Snow plows, rock salt no good for Chicago driveways
Chicago-area driveway experts
Larry Peiser, owner
Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Rick Sell, owner
RAS Concrete Inc.
Chris Puppe, owner
Glen Ellyn, Ill.
What are some common materials used for driveways or sealing?
Peiser: We use either virgin or recycled asphalt. You can expect it to last 15 to 20 years.
Sell: Asphalt is most common, followed by concrete. Concrete will last longer, but it's more expensive.
Puppe: We use two premium-grade sealers: Sakrete and Brewer Cote. Anything else is the generic stuff.
What's the best way to repair cracks?
Peiser: Clean out the crack and fill it with a hot rubber crack cement.
Sell: Put a clear caulk in the crack to keep moisture out. That's a long-term solution.
Puppe: Two materials work very well: Everlast and Gator-Patch. They're costly, but they will solve the problem. Liquid sealers are fine for little hairline cracks.
How can I maintain my driveway to prevent cracks and damage?
Peiser: Sealcoat it every other year. If you seal coat too often, it could crack and flake. It's not a bad idea to fill cracks every year.
Sell: Seal it every year to protect it from rock salt and the elements.
Puppe: Sealcoat it with a high-quality product. Generics look good at first, but they chip and flake after a few months.
What danger does cold weather pose to my driveway?
Peiser: Salt and snowplows are probably my best friends for business. But it's more important to have the ice melted.
Sell: Rock salt will just eat away at the material. Even if you don't salt your own driveway, you bring it in from the street on your tire treads.
Puppe: The salt these days contains a chemical that eats right through asphalt and concrete. Keep it off the driveway, and rinse the driveway in the spring.
What type of preparation work is required for driveway installation or sealing?
Peiser: Just make sure the cars are out the way. We'll take care of everything else.
Sell: It's usually pretty painless. We just need you to get your cars out of the way. The average installation takes three days and five more days to cure.
Puppe: Make sure it's dry when we get there. Keep mulch or dirt off it all the time, because when that stuff rots, it becomes acidic and eats up the material.