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Community and Q&A

Sealing meeting point of brick wall and asphalt driveway

jonhaque | Posted in General Questions on


My house, a semi-detached, has an asphalt mutual drive between it and the neighbors house to the south that comes right up to the side of the house.

I’m concerned about the meeting point between the asphalt and the brick as it looks like water can collect there and seep into the brick (I have some Interior spalling and suspect that this is the source), but I’m not sure how to address this.

Do I use caulk.. or something with the consistency of tar.. or something like mortar for bricks..?

Some photos here:

Thanks very much


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I'm not sure what an "asphalt mutual drive" is, but I am guessing that it is an asphalt-paved driveway that you share with your neighbor.

    I don't know if your walls are wood-framed walls with brick veneer, or whether they are walls with structural (multi-wythe) bricks.


    1. The grade of the driveway should be lower than any wooden components of your house (components like rim joists or wall framing).

    2. The grade of the driveway should direct water away from your house, not towards it.

    If these conditions don't exist, the best solution is to demolish the driveway and correct the grading problems. But that may not be easy.

    In the meantime, using a high-quality caulk like silicone to fill the crack between the driveway and the bricks can't hurt.

  2. Richard Beyer | | #2


    Silicone does not bond well to asphalt. A friendly suggestion, polyurethane caulk is the correct solution.
    Backer rod should be inserted prior to sealing the gap. The area MUST be clean before using or your wasting your money. Follow the manufacturer's directions for the proper use and personal protective equipment. This stuff sticks to everything! ;)

  3. jonhaque | | #3

    Thanks for the answers.
    - The walls are structural, multi-wythe.
    - The mutual drive is exactly what you described, a driveway between me and my neighbor, paved with asphalt. The grade is ok - some pooling spots in the middle, but the water does flow away from the building.

    In caulking up these cracks am I addressing the problem in a good way, or would I be better off doing something like putting a parging layer on the first foot?

    Thanks again

  4. charlie_sullivan | | #4

    Richard is right, polyurethane caulk is a good choice. You can also get a hot-melt rubberized asphalt rope called crack-stix and melt it into the crack with a torch.

    You might also want to impregnate the brick and mortar with a siloxane sealant, for the first few inches above the driveway.

  5. jonhaque | | #5

    Could using a sealant cause spalling problems? Maybe by preventing drying to the outside of moisture wicked up from the ground?
    (I'm very much a newbie, so maybe I'm talking nonsense...)

  6. Richard Beyer | | #6

    Contact the National Brick Research Center.

    Technical Questions John Sanders (864) 656-0604 [email protected]

  7. user-659915 | | #7

    Caulk is only a temporary solution and will fail sooner or later. You need to cut away a strip of the asphalt 18 - 24" wide adjacent to the wall. You can't drive that close anyway. Remove the subgrade to a depth of 18" or so, or down to the foundation if feasible, apply waterproofing to the brick, install a foundation drain and backfill with gravel finished with decorative river rock or something similar.

  8. jonhaque | | #8

    Thanks for all the answers.
    I will give it a try with the polyurethane caulk.

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