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How to Repair Cracks in Asphalt Driveway

Updated on July 31, 2012

Assessing the Cracks in an Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt can get weakened after the passage of some time and may develop cracks. Such cracks can develop because of the physical action caused by the freezing and thawing of snow and ice. These cracks get further expanded by the growth of weeds or grass that grows in the earlier formed cracks. Normal wear and tear through usage can also cause cracks.

Regular maintenance of a driveway by keeping it clean of weeds or grass can help to prolong its life and also prevent cracks from spreading. If you find any weeds or plant material in the cracks, pull them out and clean the cracks of any material by using a hose. Apply weed killer and keep a constant look to see that they do not recur.

Cracks in a driveway can be unsightly and if you think they need further attention make a detailed inspection of the entire driveway. Mark the cracks into three different categories: Less than 1/4 inch, cracks 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and those above 1/2 inch. Each crack size requires different treatment. While you can learn how to repair cracks in asphalt driveways, cracks wider than an inch may point to basic structural problems needing expert advice.

Materials for Crack Repairs

Silicone asphalt filler in a tube for cracks less than 1/4 inch

Asphalt patching material in cans for cracks 1/4; inch to 1/2 inch

Cold patch material for cracks above 1/2 inch.

Chisel and hammer

Safety glasses and gloves

Scrapers

Sand

Repairing Cracks in Asphalt Driveway

Start working on the driveway repair, only if you are sure that there will be no rain over the next 24 hours or so. Clean all the cracks with a strong spray from a garden hose and remove all loose material. Use a hammer and chisel if necessary to remove and loosen the material. Use those safety glasses while doing this work. Use a stiff brush or broom to clear away the material. Make sure that there are no oil drips in the cracks as this could prevent the filling material from adhering to the cracks. Clean with soap and water if necessary. If the cracks are deep fill them up with sand. This sand needs to be tamped. Let all the cracks dry before you start any repair.

For cracks less than 1/4 inch, use the silicone asphalt filler. Squeeze the material from the tube into the crack still it starts to flow out. Smooth it out with a scraper. Repeat the action till the crack is completely filled. It is better if all the smaller cracks are tackled at the same time, as this material is expensive and may set if the tube is left open.

For cracks between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch use the asphalt patching material which you have got in cans. Mix the material in the can thoroughly before you use it. Take some of the material from the can on a scraper or knife and push the material into the crack. Make sure that the crack is completely filled before you smooth the surface so that it blends with the surrounding asphalt.

Asphalt cold patch that will be used for cracks over 1/2 inch will come in bags. Use a suitable container to hold the material from this bag and then fill up the crack completely. Cold patch requires to be further tamped to ensure that it is compacted and sticking to the sides of the crack. Before you tamp the cold patch (a wooden post would do the job) sprinkle some sand on the cold patch, as otherwise the patch may adhere to the tamper and come out of the crack. Larger patches can be tamped by using a piece of plywood and driving over it with your car.

Finally you can use an asphalt sealer to cover the entire driveway and there you have a driveway that is as good as new. Repairing an asphalt driveway is a job that can be easily done.

Materials for Crack Repairs


Silicone asphalt filler in a tube for cracks less than 1/4 inch

Asphalt patching material in cans for cracks 1/4; inch to 1/2 inch

Cold patch material for cracks above 1/2 inch.

Chisel and hammer

Safety glasses and gloves

Scrapers

Sand

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