Welcome back to another entry here on the Sunrise Asphalt blog! We’re divvying out all the info you need to maintain, repair, and understand your asphalt driveway. When the asphalt starts to crack, it’s not long before the surface weakens and the whole thing starts to crumble. Here’s how to fix crumbling asphalt driveways when you’re able, and perhaps more importantly, when to call in the professionals (hey that’s us!).
Last time we talked about the most common reasons driveways crumble: weather and temperature, poorly sealed asphalt, an insufficient sub base, loose gravel, and heavy usage.
Eventually, some combination of those factors will affect your asphalt, causing cracks, holes, or other damage. When it comes time to fix your crumbling asphalt, look at what the type of damage is, then read on! First you need to repair the damage, then you can move on to sealing it, together your crumbly asphalt troubles should be no more!
Crumbling Asphalt Repairs
If your asphalt has some small cracking going on, it’s an easy enough job to DIY. First brush out the loose material, any free pieces of asphalt, gravel, or other debris that may have found its way into the crack. After removing any loose material, fill the crack! If it’s particularly deep, fill with compacted sand to a depth of about a half inch from the surface. Then apply asphalt crack filler using a caulking gun. After the filler sets, you can smooth out the filler using a putty knife and boom, your crumbly cracked asphalt is no more!
Here at Sunrise Asphalt we use a hot crack fill machine to do the job right.
Crack filling is the process of repairing cracks between the ¼” and ½” range, much larger than the repairs needed are more intensive. To fill in these cracks and restore the structural integrity of the asphalt surface, Sunrise Asphalt uses a hot rubberized crack filler.
To repair cracks Sunrise Asphalt uses Crafco hot rubberized crack filler. The filler is applied hot, squeegeed into the crack where it expands as it cools, reinforcing the asphalt surface. As the world’s leading manufacturer in pavement preservation, they know the stresses asphalt needs to be able to stand up to, and the needs of asphalt professionals like Sunrise to deliver quality service that stands the test of time.
For smaller holes you can use patch material to fill them in. Fill it higher than the surrounding asphalt, then use a heavy metal tamper, or end of a piece of wood (like a 2×4, not a stick!) to flatten and compact the material. Vehicles traveling over that material will also gradually pack the mix in.
When a hole gets too large it becomes a pothole and will need some more care to get back to normal. They have become the dreaded ‘pothole’ and must be met with care, skill, and planning!
The spray-injection repair method involves specialized equipment. Using the spray-injection device, all water and debris is blown out of the pothole. Then a layer of tack coat binder is applied to the bottom and sides of the hole. Next asphalt and aggregate are blown into the hole and then another layer of aggregate covers the patched area. For the spray-injection method, no compacting is needed after its been placed.
The semi-permanent method is one of the best there is. You’ll remove all the debris and water from the pothole, just like the spray-injection method. Then the pothole area will need to be prepared for patching. That means clean cuts along each side to ensure that each is a sound piece of pavement. If there are any weaknesses here they will just create another point for a pothole to develop. Then fill up the hole and compact.
Sealing the Newly Repaired Asphalt
After the asphalt has been repaired, it’s time for a sealcoat to protect it for years to come. Well, almost time. You have to let it cure first of course! After the requisite amount of time has passed, this will fluctuate based on the type and size of the repair, you can use a sealer to give it an extra layer of protection. To find out more about the benefits of using a seal coat.
So, when do you call in the professionals? When the damage is too extensive, trying to do DIY asphalt repair just isn’t going to get the results you’d hoped for. If your crumbling driveway looks like a slice of swiss cheese, it doesn’t need patching and pothole filling, it needs a total reconstruction. Sunrise Asphalt has you covered for all your asphalt paving needs.