It is important to take care of your asphalt surface by patching cracks and holes and applying a protective sealcoat when needed to help keep it lasting as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this.
Clean and Prepare Cracks
Any cracks over the surface of your asphalt paving need to be cleaned of any vegetation and debris before they can be filled and patched. Pull up weeds or cut them from the cracks and holes with a gardening trowel or shovel.
Next, clean out the cracks to remove dirt, debris, rocks, and any other materials that have settled into a crack that will prevent your patching material from adhering. Use a broom, a wire brush, or a pressure washer or garden hose to fully clean and remove all particles. An air compressor also provides the power to blow out debris from cracks and holes.
Before filling potholes, scoop out any rocks, chunks of broken asphalt, dirt, and vegetation, down to a solid base. It is recommended to cut around any jagged edges of a pothole to make it uniform. Then, use a shovel to undercut the edges of a pothole so the base of the pothole is slightly larger than the surface edges of the hole. This helps your patch material fit more securely into the pothole.
Fill any cracks with a liquid asphalt filler, which you can find available in a tube. Because the filler is liquid, it will self-level to match any surrounding asphalt surfaces. For larger cracks, it is best to use an asphalt patch filler, which is applied as a cold mix and pressed into any cracks with a putty knife or trowel. Be sure to compress the patch filler into the cracks, tamping it down to remove any air pockets from within the patch filler.
To patch your prepared potholes, use a shovel to scoop cold-mix patch into the pothole, compacting the material into the hole with a hand tamp. You can find cold mix patch in bags at most home improvement stores. If you have a large amount of patching to complete, you can buy hot-mix asphalt patch from a local asphalt company, which can be delivered by truck to your location.
Apply the Sealcoat
Check the weather before you coat your asphalt with sealcoat, because any wet weather before the seal coat sets will prevent it from properly curing. A sealcoat usually requires at least 24 hours to cure fully.
Pour some of the seal coat onto your asphalt and use a sealcoat squeegee to smooth and spread the sealcoat in a smooth layer over the asphalt. Smooth out any areas where the sealcoat has pooled to create a single uniform layer. It can be helpful to apply the sealcoat in two thin layers, waiting several hours between applications for the sealcoat to set slightly.
With these tips you are on your way to having a well-maintained asphalt surface.