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How Do You Repair Asphalt Driveways?


Question: How Do You Repair Asphalt Driveways?
Do-it-yourself asphalt driveway repair, if done in time, can save you a lot of headaches later....

Repairing asphalt driveways and fixing concrete drives both entail similar work, but asphalt is a more specialized product than concrete, meaning the materials you shop for to do a repair will be less familiar (well, to most of us, anyhow).

Concrete driveway repair can be accomplished through an application of -- you guessed it -- concrete, which is readily available at home improvement stores. In addition, whether the crack is 1/2" wide or 2" wide, you can still fill it with plain old concrete. Thus you can keep it nice and simple; although, if you wish, you can buy more specialized products.

But shopping for the patching compound for asphalt driveway repair is a bit more daunting for beginners. You won't be using hot asphalt (unavailable at home improvement centers, as far as I know), just a product meant to fill cracks in asphalt. Moreover, the size of the crack does matter in determining what product you'll purchase for asphalt driveway repair. You'll be repairing cracks that are less than 1/2" with "crack-filler," a product sometimes available in handy cartridges. But cracks 1/2" or wider require "asphalt cold-patch," a product sold by the bag or can. Use these patching compounds only when the temperature is warm enough (consult instructions on product label).

With the shopping out of the way, we can turn to the work involved in repairing asphalt driveways and fixing concrete drives.

Steps for Asphalt Driveway Repair and Concrete Driveway Repair:

  • If weeds are growing out of the cracks, pull them.
  • Clean the cracks, using a strong spray from a hose.
  • Apply weed killer.
  • When the crack is deep, fill it to within 1/4" of the surface with sand.
  • Tamp down sand.
  • Apply patching compound (for asphalt driveway repair) or concrete.
  • Allow it to cure.
  • Apply sealant.

Note that these instructions pertain to asphalt and concrete driveway "repair," by which I refer to do-it-yourself projects that involve minor cracks (2" wide or less) in pavement. More serious damage should make you contemplate replacement, which must be handled by professionals.

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