Oh no! Your asphalt driveway has cracked - what do you do? Here’s how to determine whether it’s time to call a professional, or if you can handle the job yourself.
What type of crack do you have? Is it located in one spot or covering a large section of your asphalt? Cracks covering a larger section of asphalt are likely to be alligator cracks - they’ll remind you of alligator skin - and those need professional treatment. Straight and zigzag cracks are the type you can fill yourself.
To fill the crack, use asphalt patch. You’ll need to clean out the crack well to begin with. If the area isn’t clean, the filler won’t stick. Remove all debris. If there are severe or sharp edges to the crack, smooth them out with a chisel, screwdriver, or other device. Depending how large the crack is, you may want to blow out debris using compressed air.
Before filling the crack, ensure it’s dry. The size of the crack will determine how you actually fill it. Smaller cracks can be filled with rubberized crack sealer that comes in a device similar to caulk gun. Larger cracks require a bit more work. Fill them with an asphalt cold patch or asphalt epoxy patch. Wait 24 hours and inspect your patch again - as the patch cures, you’ll want to check to make sure it is still level with the pre-existing asphalt driveway.
Once the crack is filled and dry, you’ll want to seal over it for extra protection. We recommend sealing the entire driveway to help prevent against other future cracks and damages.
Now that the crack is filled and sealed - do you know what caused it? Look for these possible sources first:
- Tree roots
- Improper maintenance
- Water sitting on or under the asphalt
- Extreme heat and sun
Can you eliminate the source so that it doesn’t happen again? If you can’t - or if you aren’t sure what the source is, you may wish to get the advice of a professional, who can help you prevent additional cracks in your asphalt driveway.