Repairing Your Asphalt Driveway

IMG_0975
Asphalt has some serious benefits, including being friendly to your pocketbook, durability, and wonderful aesthetics. Like any other material, though, it may experience damage over the course of time. At that point, you can either watch it crumble or repair it immediately. With asphalt paving, the key to quality repair job is to decide whether you need a quick fix or you need a more serious repair.

Is It Serious?

If you have one small crack, it’s probably a quick repair job. If you have lots of small cracks, sometimes called alligator cracks or extensive potholes, you may need to do something a bit more serious. Here’s an overview of the most common problems.

Problem 1: Small Cracks

Small cracks are definitely going to happen. These are cracks that are less than a half inch wide. They need to be treated, but can probably be handled by anyone willing to take the time to put in some filler.

Problem 2: Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks are a series of several small cracks grouped together. These cracks look similar to that of the back of an alligator, hence the name alligator cracks. These cracks, if left untreated, can turn quickly into a pothole.
Problem 3: Potholes
Potholes are when there are pieces or chunks of asphalt completely missing. These could have started out as alligator cracks, but might also be a result of weathering. Either way, there really isn’t a quick fix to potholes. The “quick fixes” that are advertised don’t last very long. So, you’re better off having potholes properly treated. If they are small, you might be able to fix them yourself.

Problem 4: Sinkholes

A sinkhole is a depression in the asphalt. Sinkholes are typically created when the ground settles after the asphalt was poured. This is another problem to which there is no “quick fix”. Rather, you need someone to professionally treat such an issue.

Your Next Steps

If you have a simple problem, then it’s fine to handle the repairs on your own. Here’s what to do
Prep: Prepare your driveway by removing dirt and dust either by sweeping it away with a professional grade broom, washing it with a power washer or blowing with a leaf blower. Then remove any vegetation that is growing up through the cracks.

Repair: Purchase the patching materials you need. Asphalt repair aggregate, flame torch, pothole tamper, and vibrating plat compactor are what you’ll need for small pot holes. Alligator patch material, and a squeegee or asphalt brush are the materials you will need for minor alligator cracks. Then, make your repairs.

If you have more extensive problems, though, it’s best not to handle those problems on your own. Instead, contacting a professional team to help is an absolute must, otherwise your problems could go from fairly minor to very serious in no time at all, lowering the value of your home or property.