How To Repair A Depression In Your Asphalt Driveway

Construction & Contractors Articles

An asphalt driveway is a low-cost and attractive alternative to poured concrete. However, asphalt can subside over time, especially if the underlying base is weak, and depressions form in the driveway as a result. If you have an asphalt driveway with a low spot, then repairing it is important; over time, the stresses placed on an uneven driveway by your car can literally tear it apart. Fortunately, repair is simple and can be accomplished by almost any homeowner. Below is how you can patch a low spot in your asphalt driveway:

Tools and materials needed

  • Pavement repair mix - this pre-mixed material consists of an aggregate and asphalt binder. It is available in bags or buckets and is ready-to-use out of the container.

  • Asphalt filler - available in tubes for use in caulk guns, this material is used for sealing cracks and edges.

  • Grease-cutting liquid dish soap

  • Trowel

  • Broom

  • Caulk gun

  • Garden hose with spray nozzle

  • Plywood sheet

  • Circular saw

  • Aerosol spray lubricant

  • Car or light truck

Step-by-step procedure

1. Clean the surface of the damaged area - for best results, the surface of the asphalt should be thoroughly cleaned to remove as much debris and petroleum-based products as possible. Squirt a generous amount of dish soap into the depression and surrounding area; it's impossible to add too much, but keep in mind that the more you add, the longer it will take to remove the suds.

After adding dish soap, spray the depression with a high-pressure setting on your garden hose nozzle. Be sure to focus the water spray into any cracks or holes in order to wash out bits of tree leaves, dirt and other debris. Keep spraying until there are no more soap bubbles or suds visible.

Once the soap is washed away, vigorously sweep the depression and surrounding area with a broom. Remove as much standing water as possible, and allow the site to drain for about half an hour before proceeding to the next step. Don't worry if the site remains somewhat wet; as long as the pavement isn't underwater, the repair mix will still adhere if the pavement is merely damp.

2. Apply pavement repair mix to the depression - after cleaning the pavement and allowing the excess water to drain, scoop out repair mix into the depression with your trowel. Push the material down into the depression, until it is level with the surrounding surface of the driveway. Blend the edges of the repair mix with the driveway.

3. Compress the repair mix - after filling the depression with repair mix, it will need to be thoroughly compressed to form a lasting repair. Cut a piece of plywood into a shape approximately two feet larger than the size of the depression on all sides; the shape itself doesn't need to be circular or any other particular geometric figure as long as it is sufficiently large to cover the repair.

Spray one side of the plywood with an aerosol lubricant until it is lightly coated, and place the plywood over the repair with the lubricated side facing down. This will prevent the plywood from sticking to the repair mix.

Next, slowly drive your car over the plywood several times; use a back-and-forth motion and be sure to cover all areas of the plywood. Be careful not to spin your tires on the plywood or you may disrupt the repair. After compressing the repair mix, remove the plywood.

4. Seal the edges of the repair - place a tube of asphalt filler into the caulk gun and apply a line of filler about one-quarter of an inch in diameter to the circumference of the repair. Use a trowel to smooth and blend the filler into the repair and surrounding edges of the driveway.

After sealing the edges, allow the repair site to sit undisturbed for at least 48 hours before driving or walking on top of it. You don't need to protect it from rain, but avoid flooding it with water from a garden hose if possible.

If you have trouble following the above instructions, then consider contacting a roadway repair company, such as Bituminous Roadways, Inc.

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13 July 2015

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