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Asphalt Surface Repair

Description/Purpose:

Asphalt repair of walks, driveways and parking areas can be a necessary activity due to safety concerns or it can be an aesthetic decision for a homeowner. Many homeowners may request that a landscaping firm repair or replace asphalt areas as a part of the landscaping job they are implementing. There are three types of repairs that can take place on an asphalt surface: crack repair, pothole patching, and surface overlayment. Crack repair and pothole patching can be performed by the homeowner or landscaping firm, but overlayment requires extensive equipment and is best accomplished by hiring a local driveway repair company.

Amount, Specification & Supplies:

Crack Repair

  • Coarse sand to fill in deep cracks within 1/4 in. of the surface.
  • Asphalt filler such as Quikrete's Blacktop Repair or UGL's Driveway Crack Filler. An alternative repair product is Dalton's Pli-Stix, a ropelike crack and joint sealer that melts into place with the use of a torch.
  • Air temperatures must be greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the repair material to cure.
Pothole Patching
  • Crushed rock or class 5 fill to fill deep holes within 4 inches of the surface.
  • A bucket of Tack, sold in 5-gallon pails from most asphalt companies, to create a seal between the patch and the existing asphalt.
  • A fine asphalt mix should be used if there are enough holes to warrant its' use. Other materials can be used on 1 to 2 inch wide holes, such as Dalton's Tamp & Set Patch or Trowel and Spread Patch.
  • An asphalt sealer, to finish the patching, sold in 5-gallon pails that can cover about 300 square feet.
  • Soapy water or diesel fuel to keep tools clean.
Tools and Equipment:

Crack Repair

  • Utility broom to clean sand and plant materials out of the crack. For more difficult debris, a screwdriver or trowel may be needed to clean the crack.
  • High-pressure water or air hose to clean excess debris out of cracks.
  • Gloves to keep repair materials from staining skin.
  • A small torch if using the ropelike crack and joint sealer.
  • A trowel to insure proper placement of the crack repair product being used.
  • Safety cones to prevent traffic while the repair material cures.
Pothole Patching
  • A utility broom to clean sand, rocks and plant materials out of the hole. For more difficult debris, a shovel may be used first before using the broom.
  • A high-pressure water or air hose to clean excess debris out of hole.
  • Gloves to keep repair materials from staining the skin and protecting hands from hot asphalt mix.
  • A tack broom used to spread Tack over pothole surface.
  • Square-nosed shovels to scoop gravel or rock into deep holes and to scoop the asphalt mix into the pothole.
  • A large aggregate rake to insure a smooth patch.
  • A power tamping machine for large holes, or the end of a 4x4 board or the head of a sledgehammer, for small holes, can be used to pack the repair material.
  • A roller brush or broom to apply driveway sealant.
  • Safety cones to prevent traffic while the repair material cures.
Site Considerations:

The repair site should be thoroughly cleaned and blocked off. The surface must be dry at the time of the repair to insure proper curing of the repair material. If the asphalt surface is severely cracked, resembling a large jigsaw puzzle, overlayment is the best solution.

Step-By-Step Process:

Crack Repair

  1. Use the utility broom to clean out the sand and plant materials from the cracks. For more difficult debris, use a screwdriver or trowel to remove the debris. Then use the water or air hose to remove any excess debris.

    Crack Repair Crack Repair
    (photographs courtesy of todayshomeowner.com)

  2. Using a trowel, fill the deep cracks with sand to within a 1/4 inch of the surface. Next, sweep away any extra sand leaving a clean surface for the repair material.

    Illustration A

  3. Patch the cracks with one of the products mentioned earlier using a trowel if any shaping is necessary. If using the ropelike sealer, use the torch to melt the material into the crack.

    Patching the Crack
    (photograph courtesy of todayshomeowner.com)

  4. Block off the repaired area with cones to prevent traffic as the material cures. Most materials will cure within a few hours.
Pothole Repair
  1. Use the utility broom to clean out the sand, rocks and plant materials from the pothole. For more difficult debris, use a shovel or trowel to remove the debris. A water or air hose may be used to remove any excess debris.

    Pothole Repair
    (photograph courtesy of todayshomeowner.com)

  2. Using a shovel, fill the deep holes with rock or gravel to within 4 inches of the surface. Next, sweep away any excess rock or gravel leaving a clean surface for the repair material.

    Illustration B

  3. Use the tack broom to spread Tack throughout the surface of the pothole. Let the Tack set for about 15 minutes. Then shovel or trowel the asphalt mix in one-inch layers. Use the aggregate rake to level the material packing the mix as you go. Repeat until patch is flush with original surface. The packing should be done using a hand tamping method or a motorized packing machine.

    Pothole Repair Pothole Repair
    (photographs courtesy of gardnerasphalt.com)

  4. Block off the repaired area with cones to prevent traffic as the material cures. Most materials will cure within a few hours. Next use a roller or broom to apply the asphalt sealer to the entire asphalt surface. This will insure a long lasting patch. Do not drive on the surface for at least 24 hours after the sealant is applied.

    Using a Roller
    (photograph courtesy of gardnerasphalt.com)



    References:

    Asphalt Sealcoating & Crack Filling Materials Company. Woodland Park, CO. "How To Fill Cracks" and "How To Fill Potholes."

    Durheim, Pete. Personal interview. 20 April 2000.

    Gardner Asphalt Corporation. 2000. "Driveway: Repair." http://www.gardnerasphalt.com

    Quikrete Companies. 1997. "Repairing Blacktop."
    http://www.quikrete.com

    W., J. 1999. "Blacktop and Beyond, Renewing Your Driveway: Repairing Asphalt." Today's Homeowner. http://www.todayshomeowner.com/repair/19980907_feature2.html.

    W., J. 1999. "Blacktop and Beyond, Renewing Your Driveway: 3 Steps to Patching Driveway Cracks." Today's Homeowner. http://www.todayshomeowner.com/repair/19980907_feature4.html.


    This implementation report was developed by Roger Weinbrenner, student, University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science.

 
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