Do It Yourself: How To Repair Pot Holes In Asphalt Driveways

Save money and enjoy the sense of accomplishment you will feel after completing this home repair project on your own.

As with all home repair projects safety is an issue, and there are basic measures you should keep in mind when repairing pot holes in your driveway:

-Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you are confused by the instructions, contact the manufacturer or the store from which you purchased the product for advice.

-As with other chemicals, keep asphalt products away from heat and open flame.

-Always wear heavy duty work gloves, clothes, and shoes when working with asphalt to help avoid contact with your skin.

-You should also wear safety glasses, and if you will be exposed to the fumes from asphalt products for long periods of time you should wear a filtered breathing mask.

To begin the pot hole repair project, remove any loose gravel, dirt or debris from the pot hole and the surrounding surface. There cannot be any standing water in the hole, but if it is just a bit damp, you may proceed. Use "liquid asphalt" to prime the repair area. This will help the new surface bond with the old one. Stir as needed before use, and always seal containers tightly before storing. If the hole is more than six inches deep, fill it with gravel before patching. It is best to fill it to about three or four inches from the top. Pat or "tamp" the gravel down until it is packed firmly. You don't need any special tools. A simple garden trowel is sufficient.

There is no need to incur the expense or possible danger associated with "hot-mix" patching materials. A safer, simpler, more cost effective material is "cold-mix" patching compound. Add about two inches of patching product over the gravel and tamp it down firmly to compress it. Doing so will help prevent air pockets. Continue adding patching product about two inches at a time, tamp down firmly as before, and continue this process until hole is filled and the surface has a slight mound. Using a garden roller or the tire of your car, roll over the mound until it is flattened down. If the tire collects a lot of asphalt, lay down a thin piece of plywood first. Be sure to fill in any low spots with patching product, and tamp down. When all patched areas are smooth and even with the rest of the driveway surface, the patching is complete.

Allow the patched area to remain unused for at least several hours. In some cases it can require a wait time of up to two days before the surface is again ready to hold the weight of your vehicle. Always wait at least two days before attempting to seal coat the driveway. The surface must be clean before you can apply the seal coat. Sweep away dust and debris and scrub away oil or other fluids with detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry before seal coating.

You can also purchase an asphalt repair kit instead of using traditional methods. There are different brands and varieties, but the most popular ones come with everything you need to complete the repair. You will have to mix your own patching compound but the kits come with instructions and the necessary tools and ingredients. Some kits claim that the repair will be complete, and it will be safe to drive over, in about an hour.

A newer patching product claims to be the fastest, easiest, least expensive, and best quality product available for asphalt patching. The product is made to outlast hot asphalt and it doesn't require any priming, mixing, or special tools. All you have to do is pour the ready-mixed product into the hole, tamp it down, and drive over it. It can be used any time of year and is said to withstand all climates. Check with your local home improvement center for availability and customer satisfaction regarding these products, or look them up online.

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