Can You Patch Asphalt?
Does your asphalt driveway have potholes, cracks, or sinkholes? If the answer is yes, then you’ll be relieved to hear it’s entirely possible to patch asphalt. Water can enter your asphalt, which causes cracks and decrease the lifespan of your asphalt. If you live in a cold, rainy, or snowy climate, you may need more frequent maintenance. You can hire a professional to come and patch your asphalt driveway or if you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can DIY the patching yourself, with the right tools.
Of course, the age and condition of your asphalt will be the real determining factor of whether or not you’re better off replacing the whole thing instead of just patching. But if your driveway needs only minor repairs, rest assured that patching up the cracks is a realistic solution for you.
Asphalt Patching and Crack Repair
Repairing and patching asphalt is doable but will require a bit of work. Unlike patching concrete, you will not be filling the hole or crack in your driveway with more asphalt. Instead, you will have to take a look at the size and severity of the damage in your asphalt to determine what patching products to use.
For cracks that are less than ½ inch wide, you can use crack filler, but any bigger than that and you’ll need to run out and buy asphalt cold-patch.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your asphalt for the repairs. If weeds or plants are growing out of the cracks, you’ll have to remove them. Use either a good, stiff broom or a hose to clean out the hole, so you won’t be sealing any dirt or dust in with the repair.
Finally, you’ll want to use whatever asphalt repair products you’ve purchased to fill the hole. Overfill the hole by about 1 to 2 inches, and then use a tamping tool to tamp down the filler. Once that’s done, leave it to cure, seal it, and then voila! You have successfully patched up the hole in your asphalt.
Is It Better to Patch or Replace Your Asphalt Parking Lot?
Whether it’s best to repair or just replace the asphalt on your road depends on the age and condition of it. Patching the asphalt will prolong its life and remove tripping hazards, but if your asphalt is past 20 years of life and covered in gashes, cracks, and holes, then it’s probably better to replace the whole thing.
Consider the severity of the cracks in your driveway, too. Are the cracks small, and less than ¼ wide? Then you can probably save yourself the cost and headache of a full replacement and just patch the holes.
The most important thing to consider when deciding whether to patch or replace is the long-term vision. It’s much easier to patch than to replace, but it can also lead to much higher expenses in the long run if you’re constantly having to repatch a broken road. Consider the condition of the asphalt, and how old it is. Brand new asphalt installed with only a few small cracks? You’re fine patching. But if your asphalt is old and the many cracks are starting to get bigger and bigger, then both aesthetically and financially it’ll be much better to just replace it.
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