Performing asphalt crack repair at the first sign of damage to your commercial parking lot or blacktop driveway is the best option for keeping that pavement strong and secure, and for reducing the need for repaving or outright replacement of the material. Property owners can often fill in small cracks and potholes on their own, while larger chips and other such damage may need the attention of an asphalt paving contractor.
Pro tips for asphalt crack repair:
There are many more details involved in filling cracks and other such damage in asphalt, and it's also good to know when you want to call a professional and have them fix pavement holes, spalling, and the like. It's also helpful to know some basic tips for keeping asphalt in good repair and avoiding any such damage in the first place! If you have an asphalt parking lot or residential, consider some helpful advice on maintaining its surface and for repairing minor damage and cracks.
To repair cracks in asphalt, you first need to understand the types of damage that generally appear in this paving material. Not all damage in asphalt, concrete, and other such pavement is alike, and you don't want to try to repair those various type of damage in the same way either! Consider the most common forms of asphalt damage you might see in a parking lot or driveway:
To repair these forms of damage to asphalt, you might need to fill in the broken area, widen the patching material, heat it, and then allow it to set and cure. Note a few additional, specific tips for patching various asphalt damage and how to repair cracks in asphalt:
Hairline cracks refer to minor imperfections along the surface of asphalt. While these imperfections and cracks might seem unimportant, note that hairline cracks can allow asphalt to absorb moisture and other damaging debris, and also eventually grow and spread to become deeper, more severe alligator cracks or outright chips. Hairline cracks also don't typically appear in just one area of asphalt but are usually spread across the entire surface of a driveway or parking lot.
Rather than trying to fill in all these cracks and imperfections with patching compound or other tips for how to repair cracks in asphalt driveway, it's best to call an asphalt contractor and have your driveway or lot covered with a fog seal or slurry seal. These seals consist of a thin, runny type of asphalt spread or sprayed over the existing pavement. This slurry then seeps into those cracks and forms a solid surface.
Fog seals and slurry seals are not only effective at filling in large areas of hairline cracks, but they also improve the appearance of asphalt and restore it to its original dark, consistent color. Fog and slurry seals also provide a layer of protection between asphalt and sunlight, moisture, and other such elements that tend to increase and spread that damage across the surface of the pavement. This type of asphalt crack repair can prolong the life of your property’s asphalt overall.
If the cracks in your property's asphalt are larger than hairline cracks, consider filling them during spring or fall rather than summer or winter. Asphalt tends to expand and contract during very hot and cold weather, so asphalt driveway crack repair in summer or winter can result in the pavement pulling away from the patching material.
Clean out any loose debris from the crack, and remove any vegetation. It can be good to rent a heavy-duty vacuum or other similar asphalt crack repair equipment to clean the cracked area completely and ensure there is no residual dirt and debris.
Fill the broken space with cold asphalt filler, and be sure to overfill it by an inch or so. Use a small blowtorch to heat the asphalt patching compound, so it becomes malleable and seeps into the current asphalt.
Once the patching material has become soft and warm, allow it to cure for a full day. You might notice it seeping and settling into the crack during this time, and this allows for a more level and even fix of your damaged asphalt.
Once your property's asphalt becomes so severely damaged that it needs outright replacement rather than asphalt crack repair, you might wonder if you should replace it with concrete. While both paving materials have their advantages, note some reasons why it's good to opt for asphalt instead:
When should you replace asphalt on your property?
Don't keep filling in cracks and potholes in asphalt, but have the material replaced when it's covered in damage, has become completely dry and brittle, or has faded over the years. New pavement will provide a stable surface for driving, protecting your property and vehicle traffic.
When should you call a contractor for needed asphalt crack repair?
When your property's asphalt results in lots of cracks or numerous potholes, you don't want to keep filling these with over-the-counter patching materials. Call an asphalt contractor to repair that damage properly or note if it's time for new asphalt altogether.