DIY Tips for Repairing an Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt driveways are arguably the most common driveways in most residential homes. Not only are they easy to install, but asphalt driveways are also durable and low-maintenance. However, asphalt driveways wear out over time and might develop cracks, sunken holes or potholes. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you will find asphalt repair to be an exciting project. Here are a few tips to ensure you restore your asphalt driveway to its previous mint condition.

Measure the Size of the Crack/Hole

When repairing asphalt driveways, most homeowners believe that cleaning the area is the first thing one must do. However, how can you assemble the right repair materials if you do not know the magnitude of damages you are working with? Measuring the size of cracks or potholes is the first thing you should do. If the cracks or holes are less than ½ inch, then crack filler will suffice. However, if the gaps are wider than ½ inch, then you need something to create a more solid surface, such as asphalt cold patch. Deeper and bigger cracks and holes, on the other hand, require sand and gravel for better repairs.

Use a Vacuum to Clean up Cracks

Once you have measured the size of a crack or hole in your asphalt driveway, it is time to clean it up. Make sure that every nook and cranny is free of loose materials. A wire brush does an admirable job. You might have to use a masonry chisel for parts that are loose but still holding onto the existing asphalt. Follow this up by sweeping away loose debris with a stiff-bristled broom, and then use a vacuum. Most homeowners use a broom only and leave it at that. Although a brush does a good job, vacuuming the damaged areas sucks away the dust and anything stuck in the gap. You can always hire a handheld vacuum for this purpose.

Overfill the Holes and Cracks

If the hole or crack you want to mend is more than two inches, you might be tempted to pour in two inches of asphalt cold patch material. However, once you tamp on the filler, it will compress and still leave space. The right procedure is to fill the hole or crack with the filler steadily. When you have about an inch of space left inside the hole, pour in two more inches of asphalt repair material. The material will fill the gap, and some of it will overflow, leaving the area slightly mounded. Roll the filler down as firmly as possible to ensure that the area surrounding the damaged spot is uniformly flat.