When cracks form in your asphalt driveway, they can give the appearance that the driveway is in disrepair and may even lead to more significant issues like drainage problems or damage to vehicles using the driveway. Fortunately, there are several common methods you can use to repair asphalt driveways. The best method will depend on the size of the crack and other factors, but we’ll cover them all here so you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed with your particular repair project.
This article was put together by our asphalt paving team who regularly completes crack repair in Dallas.
Why does asphalt crack?
Asphalt cracks for a variety of reasons. There are several methods used to repair asphalt cracks and each has its own pros and cons.
The first step is determining the cause of the crack repair. The most common reason for asphalt cracking is due to water seeping through the surface, followed by settling of the soil below, vehicle traffic, tree roots or animal activity. When it rains, water can easily penetrate into the top layer of asphalt which causes it to swell and break up from beneath. Whatever the reason is, it’s best to identify it to prevent further damage to your driveway.
Clean the Crack
Before anyone begins to repair cracks, it’s important to clean out the crack as much as possible. A wire brush is usually used to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck inside the crack. If there is loose material on top of the crack, use a power washer with a jet nozzle to blast it off.
After cleaning out the crack, it’s time to begin filling it. A number of different methods are used for repairing asphalt driveways, including small-scale and large-scale applications. Smaller cracks can be filled with a special polymer sealant that is resistant to oil, gasoline and other harsh chemicals. Larger cracks are usually filled using asphalt patching material that must be tamped down with a vibrating plate compactor or heavy roller after being packed into place.
Apply a Hot Patch
Applying a hot patch is a common way to repair cracks that are less than two inches wide. A hot patch is a piece of asphalt that will be heated and applied over the crack or hole. The patch will cool down quickly and form an integral bond with the existing asphalt. It is important to use the right type of material, as different patches are designed for different types of pavement.
Use Cold Patch
One common method of repairing asphalt driveways is to use cold patch, which can be bought at most home improvement stores. Cold patch will not last as long as hot mix asphalt, but it is a good temporary solution if you are looking for an affordable option. It is also easier to apply than hot mix asphalt and does not require any special tools or equipment. You just need to spread the patch over the crack and then tamp it down with a heavy object.
Fill the Crack with Sand
This method for repairing cracks in asphalt is a very easy and simple solution. It’s also one of the least expensive. All you have to do is pour sand into the crack until it’s full and then tamp it down with a heavy object. If you’re worried about how long this will last, mix some asphalt patching compound into your sand when filling the crack.
Seal the Crack
The most common method for repairing cracks in asphalt driveways is sealing the crack. This repair requires less time and equipment than other methods. It also costs less, so it’s a good option if you’re on a tight budget. Sealant is injected into the crack using a small tube called an injector. Then, an adhesive layer of sealant that bonds to the surrounding surface is applied over it to prevent water from getting into the sealant layer.
Sealing cracks will not last forever but can last for a few more years. You may need to reseal your driveway every three-five years depending on the weather conditions where you live. If you want a long lasting fix, concrete or blacktop paving may be better options for your particular needs.
Unless you’re familiar with asphalt repairs, you may want to look into hiring someone to take care of your cracks. The typical cost to repair or patch an asphalt driveway averages between $1,000 and $3,600. The cost will vary depending on a number of factors like the size of the crack as well as what may have caused the crack in the first place.
Like any other repair or remodeling project, there are ways you can save on asphalt driveway repairs. You may be able to get your repairs done for less by searching online for discounts or by asking a friend or neighbor if they know someone who does asphalt work for cheap. Keep in mind the cheapest solution isn’t always the best solution. Do some research on the company before committing to them. Make sure you find someone that both fits your budget and you can trust.