When you got your spanking new driveway laid, the chances are, it was by a certified asphalt company or qualified local driveway paving contractor.
Since then, time has moved on and one or two cracks have started to appear in your asphalt driveway.
This is normal, what matters now is how you approach repairing it.
If you want to be assured a good job first time, you can call on a trusted asphalt paving contractor in your area, possibly the person who installed your driveway to begin with.
But if you are up for a challenge, you could possibly consider doing this yourself.
Here is how to prepare for the job.
PREPARING TO PATCH
Firstly, clean the asphalt driveway, until it is as smooth as you can get it. This will help the patch you are going to put on it to stick better.
Before you start to do anything else, we would advise getting some safety glasses, so dust and particles don’t blow into your eyes.
Next, with a chisel and hammer, take away any crumbling bits from the crack, so it is clear. Also use a wire brush to clean the debris out of the hole.
Now you want a compressed air gun to help clean out the smaller pieces of rubble as well. A shop vac could also do the job, or even a hose if you can’t get the gun or vac. Just take care to allow the crack to dry thoroughly before doing anything else.
FILLING THE CRACK
Now that the crack is cleaned, you can start to fill it.
How you proceed will depend on whether the hole is large (over half an inch) or smaller (under half an inch).
For this job, use a rubberized crack filler of asphalt emulsion. When using this substance, try not to get it on the rest of your driveway as it might stain it.
The filler should be put in using a caulking gun. Or you could just pour it in carefully.
Then, take a trowel or putty trowel to smooth the crack filler out. You could even use your gloved hand to do this.
Allow the filler to dry and follow the instructions on the packaging carefully.
Congratulations, your smaller crack is filled!
If you are trying to patch a hole that has a depth of more than two inches, it might be an idea to fill the crack with some gravel up to the two inch mark. Use a small gravel that won’t shift about.
Now use a wooden post (4×4 inches) or steel tamper to compact the gravel down.
To fill the crack, we recommend using a cold process asphalt repair compound like blacktop.
Once you have compacted this down you might want more compound on top and to tamp it again.
The blacktop should take a day to dry, although the underneath could be several weeks before it has solidified properly.
We would advise that you wait to sealcoat your driveway during this time, as the patching may not harden otherwise.
However, once the driveway has thoroughly solidified, we would definitely advise that you sealcoat it. This will help to prevent the driveway from decaying more than it has to do.
One of the prime reasons for potholes and cracks in your asphalt occurring in the first place is rainwater collecting on it.
Sealcoating offers the best protection against potholes and cracks forming in an asphalt driveway.
If sealcoating your entire driveway on your own seems like a big job, any professional asphalt paving company will do it quickly and painlessly.