Asphalt paving is one of the top choices for road construction for good reason: it’s a durable material that can withstand heat, cold, UV light, and the weight of vehicles for up to three decades before it needs to be replaced. However, like most materials, it won’t reach its full lifespan unless it receives regular maintenance and, yes, occasional repairs. If you’re in the market for an asphalt repair job, this post will offer guidance on the materials and expertise that are required.
What is Asphalt Repair?
Asphalt repair refers to the repair of asphalt roads, driveways, tennis courts, or any other surface made of asphalt. The repairs may include realigning dislodged pieces, sealing cracks, filling potholes, and replacing areas that suffer from depressions, raveling, or other kinds of damage. Asphalt repair restores the safety, comfort, and aesthetics of the surface.
Asphalt milling is a kind of repair that involves pulling up the top layer of asphalt in order to replace it with new paving. The sub-base material remains intact and the asphalt that’s removed can then be recycled. Asphalt pulverizing is a similar process, but in this case the asphalt is ripped up, processed immediately, and used to re-pave the same area using a stabilization procedure.
As the name suggests, patchwork asphalt repairs involve more minor fixes, such as filling hairline cracks or shallow holes. These repairs are a budget-friendly solution that help you prevent the continued deterioration of the surface. However, they will not solve the problem forever, especially if the asphalt is frequently exposed to inclement weather.
When is Asphalt Repair Needed?
Asphalt repair is in order whenever you notice damage—it’s always best not to wait for further deterioration before taking action. The most common kinds of asphalt damage include potholes, fatigue cracks (which have a pattern similar to shattered glass), raveling, upheaval, and rutting. If you’re in doubt about whether your asphalt surface is ready for a repair, we recommend consulting with a specialist.
Materials Required for Asphalt Repair
If you’ve decided to try the DIY route and repair minor cracks in asphalt without expert help, there are a few things you’ll need to have for the project. Cleaning the area is the first step, so be sure to have supplies to remove dirt, debris, and weeds from the area. Depending on the case, you may require a leaf blower or a pressure washer to fully clean out the cracks.
You’ll need to buy an asphalt sealer from your local home improvement store. Some sealers come in jugs with nozzle tops for easy dispensing. If the sealer you buy comes in a big tub, you can pour a small amount into a caulking gun and use that to apply it directly into the crevices. Be sure to have some kind of spreader at hand, such as a wide drywall knife or trowel, to even out the application. And don’t forget a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands.
How to Repair an Asphalt Driveway
If the cracks you’re filling are less than half an inch wide, the asphalt repair process is quite simple. Just gather the materials listed in the previous section, clean the area, carefully apply the asphalt sealer, and wait 24 to 48 hours for the sealer to fully dry (it may take a bit more or less depending on weather conditions). If the sealer sinks into the cracks but still leaves you with an uneven surface, you may need to apply another layer.
Filling a pothole is a bit more of an ambitious project, but there are still DIY methods you can use. You’ll need some asphalt patch, a tamper, and asphalt sealer. First, fill the pothole with the patch until it reaches the level of the driveway’s surface. Spread it around with a trowel or similar tool until you create an even surface. Then use the tamper to compact it as much as possible and fill in any gaps around the edges with the asphalt sealer.
For proper asphalt maintenance that will extend the lifespan of your driveway, we recommend always finishing a repair job with a layer of protective sealcoating.
Need Assistance? Contact an Expert Asphalt Repair Company.
If your asphalt needs more extensive repair, or if you just prefer the peace of mind that comes with a professional fix, take a look at the asphalt repair services that New England Paving offers. We have over 25 years of experience and can guarantee a job done right. Contact us today for a free quote!