Fixing cracks in your driveway is relatively easy. Check out the steps below to ensure you properly fill your asphalt cracks.
Prepare the Crack
Before applying a crack filler, you should thoroughly clean the area. Pull any weeds that have sprouted in the crack and make sure to spray the area with a root killer. (Allow this to fully dry before you apply any type of filler!) If you notice insects, like ants, making a home in the crack, be sure to use a pesticide. If there are loose chunks, you should remove these using a screwdriver or chisel tool. Once these pieces have been removed, use a wired brush to scrape out any stuck on dirt and debris. An air compressor, shop vacuum, or canned air bottle can be used to blast out any remaining dirt. Removing the chunks, dirt, and organic matter from the crack is very important if you want to get a permanent fill. If you used a power washer or hose to clean any parts of your driveway, allow the asphalt to thoroughly dry before attempting to patch a crack.
Repairing the Crack
For cracks up to 3/4-inch in width, you can use a pourable, or tubed, asphalt patching liquid. While the pre-mixed liquid does not need to be mixed again, shake the product to ensure separation has not occurred. Using a caulk gun if needed, apply the product to the crack until even with the pavement. If you accidentally go over the pavement, use a scraper to smoothly spread the filler over the surrounding asphalt. Allow the filler to dry for at least 24 hours. During this time, you may notice it has settled and is no longer even with the surface of your asphalt. If this is the case, apply a second coat after the 24-hour period and, again, allow to dry. Do not use your driveway until the filler has been allowed to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours.
For cracks larger than that, you may need to use a driveway patch materials to repair them. Large cracks, and even potholes, should be cleaned prior to patching. As with the smaller cracks, rid the space of weeds, insects, and debris. Allow it to thoroughly dry before patching. When you patch, if the crack or hole is deeper than 2-inches, you will need to work in stages. Fill the first 2-inches with your patch material and compact it as much as you can. Repeat this for every 2-inch increment until the crack is filled.
Sealing the Crack
Make sure you read the instructions on your filler or patch materials. For small cracks, you may be able to seal after it has cured for 24 hours. For larger cracks, however, most experts recommend you wait four to six weeks to allow the asphalt material to fully dry.