How to Patch Your Driveway

Asphalt Driveways installed correctly should last for up to twenty plus years! That said, asphalt is installed on top of the ground, and the ground is unpredictable. Sometimes asphalt will crack, potholes will form or simply damage caused by accessive weight or other unpredictable circumstances. Not to worry, asphalt is easily repaired. We are going to discuss how you can patch your driveway with some useful tips along the way.

Asphalt patching is ideal for the DIY homeowner. Materials can be purchased from your local home improvement store or you can order hot mix asphalt from a local paving professional.

 

What Your Going to Need!
Materials Needed -
Asphalt - hot or cold mix
You may need some more gravel for the base of your driveway.
Tools Needed -
Hand Tamper
Shovel
Leave Blower (something to clear dust and loose debris)
Saw with diamond blade (optional)
Scrape piece of plywood large enough to cover the damaged area. (optional)

You’re going to want to get your hands on some asphalt, either hot or cold mix(we recommend hot mix). Keep in mind there are a few things to consider when purchasing an asphalt mix. Like the amount of time it needs to cure before you can safely drive on it again. Some asphalt mixes allow you to drive on it immediately while others can take up to thirty days to cure. Just make sure you do your research and go with a reputable brand and follow any further instructions they give. The flip side you could prepare the areas and call a paving contractor to apply the hot mix.

Some tools will be needed (see chart above)and feel free to use what you have, this is not rocket science but there are a few things to keep in mind as you are repairing the damaged asphalt. You want to be able to compact the asphalt as much as possible, this adds more density and rids the likeliness of a reoccurrence. You will want to get the damaged area clean and free of loose debris. Optionally you can cut out the damaged area to make straight edges. Use a diamond blade on a circular saw or better yet if you can get your hands on a demo saw! Not important but does make for a better working and looking repair, otherwise at least make sure the damaged area is free of loose debris.

Once the area is clean, you will need to make sure the subgrade(gravel) is in good shape and compacted as much as possible. Use a hand tamper and add more gravel if need be. Most repairs won’t need more base added but should definitely be level and compacted. If more gravel is needed, most home improvement stores will carry bags of gravel. Just add more as needed, not to overfill the area with too much. Make sure you tamp this and make it flat as possible. The more compaction the better you will be!

Your damaged area is clean and clear of loose debris, your base is compacted and now on to the repair. Fill the damaged area with your asphalt repair mix and leave it a little higher than the existing asphalt surface, you’re going to compact it down as much as possible. Try not to put too much as it may be harder to remove some than it is to add some more. I would go about an inch higher than existing asphalt. Using a hand tamper, compact the asphalt down as much as possible, adding more if needed to match the same plane as the existing asphalt. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of asphalt in the damaged area, take a piece of scrap plywood, steel, something flat, durable and cover the damaged area. Use your vehicle, drive one tire onto the piece of flat plywood and let sit for a few minutes, making sure you position the tire in the center of the piece of plywood and the plywood centered to the damaged area. This is optional but tends to work well for someone without big compactor machines to get the right compaction.

Make sure you give some time to allow the material to cure before you seal coat your driveway again. We suggest you give it 30 – 60 days before seal coating.