The last thing you’d want to experience or see when driving are potholes. What more if the potholes are in your own asphalt driveway? Finding a damaging crack or hole in the driveway is one of the worst experiences people can have. It can feel like there’s nothing much you can do, but the problem will only worsen if you ignore it.
Chances are you’re already scouting the Internet for driveway repair tips and guidelines. If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to successfully conduct asphalt repair on your driveway.
Preparing Your Driveway
Before making the necessary repairs, prepare your driveway first. Get rid the affected area of anything that will prevent the repair materials from sticking to the existing asphalt. Thoroughly clean the area to clear it from water, vegetation, debris, or dust.
Here’s how you can clean your driveway:
- Removing Vegetation
Vegetation usually exists in driveway cracks. Use a triangle-shaped gardening hoe to remove it from your driveway. Sticking the sharp-angled tip of the gardening hoe will enable you to pull the vegetation from the cracks. Vegetation in sinkholes or potholes can also be removed using this tool. Repeat the process of sticking the angled part in the sinkhole, pothole, or crack until the vegetation is gone.
- Getting Rid Of Dirt And Dust
Water from a pressure washer or hose can greatly help in removing dirt and dust in your driveway. However, if you decide to make use of water, don’t make repairs until the area is completely dry. Wait for at least twenty-four hours before applying any repair material. If you cover the cracks or holes up before the area has completely dried, the moisture inside the asphalt cracks won’t find a way to escape. Of course, that could lead to bigger problems down the road. Ideally, you should only use water for removing dirt and dust in your asphalt driveway during hot summer days.
If you want a simpler way or method of getting rid of dirt and dust in your driveway, then simply sweep them off using a stiff-bristled broom. Any broom should work just fine if you don’t own a stiff-bristled one.
Fixing The Problems In Your Driveway
After preparing your driveway for repair, it’s time to finally fix the damages. The common asphalt driveway problems are cracks, potholes, divots, depressions, and sinkholes.
- Cracks Repair In Driveway Asphalt
Use a bitumen-based filler to fill the gaps after ensuring that no moisture or dampness is left in the crack. A stiff mortar that consists of a mixture of the crack repair product and dry sand can be used for small pits and fissures. Note that before troweling in the mortar, pits and fissures have to be primed with the crack repair product first.
Choose products with full instructions to make sure that you don’t commit mistakes that may make matters worse along the way. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit websites of reputable asphalt maintenance service providers, like https://blackdiamondsc.com/.
- Repairing Driveway Potholes
A vibratory plate compactor or an asphalt tamper, as well as a pothole patch are needed to repair a driveway pothole.
When repairing potholes, it’s important to check first if they go past the asphalt layer’s bottom. Fill the holes with dirt, gravel, or sand if they go deeper than the asphalt itself. Make sure that the holes aren’t quite deep first. Unless you’ve sorted it out, patching the potholes will only result in a waste of material.
Aim for, at most, a four-inch deep hole, so if the pothole is eight inches deep and the asphalt is four inches thick, fill it up until you reach the ideal depth. It helps ensure that the new pothole patch and the old layer will have enough bonding.
To make the repair last longer, it’s also a good idea to heat up the pothole’s surrounding asphalt. It will help the patch aggregate bond with the existing asphalt better. However, be careful not to overheat the surrounding asphalt. The oils can be damaged, which means more problems will arise later if the surrounding asphalt gets scorched.
- Sinking Driveways, Depressions, And Divot Repairs In Driveway Asphalt
A quick fix, like filling sinking driveways, isn’t advised. A proper repair job for divots, depressions, and sinking driveways involves cutting the damaged area out. Again, attempting to do a quick fix isn’t ideal since it could only incur more cost and damage.
Sunken holes don’t only look ugly; they also give you a stressful experience when driving your car. Cutting out a rectangle or square shape from the damaged area is the best thing to do to ensure that the result looks better. By doing so, the damaged area is easier to fill in and level.
Also, it will be much easier for you to have the damaged tarmac removed by using a pry-bar to leverage out the old asphalt after placing a beam of wood just around the area you’ve cut. Over time, you’ll have a more blended and professional work result once the sunken hole fades.
- Repairing Alligator Asphalt Driveway
Alligator driveways are actually characterized by cracks in your asphalt. It’s just that the approach in fixing such asphalt damage is different than the normal cracks already discussed above.
First, you have to find out if you really have alligator cracks in your asphalt driveway. Do the cracks in the driveway look like a spider web? Do the cracks make up a bunch of rectangle or square shapes on your driveway? If yes, then here’s what you need to do:
Locate the repair area and put a fair amount of patch in it. Make sure to use an alligator patch. Then, leave about a 1/8-inch to ¼-inch layer of material by spreading it over the alligator cracks using an asphalt squeegee. If needed, pour an additional alligator patch. Finally, transition to the good asphalt by squeegeeing the material about one or two feet away from the repair area while smoothing it out.
Well, that’s it. Repairing alligator asphalt driveway cracks is actually very easy. Just repeat the process across all of the several areas needing repairs.
Asphalt driveway repair can become a complicated process. While you may get away with doing the fixes yourself, depending on the damage’s extent, the ultimate problem may not really be solved. Again, when you’re not entirely sure how to execute the repairs discussed in this post, don’t hesitate to rely on professional help from asphalt repair companies.