Asphalt is a sturdy material that can last for years. However, it does need periodic maintenance to keep water out. Water intrusion through small cracks in the driveway’s surface is the number one cause of asphalt failure. As the seasons change, water under the surface freezes and thaws, expanding and contracting and eroding your driveway from the inside out.
Fortunately, asphalt cracks are easy to repair when you catch them early. Inspect your asphalt driveway for cracks before and after the winter storm season, and patch them as soon as you find them. You might want to seal the driveway after repairing it to help minimize the risk of future cracking.
1. Prepare the Crack
Crack patching works best when the crack is smooth and clean. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes, and then:
- Chip out jagged edges and large broken pieces with a hammer and chisel
Remove debris with a wire brush
- Use a shop vac, compressed air gun, or garden hose to flush out dirt and small debris
Make sure the crack is completely dry
2. Fix Smaller Cracks (Up to 1/2 inch)
Fixing smaller cracks is quite simple. Here’s what to do:
- Purchase a rubberized asphalt crack filler from your local hardware or big box store
- Use a caulk gun to fill the crack with filler, taking care not to spill on the driveway
- With a trowel or a putty knife, gently smooth out the surface
- Follow manufacturer instructions for drying time before driving or parking on the patch
3. Fix Larger Cracks (More than 1/2 inch)
Fixing larger asphalt cracks is significantly more difficult, and we recommend calling a professional. If you are determined to try, though, here’s what you need to do:
- Fill the crack with angular crushed gravel until it is no more than 2 inches deep
- Use a steel tamper or 4×4 post to compact the gravel
- Pour in a cold-process asphalt repair material. Do NOT use rubberized crack filler
- Use the tamper or post to compact the material
- Add and compact more material as needed until the patch is level with the driveway
You can drive over the patch in 2 or 3 days, and park on it in 3 or 4 days. Do not seal the driveway or park heavy machinery over the patch for at least 30 days. Place cardboard under any kickstands, and put something under your car to catch any fluid leaks.
If your driveway has potholes, deep cracks, or other major damage, do not attempt to repair it yourself. Call a professional with the proper equipment and experience to complete the repair properly and guard against further damage.
Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!