Asphalt driveways and surfaces are subjected to a great deal of abuse, both from the elements and from the traffic they support. That’s why it’s a good idea to apply a general resurfacing sealant over an asphalt driveway once a year in areas where temperatures reach freezing. Along the way, though, it’s a good idea to treat holes and cracks as quickly as possible; they can serve as conduits for water and ice that can quickly undermine and compromise the entire surface.
Basic asphalt repairs are a cinch. Repair cracks with a self-leveling filler that contains a lot of rubber. Buy a name-brand product-in a tube ($3.50), a gallon jug with caulking nozzle, or a gallon pail of trowelable filler for deeper cracks (both $lO).The right material for patching holes depends on the size of the hole. For smaller holes, use an asphalt patching mix (about $6). Larger holes call for a trowel-grade filler or “cold patch” asphalt repair compound (around $11 for a gallon). Either way, the hole needs to be clean and free of loose debris. Use a wire brush or screwdriver on a small hole, and vacuum it out. Larger holes require a chisel, to square out the hole, creating suitable edges that won’t erode.
The Value of Resurfacing
Regularly resurfacing and sealing an asphalt driveway can save you bundles in the long run, not only on crack and hole repairs, but in additional years before the driveway requires repaving. The process is easy. Thoroughly clean the driveway (a pressure washer is best), and then use a squeegee or pushbroom to spread the resurfacing/sealant evenly across the driveway. A 5-gal. pail will cover about 350 sq. ft. and runs about $30. The investment can easily save you hundreds in an extended driveway life.