unless you are going to sell, and then it don't matter unless you get a buyer who knows what's going on.
Steve
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Let's say that it doesn't bother me that it won't last very long, because I don't have the money to hire a pro but something needs to be done - at a minimum I need to cold-patch some holes. What then?
nate
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I have a similar situation with my driveway and have had decent success with products available at Home Depot and Lowes. Unfortunately, cant tell you the names off the top of my head...but both stores have the same stuff, just different brand names. Basically, its a black, paste-like mixture that comes in a small bucket. You lay it on with a trowel and work it into cracks and/or reform missing portions with the trowel. It will dry in the sun and harden in place. Then once its fully set, you apply the regular sealant to finish the job. I'm sure Steve is right that this is only a temporary fix, but we also arent to a point where we can afford a complete redo of the driveway, and for us this has worked decently. A couple things to note from my experience working with this patch material.... Make sure you use it on a sunny day (tried on a colder day, and the material never fully "cured"...cracked soon after)...also, make sure you clean out as much grass and junk from below the crack and really pack it in to avoid any gaps underneath - so that it doesnt settle and crack. The manufacturer says this stuff should not be used for holes larger than 6" I believe, but I've never had a need to do that, so cant tell you if it would work well for large holes. Hope that helps.
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Nate, asking how long you want it to last is important. And for you to say you don't NEED it to last long is a good answer to which I can reply.
If it was me, I'd just call anyone and ask what they would charge to do it. For a seal job that doesn't need to last long and require the $10,000 pot, I would think you should be able to find some local guy to do the work. I'd just ask around and compare prices. If you want to do it yourself, call asphalt suppliers and perhaps roofers, and find the goop yourself. Trouble is, by the time you do all that, and get stuff goopy that you'll probably have to throw away, it's just as cheap to get someone else to do it. Or, if you CAN save some bucks on doing it yourself, you can hire day workers and let them do the dirty parts.
BTW, cleaning the cracks is not that essential. If you get them too clean, the goop will just keep running in the holes. Top brooming and a leaf blower is good enough. The big difference between DIY, amateur, and pro jobs is the life of the seal, the composition of the goop. The cheap stuff is easily scuffed off by tires, shoes, and dirt grinding on it. Plus, the softer stuff may track into your house and cars if you're not careful and let it dry really good.
Good luck. Let us know what you chose, and how it works.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

It's not that I don't *want* it to last forever; there's several issues.
1) I don't have a lot of ready cash, having just bought the place. 2) Several sections of the driveway will have to be redone in the vague future, mostly about a car length in front of the garage, and the apron. I'd actually prefer to have those cut out and replaced with concrete, esp. in front of the garage, so I could use it as a work space (jack stands + asphalt = mess) 3) I am sure the cost of the "pros" is ludicrous compared to DIY; it was over $1K to have a water heater replaced recently. The girlie called around to several different plumbers and all their prices were within $100 or so of each other. Costs are just out of control here (DC area) probably due to the high cost of living. If I add patching into the equation I am sure I might as well just offer up my nether regions.
so it's more a matter of if I can keep the parts that are in good shape to not deteriorate any for 2-3 years, when I'll have to seal it again and/or get it done by a pro, I'm OK with that.
nate
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In your position, it is smart to just hold the line. If you do nothing, it will go to hell real quick. Even if you use HD or Lowe's products, it's going to be better than doing nothing.
Good luck.
Steve
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OK, that's kind of what I was thinking. After doing some web searches I see that some people seem to have strong opinions about coal tar based products and that in their opinion it might actually be preferable to use the cheap sealer which doesn't last as long because they seem to think that the coal tar can actually be detrimental to the asphalt - true/false?
thanks,
nate
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I've always just gone down to HD or Lowes and bought the best stuff they have. It's like $17 for 5 gals of the lowest cost, maybe $22 for the best. And it lasts about 7 years or so.
Also, if you're planning on doing patch work, get started on that first and read the directions. Products like cold patch have to cure for about a month before you can seal coat it. It cures faster if it gets rained on quite a bit.
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