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Repairing Asphalt Cracks

Materials List
Household detergent or asphalt driveway cleaner
Crack filler for 1/4" of less cracks
Large crack filler for 1/4" to 1/2" inch cracks
Cold patch for large cracks and holes
Loose Sand
Tools List (click item to shop)
Safety Glasses
Stiff brush
Garden hose with spray attachment
Square shovel
Masonry chisel
Better Life Technology
Garage Floor Protection

Easy2 Home Improvement
Laying a Brick Walkway or Patio

IMPORTANT: Read this before you start

Tired of seeing cracks or holes in your asphalt driveway that negatively impact the "curb-appeal" of your home? There is a simple, yet messy, solution that won't cost you much. By putting in a few hours of time on a weekend, you can again realize what your driveway looked like when it was new!

Over time the asphalt will become faded and cracks will develop. Cracks and potholes form due to the freezing and thawing of snow and ice, weed or grass growth in small cracks, and general wear and tear. Regular maintenance will prevent the need to replace the existing driveway. The best way to begin is to repair any existing cracks or potholes. This is easy to do and requires up to a day to complete depending on the condition and size of your driveway. Follow these steps along with those in the Sealcoating Asphalt Driveways tutorial to see dramatic results.

Skill Level & Time To Complete
Depending on the condition and size of your driveway:
• Beginner - 5 to 6 hours
• Intermediate - 4 to 5 hours
• Advanced - 3 to 4 hours

Wear safety glasses and gloves when using a chisel and hammer to loosen material in the asphalt cracks.

Be sure that the temperature is above 50° to ensure that the filler seals properly.

Helpful Tips
Be sure that there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours to allow your patching to adequately dry.

1. Begin to clean the crack by removing all loose dirt and chunks of asphalt with an awl or hook. If there are larger chunks of asphalt you can use a mallet and chisel to loosen them. (Make sure to wear eye protection.)
2. Use a broom or a stiff brush to remove small pieces of asphalt and dirt.
3. Then spray the crack with a garden hose using a spray attachment to remove any remaining debris. It is important to clean the crack well so that the patching material will adhere to it.
4. If there is oil in the crack, use detergent to scrub it out then rinse well.
5. Allow all surfaces to dry before continuing with the patching procedure.
6. Cracks 1/4 inch or less.
Cracks that are less than 1/4 inch are generally filled with relatively fluid material that comes in a plastic jug or caulk gun tube. If you are using filler from a caulk container or tube, squeeze the filler into the crack until it begins to overflow. Then smooth it out using a metal or plastic scraper. It may be necessary to repeat this process to ensure that you are filling the crack completely. If the material comes from a plastic jug, it probably comes with a spout for pouring the patching material easily into the crack.
7. Cracks 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.
Cracks that are greater than 1/4 inch but less than 1/2 inch are generally filled with thicker patching material that usually comes in a can. Before applying this thicker material, make sure to mix the contents well with a clean paint stick.
8. Scoop some of the material out of the can using a scraper or putty knife and push it into the crack. Repeat this until the crack is filled. Smooth over the surface with the scraper to blend it into the surrounding asphalt.
9. Cracks over 1/2 inch.
Cracks that are larger than 1/2 inch must be filled with asphalt cold-patch which generally comes in bags. Pour this material into the crack or hole in the asphalt.
10. Cover the cold patch with some sand to keep the compound from sticking to your tamper. Tamp the overfilled crack with a 4x4 post repeatedly until it is level with the rest of your driveway.
11. If you are filling a large crack or hole, you can tamp it by covering the area with some sand and a large piece of plywood. Then, drive over the plywood with your car a few times so that it becomes level with the rest of your driveway.
12. Which ever type of crack filler you use, you should allow at least 12 to 24 hours to elapse before using the surface.



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