Asphalt Driveway Patching Tips

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Did winter leave you with a crumbling area or new pothole on your asphalt driveway? If so, you don't have to live with the damage. In fact, it's best to repair it as soon as possible so it doesn't get larger and compromise more of your paving. The following tips can help you successfully patch the hole.

Tip #1: Clean It Up

Rough holes or holes filled with debris don't take a patch very well. Get out a mallet and chisel and clean up the edges of the hole. The goal is to make the sides of the hole vertical and relatively smooth by chiseling away the damaged asphalt material. Then, scoop out the asphalt debris from inside of the hole. Wait until a warm day, if you can. Asphalt is easier to work with when it is warm.

Tip #2: Add a Stone Base

Your original driveway was installed on a stone base, so your patch also needs a base. The patch should be about 2 inches deep, with a gravel base filling in the rest of the hole. Fill the hole with crushed stone and tamp it down by sticking a wood board into the hole and banging on the top with a rubber mallet. This will compact your base so it doesn't shift.

Tip #3: Patch Perfectly

A cold asphalt patch product is the simplest option. Fill the hole with the patch material until it swells slightly above the level of the surrounding asphalt. Allow the asphalt to cure for a few days, and then tamp it down level using either a concrete tamper tool or by laying a board over the asphalt and using your mallet to level it. Once this is done, allow the asphalt to cure for about one more month to ensure it is fully dry.

Tip #4: Finish It

Once fully cured, you should reseal the driveway to ensure more holes don't open up. Sealer helps prevent moisture from soaking into the asphalt and causing damage. Apply the sealer with a pole roller in a thin layer, and then allow it to dry for the time specified on the sealer label. Patches won't blend perfectly, even after sealing. If this is a problem, contact a local asphalt contractor so they can apply a thin resurfacing layer of asphalt over the entire drive. This will make your driveway look like new but for less effort and for a lower cost than a full replacement.

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