Yes, you can repair a cracked driveway. Below are the steps you need to do so.
Prepare Your Driveway
Before you start patching your asphalt driveway, you need to make sure the area is as clean as possible. This will allow the patching material to properly adhere to the driveway.
- You need to remove any loose or broken pieces of asphalt from the crack. Use a hammer and chisel to chip away any fragmented pieces that are lodged in the crack.
- Using a wire brush, remove any rough dirt or debris from the crack. (A wire wheel drill attachment can also be used.)
- Using a compressed air gun or a shop vacuum, do a final sweep over the crack to ensure all remaining dirt and debris have been removed. If you do not have either, a hose can be used. It is essential that you allow the crack to dry completely, however, before proceeding to the actual crack repair.
Small Crack Repairs
Small cracks are considered to be those that are only roughly 1/8 inch to ½ inch. For these cracks, you will need a rubberized asphalt-emulsion filler.
- Ideally, you would use a caulking gun to apply the filler directly to the crack. Alternately, you can pour the filler carefully into the crack. You want to avoid spilling the filler or getting on unaffected spots. Rubberized asphalt-emulsion filler can easily stain your driveway and is very hard to remove once spilled.
- With a putty knife, trowel, or gloved hand, smooth out the surface of the crack filler to make it even with your asphalt.
- Make sure you allow the crack filler to completely dry, per the instructions included on the packaging. Driving on or sealing your filler before it has properly dried can result in further damages to your driveway and should be avoided.
Large Crack Repairs
Larger cracks are typically anything with a gap over ½ inch. These cracks may extend more deeply through the asphalt itself and thus, might require a bit more work.
- If the crack extends more than 2 inches beneath the surface of your driveway, you may want to fill it with small, crushed gravel. It is important to use crushed, angular gravel here, as it is least likely to shift beneath your filler. Use this gravel to fill up to the 2-inch mark.
- Using a steel tamper or 4-inch by 4-inch wooden post, compact the gravel as much as possible.
- Most large cracks are filled with a cold process asphalt repair material. Blacktop is an example of this. You may need to contact a professional if your local hardware store does not sell small batches.
- Again, make sure you compact the asphalt repair material using a steel tamper or wooden post.
- If compacting has left a gap, add more and repeat the process. Do so until the patch is even with your driveway.
- If you want to seal your driveway, it is important that you wait until your patch has properly cured.