I have a very rough and gravely (is that a word? well you get the idea) driveway outside my house. It works just fine for cars. I wanted to have a place me and my kids could ride and rollerblade. Rough and gravely was not going to cut it. I decided on applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield.
My reasons for applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield were simple:
- Pretty low cost
- Seemed to be able to create the surface I wanted
- I could do the job myself without much problem
I have now spent a couple of days applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield. Let me give you the do’s and don’ts for applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield.
Why should I be applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield? This product will make your asphalt driveway look new again with a catch. Do some good preparations, and you will get a good result.
Applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield is definitely a GIGO kind of job (Garbage In Garbage Out). Meaning that your driveway needs to be in pretty fair shape before you start. If you have cracks and potholes, get them filled first. This is a good product, it is not a miracle cure-all.
I toyed with the idea of hiring professionals to do this job. I needed to resurface about 500 square feet of asphalt. So why didn’t I?
- I’m cheap
- I like doing things myself
- How hard could it be???
The first trick for me was deciding which of this company’s products to use. They have several and they all seemed to do the same job.
They all had high-end names like “airport grade” (not sure how many weekend warriors are out there resurfacing airports!)
I actually sent an email to the company asking which product was best for my needs. Never heard back, oh well.
Applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield did not seem like it was gong to be that tough. I had the advantage of not caring that much about aesthetics. I wanted smooth, but it did not need to be all that pretty.
My First Foray Into Applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield
Even though I wasn’t that concerned with aesthetics, I still had some concerns upon opening my first bucket of the product. My results were going to be in public view. I did not want some unsightly mess in the front of my house.
I opened up the big bucket of product and it honestly looked like black water. No worries I got my stick out and started stirring. Mistake number one, I needed something more powerful than this.
The product should look like a very thick maple syrup. So my next time around I got a drill bit paint stirrer. Hallelujah!
From there the process of applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield is pretty straightforward. Pour it on the ground, squeegee it around, repeat.
There is some trial and error to all this. Pouring out the product is easy enough but if you pour too much in one spot you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to move the product around to where you want it rather than where it is . This will be especially troubling if you’re trying to keep it within a confined space.
So as you might imagine, start small and work up from there. You also need to remember how inexact a squeegee can be. If you start with product at the edge of the squeegee it is going to expand out from there.
Long story short if you’re trying to keep it on a defined line, keep the edge of the product in the middle of the squeegee and it will slide down the squeegee from there.
The manufacturer suggested if you really need to get precise edges applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield, use a paint brush to get those areas. I did not for this but I could see how that would work.
Make no mistake applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield can be backbreaking work. Carrying heavy pails of the product, trying to dump them out in a specific place, and then bending over and squeegeeing all day is going to take a bit of a toll. The benefit is that the product is pretty easy to apply and you get a good-looking and functional result.
To Tip or Not to Tip When Applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield, That is the Question
I do not remember if I read this on the manufacturer’s website or on a site as a tip from another user. Nevertheless I remember that somebody said when you receive the product you should tip the buckets over the night before you use it. I assume the reason was to help mix the product.
As I said before, the first time I opened the product it looked like black water. So it did not seem as though tipping the product over really did much to mix it together. Of course your mileage may vary. My advice, forget the tipping and just let your drill bit stir the product. You’ll end up with a much better result when applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield.
So Did Applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield Do The Job?
Well yes it did, but just be ready for the variances when applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield. The product says it will cover 400-500 ft.² of smooth asphalt and 300-400 ft.² of rough asphalt.
My first coat over my very rough driveway was probably getting about half the coverage. As I added more coats I was getting more coverage. Here is what I had after the first couple of coats.
Think of the coverage in three dimensions rather than two. Since my asphalt was so rough you have to take into account how many valleys I was filling in.
So I was probably getting the cubic foot coverage that is equivalent to 500 ft.². (sorry but there’s no way I’m doing that math. Look on Google, I’m sure there’s a calculator somewhere that will do it for you!!)
The really good news is that I did end up with a very smooth surface. The product did exactly what I wanted. It gave me a place I could rollerblade with my kids without feeling like we were going down a gravel road.
I probably applied about 16 buckets of the stuff while applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield and each bucket probably took me about 15 minutes. That includes opening it up, stirring it, and applying it.
The Final Analysis
I never bothered to price out what it would cost a professional to do this. Given that I got a really good looking and functional result I have to say that applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield was a huge money saver.
If you take into account the value of your time maybe you come out even or maybe you come out ahead. Either way, as with all home projects, when you do them yourself you have much more control over the results you get. And of course I like doing this kind of stuff!
The company does not lie when they say this will have your asphalt in your driveway looking like new again. It really does do that job. I cannot vouch for how long it will stand up over time, but the initial results are awesome.
When to apply?
The manufacturer states that applying Latex-ite Ultra Shield should occur when it’s going to be dry out for at least 24 hours. They say that you can apply it when the outside temperature is as low as 40 or so degrees.
I did this in the summer so I was never able to test that. The flip-side is that if it’s sunny and pretty warm the product is going to dry pretty quickly. That is especially true when you’re putting down the thin coat that they suggest.
So I guess the point is make sure you are clear where you’re putting the stuff because once you start putting it down it’s staying down.