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Patching compounds for asphalt driveway repairs is a bit more daunting for beginners. You will not be using hot asphalt (unavailable at home improvement centers, as far as we know), just a product meant to fill cracks in asphalt. Moreover, the size of the crack does matter in determining what product you must purchase for asphalt driveway repair. You will be repairing cracks that are less than 1/2 inch with “crack-filler,” a product sometimes available in handy cartridges. But cracks 1/2 inch 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.



How to Patch Asphalt Driveway

Do you have cracks in your asphalt driveway? In this blog, you will learn how to repair asphalt cracks using a simple patch material.

Driveways are a quintessential part of the American home. They host and display our beloved automobiles, and they provide outdoor space for families to use — to play, to decorate for holidays, or to complete a DIY project. Regardless of size, shape and style, every driveway plays a number of important roles in its home. So, if you notice any cracks or holes in yours, make sure to repair them immediately.

In the event that you need to repair a crack in your driveway, don’t worry — the job is easy. Assuming your driveway is composed of asphalt, the most popular material for driving surfaces, it takes almost no time to patch. Each year, Americans spend more than one billion dollars on asphalt paving. As a result, asphalt repair products are readily available at most local hardware stores throughout the country.

In this blog, we will teach you how to repair a cracked asphalt driveway in 7 easy steps. To follow along, you need just a few simple tools — including asphalt driveway patch material and a professional tamp. The former is available at local hardware stores; the latter can be rented or purchased, depending on your needs.

How To Fix An Asphalt Driveway

The first step of any home improvement project is to identify the tools, materials, and skills necessary to complete it. When it comes to repairing an asphalt driveway, not much is required: usually, the job can be done without professional help, using only a few simple tools. Below we walk through the entire process — from selecting patch materials to enjoying the final product. If you run into trouble while following along, remember to ask Lou for assistance.

  1. Select an asphalt patch material from your local hardware store.

The first step to repairing asphalt cracks is to purchase patch material from your local hardware store. Since asphalt driveways are so popular, repairing them is big business — there are many asphalt driveway patch materials available from a variety of manufacturers. Our host, Lou, recommends using AquaPhalt, a new patch material that is activated with water. Initially developed for highways and road construction, AquaPhalt is now available on the residential market. According to Lou, it does a better job than most other products.

  1. Prepare the damaged area on your asphalt driveway for repair.

Regardless of which patch material you use, you need to prepare your asphalt driveway for repair. Before applying the patch to the damaged area, clean the asphalt cracks by removing unnecessary material — including broken chunks, loose debris, and “failing asphalt” around the perimeter. If necessary, use a broom to scoop out extra dirt. No matter which product you use, you need a flat, solid surface to coat with patch material.

  1.  Fill in cracks, holes, or nicks in your driveway with your selected patching product.

Once you purchased patch material and removed debris from the damaged areas, it is time to begin repairing your asphalt driveway. Simply take the crack filler  — in Lou’s case, AquaPhalt — and pour it into the affected areas. Make sure to overfill the holes by about an inch or so, since you need extra asphalt to properly fill the hole. Later, we will compact the patch to make it tighter. For now, laying down the material will suffice.

  1.  Activate your selected patching product by following its manufacturers’ instructions.

After you fill in your asphalt cracks with a sufficient volume of patch material, it is time to activate the material. If you are using AquaPhalt, like Lou, simply add water to the bottle. You cannot put too much water, so make sure to get it nice and wet. The process will vary depending on which patch material you use, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Usually, you will find customized directions on the patch material’s container.)

  1.  Tamp the affected area on your driveway to flatten and solidify asphalt patching solution.

Finally, it is time for some old-fashioned physical labor! Once you filled in your asphalt cracks and activated the patch material, begin “tamping” the affected area to compact the patch. (To do so, you will need a professional tamp, which can be purchased or rented). If you see low spots on the patch, don’t worry — simply apply a second coat of patch material, wet it, and tamp. That should even things out.

  1.  Wait until the added layers of asphalt on your driveway have settled.

After you finish pouring, activating, and tamping your asphalt patch material, the driveway repair job is basically finished. Now, simply wait for the material to settle and solidify enough to be driven on. That should not take long. Depending on which patching product you chose, asphalt can take anywhere from 1 to 24 hours to settle. If you are using AquaPhalt, like Lou, it will cure overnight (and can apparently be driven on it right away).

  1. Enjoy your repaired driveway.

Voila! By now, your driveway should look and feel as good as new. Hopefully, by watching Lou and following our 7 steps, you were able to learn all about sealing an asphalt driveway without digging into your pockets. Once the patch material solidifies, feel free to walk, drive or jump on it. Your driveway is good as new.

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