Occasionally, an asphalt driveway will need some minor repairs. The good news is there are products on the market today to make this job fast and easy. Here are some tips on how to repair your asphalt driveway.
1. The first thing to do, before you begin any repairs, is to clean the asphalt surface thoroughly. This is an important step and should not be ignored. You can use a push-broom to sweep the driveway, and then use a soap-and-water solution to clean the area around the repair. If you wish, laundry detergent works just fine for soap.
2. If need be, use a shop-vacuum to clean up any loose debris in the area. The cleaner the area is the easier your work will be and the better the results will be too.
3. If you find engine oil has leaked onto the asphalt, the best bet is to invest in a good quality, specially formulated driveway-cleaning solution that works on oil to clean that area.
4. If the problem is small, you can repair it with crack-filler, which is a caulk-like compound available at home supply centers.
5. You want to apply a bead of filler directly into the crack. The crack filler prevents water from getting underneath the crack, leading to further damage.
6. Once the filler has been applied, smooth it out using a putty knife.
7. If you have large cracks or holes, you should use a cold-patch compound. This is the best method for repairing larger holes in the asphalt surface. Always read and follow the directions that come with the product.
8. For cold-patch repairs, you normally want to wet the asphalt surface in the area of the repair. Then you apply the first layer of compound using a trowel.
9. Make sure that once the patch compound has been applied, you tamp it down flat. You can find tamping tools at home centers or you can make one from scrap wood.
10. You may need to add more layers. This is common. Tamp each layer as you go. Allow it to dry before adding the next layer.
Check the manufacturer's instructions for drying time. Most cold-patch compounds require about 48 hours in order to dry completely.
There may times when even cold-patching is not enough. When that happens it is best to call in an expert. A driveway contractor can assess your problem and give you the best advice on what to do. One thing is for sure: cracks only get bigger, so make that call as soon as possible.