Driveways often need repairs after few years because of the wear and tear that come from constant use. However, the way you go about the repairs will depend on the kind of problem the driveway has at the moment. For example, the way potholes are repaired is different from the method needed to fix cracks. Accordingly, potholes require you to make initial repairs on them but fixing cracks is more straightforward.
Preparing Your Asphalt Driveway For Repairs
The first step in getting your driveway ready for repairs is by cleaning the affected parts. It is advisable to rid your cracked or potholed driveway of debris, dust, vegetation, and water, as this may prevent the repair material from adhering to the surface.
You should also sweep the ground or areas around the affected area you want to repair. This process is best done with a stiff-bristled broom. Alternatively, you can use water pressure to clean the area (though you will have to wait a few hours for it to dry off).
To remove vegetation from cracks, stick the angled section of a garden hoe into the crack and pull it towards you. Repeat the process till all the vegetation is gone.
If you notice potholes in your asphalt driveway, take the following steps.
Physically, potholes are fractions of asphalt that have been eroded from your driveway. The erosion of these portions of asphalt creates a ‘hole’ in the driveway. The size of potholes varies from few inches to large ones. Below are the best ways to repair this type of problem.
- Pothole patch
- Asphalt tamper or vibratory plate compactor.
The first thing you need to do is check if the pothole goes beyond the bottom of the asphalt layer. If that is the case, you need to fill the hole with sand or gravel to ensure the gap is not as deep. This step will help you to maximize your repair materials.
If your driveway is riddled with cracks, it would be good to take any of the following steps. First, you need to know the extent of the damage. The cause of cracks may include age, weather, or poorly paved road.
- Slurry seal
- Hot mix asphalt
The repair process of cracks involves the use of hot crack filler. You have to apply the filler hot, squeegeed it into the cracks where it expands as it cools. There it can reinforce the asphalt surface.
How To Repair Asphalt Driveways
Below are other methods you can use to repair asphalt driveways.
- Crack filling
It is a process of repairing pavement by filling the cracks that appear on it. Typically, a quarter or half of the crack is filled with hot or cold rubberized crack filler. It would help if you filled cracks early to curtail further damage.
The paving process involves applying hot bituminous mix on potholes. The mixture hardens as it cools, leaving a sturdy stricture that can withstand wear and tear from cars for a long time.
- Slurry sealing
Here is an excellent alternative to seal coating of asphalt driveways. The method is mainly used on asphalt with slight cracks because it helps fill in and hide the cracks. If you want to add an extra layer of protection, do crack filling before starting this process.
- Seal coating
This process involves applying a protective coating over a driveway or parking lot. It is an excellent way to prevent damages from gas/oil spills and normal wear and tear.
- Chip seal
Chip sealing is the process of applying oil and pea gravel to a driveway or parking lot. Oil and gravel have been used for a long time to resurface driveways and parking lots. If you want to get a better result, apply the gravel and oil separately.
The process requires resurfacing older asphalt pavement by including a new layer of asphalt over the old one. Typically, it is the best step to take after repairing the driveway. It provides extra protection against wear and tear.
Cracks and potholes spread with time and may damage your car and the entire driveway if unattended. While the repair process may seem difficult, it is not as challenging as it seems. By following any of the steps above, you can make your driveway look as good as new. In addition to regular checks on your asphalt, a proper maintenance culture will also help keep your driveway and cars in good shape.