How To Resurface an Asphalt Driveway

Before determining what type of asphalt driveway resurfacing is required, first you need to figure out what exactly is wrong with the asphalt driveway.  There are three main categories of problems with an asphalt driveway: pot holes, sink holes and alligator cracks. Once it is determined what needs to be fixed then it is safe to proceed with the asphalt driveway resurfacing.

resurface asphalt driveway - before and after

Resurface Asphalt Driveway – before and after

Pot Holes

Simply put, pot holes are pieces of the asphalt that are missing. There is an actual hole within the asphalt. If pot holes are not fixed, they can create alligator cracks within the driveway.

Sink Holes

 Sink holes differ from pot holes in that they are chunks of asphalt that have sunken into the ground. Small sink holes will require the same repair as a pot hole, however, extensive sink holes will need a large amount of repair work.

Alligator Cracks

These cracks look like the scales on an alligator’s back. They are also know just as gator cracks. These cracks can affect just a small area of the driveway or they can affect the entire driveway.

Clean the Driveway

Once it is determined which problem needs to be fixed, the driveway must be prepared for asphalt driveway resurfacing.  Basically this is just giving the driveway a thorough cleaning.  Using a pressure hose, wash the entire driveway, be sure to pull any vegetation that has grown up through cracks. Let the driveway completely dry before beginning the repairs.

Asphalt Driveway Repairing Process

The asphalt drive resurfacing includes the repairing of pot holes, alligator cracks, sink holes which are described below.

Pot Hole Repair

When repairing a pot hole you need to determine two things:

  • Are there missing chunks of asphalt?
  • Are the holes two inches deep or more?

If the answer is yes, then you will need pot hole patch and a tamper to fix the holes. Most home improvement stores will carry asphalt patch for a reasonable price. The general rule of thumb is the a hole that is 12” by 12” by 1” will require 10 pounds of asphalt patch. Once the hole is filled with the patch, use the tamper to pound it down and compact it. Keep adding patch until the hole is completely filled and tamped down.

Alligator Crack Repair

There are two things to ask when determining if it is indeed alligator cracks that need to be repaired:

  • Are there tiny cracks that look like a bunch of rectangular shapes or squares in the driveway?
  • Are there small dips or holes that are less than two inches deep in the driveway?

If the answer the these questions is yes, then you have alligator cracks that need to be repaired.  You need to pick up alligator patch material and a squeegee, if you do not have a squeegee then an asphalt brush will also work. Alligator asphalt patch is similar to cement or stucco but it has a harder finish. This patch can also be found at most home improvement stores.  Generally, one gallon of patch will cover about 20 square feet of driveway. Follow the directions on the patch for an easy fix for alligator cracks.

Sink Hole Repair

Sink holes are repaired much the same way that pot holes are repaired. Prior to putting the asphalt patch into the sink holes, drill out the broken or sunken asphalt pieces or chunks. Once the hole is clean of debris, then follow the same directions as fixing a pot hole. Be sure to tamp down the patch after each application.

Seal Coating the Driveway

After the holes and cracks are fixed in the driveway, it is time to seal coat it. This is  a messy job. Seal coating can be done as a do-it-yourself project. If it is a larger driveway, it may be best to let a professional company come in and finish the job. Follow the instructions on the seal coat.

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