A driveway can change the entire appearance of a house. It’s important that driveways remain free of cracks to keep up the appearance and structural integrity. Since asphalt is the most common material used for driveways, the ability to repair asphalt cracks is a valuable skill.
Various weather conditions cause cracks in asphalt. For instance, temperature changes cause asphalt to expand and contract. Those slight movements cause small cracks. Rain and snow fill the small cracks, cause erosion at deeper levels, and the cracks grow deeper and wider. It is important to repair the cracks as soon as possible to prevent the process from making crackers larger.
Repairing Asphalt Cracks
There are a few methods for repairing asphalt cracks depending on the depth of the damage. However, the process always starts with a cleaning of the damaged area. The patching material adheres best to clean, smooth surfaces.
Begin by removing broken pieces by hand. Next, use a wire brush to remove the dirt and debris within the crack. Finally, if possible, use a shop vac to remove the smallest bits of debris.
Now that the area is as clean as possible, begin the filling process. If the crack is deeper than ½ an inch, fill it with crushed, angular gravel. Avoid using pea gravel or larger gravel. They shift frequently and will not create a proper foundation for the repair.
Compact the gravel using a tamper or wooden post. Now, use a cold processed asphalt repair compound to fill the rest of the crack, compact the filler with a tamp. Repeat the filling and tamping process until it is smooth and level.
For smaller cracks, use a rubberized asphalt-emulsion crack filler. The most efficient tricks for using crack filler is to apply it using a caulk gun. Once the crack is filled, smooth with a putty knife.
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