How To Repair Potholes In Your Asphalt Driveway And Prevent Them From Returning In The Future

Asphalt driveways are popular among many homeowners due to their low-cost and ease of installation. However, potholes can temper the enthusiasm felt for asphalt driveways, and they can also cause damage to vehicles and become a hazard for pedestrians, too. Fortunately, repairing potholes isn't difficult and can be accomplished by a homeowner using a few tools and materials. Below is what you need to know about fixing potholes in your asphalt driveway:

Repairing potholes in an asphalt driveway - Tools and materials needed

  • Crusher run - sometimes known as stone dust, this is the leftover fine particulate matter that occurs as a result of rock crushing operations.

  • Asphalt cold patch - this material comes bagged and is a mixture of fine aggregate and asphalt; as the name indicates, it does not need to be heated before use.

  • Tamping tool - this tool consists of a handle attached to a heavy, steel plate that serves as a packing implement.

  • Shovel or spade - either will work, but a spade is easier to use with steep-walled potholes.

  • Circular saw with asphalt blade - the blade can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

  • Eye protection

  • Ruler

Repairing potholes in an asphalt driveway - Step-by-step procedure

1. Locate, identify, and remove problem material - a pothole occurs whenever the driveway's base of support is weak in one particular area. If the underlying cause isn't addressed, then the pothole is likely to return after repair.

That means you should take some time to dig into the pothole and locate the weak area that lies beneath the asphalt. With your shovel or spade, dig down into the pothole and look for signs of material variances in composition and density. For example, be on the lookout for rotting wood, such as that from a tree stump or old structure.

Regardless of what you find, you need to dig out all the problem material with your shovel and discard it. Any remaining material will settle and possibly begin a chain-reaction of subsidence that leads to another pothole.

2. Fill the hole with crusher run - After you have removed all the problem material from the bottom of the pothole, you are ready to begin filling it with packed crusher run. Begin by packing the bottom of the hole with a tamping tool to form a solid base of support. Next, empty a bag of crusher run into the hole and spread it into an even layer using your shovel. Use the tamping tool to pack the crusher run down until it is flat and firm.

Add another bag of crusher run and pack it down on top of the first layer; continue adding and packing until the top layer of crusher run is two inches lower than the top of the neighboring asphalt surfaces.

3. Square-off the edges of the pothole - To ensure a strong, clean joint between the asphalt cold patch and the surrounding driveway surface, you need to cut down the edges with a circular saw equipped with an asphalt blade. Be sure to wear eye protection when using the saw and follow the manufacturer's directions to prevent injuries or damage. It isn't critical to measure the cut as long as you remove the jagged edges on all sides of the pothole.

4. Add asphalt cold patch - Once you have squared-off the edges of the asphalt with the saw, you are ready to top off the repair with asphalt cold patch. Pour the contents of a bag of cold patch into the pothole, and spread it around inside the hole with your shovel. Make the layer of asphalt about an inch and a half deep, then pack it down to a depth of one inch. Add another one and a half inch deep layer and pack the second layer down to a depth of one inch. If you measure and pack correctly, the pothole should be filled with cold patch and be flush with the surrounding surface of the driveway.

Most cold patched driveways should be ready to drive on immediately, but be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions before attempting to do so. In addition, wait a few weeks before making turns or cuts with your wheels on top of the cold patch, or you may gouge it.

For more information, or if you'd like to leave the job to the professionals, call a local paving company like Curtis Paving Vancouver