If your asphalt driveway is experiencing damage from cracks, it is important that you get them repaired as soon as possible. Even hairline cracks can worsen over time when you keep parking on the driveway or even from debris getting caught in the cracks. Here are some tips for making the repairs.
Clean out the Cracks First
The first thing you should always do before you start patching cracks in asphalt is to clean them out. They might look fine from a distance, but they most likely have some dirt and other debris lodged inside. When there is a crack in the asphalt surface, wind picks up and blows dirt inside, not to mention rocks and other debris. If the cracks have been there a while, some vegetation might have started growing through the cracks, so that needs to be removed as well. If you're struggling to remove the debris on your own, either try a broom or use a pressure washer to force it out.
Wash the Asphalt Surface
Once the cracks are free of loose debris and vegetation, you can then wash the asphalt surface around the cracks. While this is a good time to get the entire driveway nice and clean, you really only need to focus on the area being patched. Depending on the severity of the damage, you can either ruse a pressure washer or hose with a high-pressure nozzle, or just stick to mild soap and water from a regular garden hose without the pressure nozzle added. When you have severe damage on your driveway, avoiding a lot of pressure is best.
Apply Your Asphalt Patching Compound
Give the asphalt some time to dry after washing it, then begin preparing your asphalt compound. The patching compound will need to be applied inside the crack as much as you can get it in there, then smoothed out on the surface of the crack. A squeegee works really great at smoothing out the patching material on top for a completely flush surface. Continue doing this for all cracks or holes you find on the asphalt driveway. Give it enough time to dry before you use the driveway after applying the patch.
If you have any concerns about your asphalt driveway cracks or you have large potholes, it is best to contact a paving contractor to help with the patching process. They are more adept at filling larger potholes.