How To Prepare Your Asphalt Cracks Before Patching Them

Posted on: 12 September 2017

You might ignore small asphalt cracks when they first appear. But, they longer you leave them alone, the more likely that they will grow and become a bigger headache. That is why it so important to treat and patch small asphalt cracks, even if you aren't immediately worried about how they look. Repairing asphalt cracks is simple work as long as they aren't too big. Your patch will not have much permanence if you don't properly prepare the crack before applying the patch. This article explains the best tools and techniques for prepping asphalt cracks.

Check the Severity of the Crack

One of the first things you need to do is check the severity of the crack you are going to work on. Most importantly, you need to determine if the crack goes through the entire depth of the asphalt. If the asphalt is fully separated, you will have a much bigger job on your hand. You can still fix it yourself, but there is a greater chance that the patch will eventually separate from the asphalt too. This is usually caused by roots growing and soil shifting underneath the asphalt. If your crack is just superficial (only on the top of the asphalt) filling it will be much quicker.

Prepping the Crack

If the crack penetrates through your entire asphalt slab, you first need to make sure the bottom is flat and that there are no cavities underneath the asphalt. If there are cavities in the soil, the patch will just sink until the cavity is filled it. You can get around this problem by filling in the cavity with sand. This is much cheaper than asphalt patch. Fill the cavity in until it is flush with the bottom edge of the asphalt. You also want to make the bottom of the crack as level as possible. This can be difficult consider how tight the space is.

Applying the Patch

Asphalt patching is easy to apply if you buy premixed solutions. These usually come in caulk tubes or larger tubs. The caulk is best for smaller, narrower cracks. The tubs are more convenient if you have large cracks to deal with. The tubs are definitely more cost effective. When using asphalt patch you want to fill in the crack and spread it onto the top of the asphalt to create a stronger fill. This means you need a squeegee or plastic putty knife to spread the patch flat.  

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