If your asphalt surface, such as a driveway or private road, has a large crack or pothole in it, you will want the asphalt to be patched. If you fail to have it patched, the crack or pothole can grow, ruining more of your asphalt surface. If the hole or crack becomes too large, patching may not be an option. Instead, resurfacing the asphalt may be the only choice. As such, it is important to have these problems corrected in a timely manner. If you have never had to have an asphalt surface patched before, you may wonder what steps an asphalt paving expert takes in performing this task. Here are the steps involved in asphalt patching.
Step 1: Cutting a Flat, Even Hole
Before the asphalt can be patched, a flat, even hole needs to be cut out. The affected area will be cut out and tools will be used to cut or drill out the sides and bottom of the asphalt surface where the pothole or crack is located. It may seem counterproductive to make a larger hole than is needed when patching asphalt, but having a clean, even bottom layer and smooth edges helps the patch hold and blend in with the existing surface.
Step 2: Filling in the Hole
Once the hole is dug, it will be filled in with hot asphalt. As a professional is filling in the hole, you may notice that they overfill the hole. Most professionals add two to three more inches of asphalt than is needed. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
Step 3: Leveling the Asphalt
After the hole is filled in, a professional will begin to compact and level the asphalt. They take any extra asphalt on the top and smooth it out with the existing surface, helping to blend the patch and helping to ensure the patch holds.
Step 4: Allowing the Asphalt to Cure
After the hole is filled in, the patch itself is complete. The asphalt will need to cure, or harden, before anyone can walk or drive on it. The length of time it takes to cure or harden varies based on the asphalt mixture and the current weather where you live. However, most asphalt is cured within a few days. The professional should advise you of how long to stay off of the asphalt.
Step 5: Applying a Sealcoat
After your asphalt patch is cured, a professional will recommend you sealcoat your entire asphalt surface. Sealcoating is not required but it is highly recommended. Asphalt is porous, and sealcoating helps to fill in those holes so it does not absorb water. When asphalt absorbs water, it is more prone to cracks and potholes.
If you have a pothole or cracks in your asphalt surface, you will want to have a professional repair the damage. Knowing what to expect can help you understand the process.