Repairs to Asphalt Driveways
Many homeowners have found themselves faced with needed repairs for their asphalt driveway. Some common issues that people have with asphalt driveways are cracking, potholes, and the unsightly fading appearance. Like people, asphalt when not taken care of appropriately can age less than gracefully.
The reason for these occurrences are due to the binder in the asphalt drying out which can be caused by the lack of maintenance (sealing), overall wear and tear, poor drainage etc. It is beneficial to maintain the asphalt while it is still in fair or good condition by sealing regularly to prevent it from turning into a much larger repair, such as replacing the entire driveway. If repairs are needed for your driveway, listed below are a few recommendations from your friends at Sakrete.
Asphalt Crack Repair:
Asphalt crack repair is one of the most important maintenance practices to be done. There are two main reasons for repairing cracks:
1) To prevent water intrusion through the crack into the underlying pavement base which will undermine the asphalt causing severe cracking or heaving due to freeze thaw cycles.
2) To prevent foreign material from entering the crack and causing more damage as the pavement expands and contracts with changes in temperature.
One of the best products to use for crack repair is the Sakrete Blacktop Crack Filler. It is a pourable repair product designed to stop damage from water penetration in asphalt. Sakrete Blacktop Crack Filler fills cracks up to 1/2" in width. Another option is the Sakrete Trowelable Blacktop Patch. This product is designed for thicker applications up to 1" in width. For smaller and cracks, use Sakrete Blacktop Repair in a caulk tube.
The most important step for repairing cracks in asphalt is the preparation. If the cracks need to be sawed or opened then it should be done prior to cleaning. Cleaning the cracks will ensure that the sealant will bond to the sides of the cracks. One of the best methods for cleaning the cracks is by utilizing a pressure washer.
Patching/Repairing Asphalt Potholes:
As stated above, another common issue homeowner’s face in their asphalt driveways are potholes. Potholes should also be addressed early on to prevent further deterioration. If not addressed in a timely manner water can pass into the subgrade and cause more damage to the pavement especially during freezing temperatures.
One of the products that can be used is the Sakrete All Weather Blacktop Patch. It is a ready-to-use product for general blacktop patch applications on walkways, driveways, and parking lots. This is similar to traditional blacktop patches many are familiar with that need to be compacted and then allowed to cure. We recommend you use gloves when using this material otherwise you will be scrubbing at the sink for quite some time. If you need immediate traffic use and no mess, Sakrete has another option for you.
If you want to avoid the mess associated with typical asphalt repair products, Sakrete U.S. Cold Patch, made with recycled asphalt, it is one of the most environmentally friendly products on the market. The best part though, is that it is also one the easiest and best asphalt patching products you can use. The first thing to notice is US Cold Patch has the consistency of potting soil and relatively no smell versus the sticky, oily and smelly materials most are used to using.
To use US Cold Patch, simply place and tamp (or drive over for those like me who think a tamper is way too much work) for permanent repairs with no mess, no odor, and no oily wheel-tracking. US Cold Patch has the advantage in that it can be opened for immediate traffic use.
As is the case with crack filling, preparation is critical for a successful pothole repair.
The repair area should be swept clean and any loose portions of asphalt must be removed prior to placing the patching product. Once cleaned, US Cold Patch can even be placed in a pothole where water has accumulated in the hole. Simply place US Cold Patch in the hole and US Cold Patch will displace the water during compaction.
Sakrete’s pothole patching materials are called cold patches because they do not require the material to be heated for installation. Cold patch materials are best used for smaller repairs and work best when they are contained on all sides. They work off compaction so when used in an area that does not have sidewalls to contain the material it will continue to move around and will not harden properly.
The Sakrete patches have a max repair area of 3’ x 3’ x 4”. For larger areas, it is best to use a different type of patch called a hot patch. A hot patch requires the material to be heated to a temperature that can burn your skin, so it is recommended that if this type of patching is needed it is probably best to call a professional.
Once repairs are completed and allowed the recommended time to cure, sealing should follow as regular maintenance.
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