How to Patch Large Cracks & Areas of an Ashphalt Driveway

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An asphalt driveway will give many years of dependable use, but requires periodic maintenance to fill any cracks or potholes that develop from the natural effects of sun, rain and ground settling. These allow water to get under the driveway, leading to more expensive repairs or resurfacing .

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Asphalt emulsion
  • Asphalt cold-patch mix
  • Tamper
  • Clean any loose asphalt or debris out of the crack or hole.

  • Spread a layer of asphalt emulsion over the surface of the hole or sides of the crack. Asphalt emulsion is a pliable, tar-based coating that will help the cold-patch adhere to the driveway surfaces.

  • Pour asphalt cold-patch into the hole or crack to a level approximately 3/4 inch above the driveway surface. Cold-patch is a granulated asphalt mixture of the same oil-based material used for the driveway paving.

  • Tamp the built-up cold-patch mixture into the crack or hole, adding more mix to the surface, as necessary, to compact the mix to level with the adjacent driveway surface. Tamp the surface until it is tightly packed. Allow the patched area to cure for a minimum of 24 hours before driving on it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The end of a 5- or 6-foot length of 4-by-4 post makes an excellent tamper for compacting asphalt patching mix.
  • Handling and compaction of the asphalt cold-mix can be improved by allowing the bags to sit in the sun for a few hours prior to beginning the patching work.

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