Blacktop driveways are subject to a lot of wear. Heavy vehicles and exposure to the elements can cause a number of problems that can create unsightly or even dangerous cracks, pits or holes in the surface. You can repair this damage easily with some time, a few tools and some asphalt compound. You can choose from a number of techniques, depending on the type of repair you need to make.
Asphalt Hot Patch
For extensive repairs on an old driveway, consult an asphalt professional. You might need to put hot asphalt over much or all of the driveway. The hot asphalt is made of rock, tar and bitumen. The asphalt contractor brings the hot asphalt to the site in a trailer tank and applies it to the driveway while it is still hot. He then rakes the asphalt level onto the surface and seals it with a commercial-grade sealer, according to AsphaltKingdom.
Torch-Hardened Asphalt Patch
Using the same principle as hot asphalt patching, you can use a permanent patch product that you cure with a hand torch to produce a firm adhesion between the existing asphalt and the new patch. The product comes as a solid substance that you place into the hole after cleaning. You then apply torch heat until the material melts. After allowing it to dry thoroughly, you can seal the material.
Asphalt Cold Patch
Asphalt cold patch comes in convenient tubs or buckets that hold enough patch to fill medium or large cracks and holes in the driveway. First you clean the damaged area of debris and knock off loose asphalt, according to AskTheBuilder. Then wash the hole or crack and apply the patch compound with a trowel. For some types of cold patch, you might need to apply a layer of patch into deep depressions and allow it to cure before applying additional layers to fill the gap. Some patch compounds contain stone aggregates and special adhesion to fill larger holes.
Tube Crack Fillers
Crack fillers in a convenient tube contain asphalt combined with rubber compounds to give flexibility and durability when filling simple cracks in the blacktop driveway. As with all blacktop repairs, you should thoroughly clean the crack before applying the filler. You cut the tip off the tube and squeeze the material into the crack, moving along the length of the crack as you go.
Liquid Asphalt Fillers
Liquid asphalt fillers flow easily; you can apply them in medium cracks and potholes or use them in combination with sand or backer rod for larger holes. These products often contain acrylic or vinyl for increased flexibility. The patch is dry to the touch in as little as 30 minutes, but you should not use it if rain is forecast within 24 hours. You should not use this type of product on holes more than ½ inch wide.
- Photo Credit asphalt image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com
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