5 Common Asphalt Driveway Repairs

Asphalt makes a durable and cost-effective material for your home's driveway, but its durability doesn't mean that asphalt is immune to damage. Knowing the most common types of damage and how they are repaired can help you plan accordingly.

1. Small Cracks

A small crack is one that is less than about the width of your thumb. Although unsightly, they don't typically indicate any major issues with the paving and can be easily patched. Your repair service will clean any debris out of the crack, and they will fill it with a flexible asphalt patching material. The flexibility of the material allows the asphalt to expand and contract as the temperatures fluctuate, thus preventing the reformation of the crack.

2. Large Cracks

Larger cracks will require a bit more work to repair. Much like smaller cracks, the process begins with cleaning out the crack of any dirt and debris. It may then be packed with a foam tube, which acts as both a filler and an expansion joint to prevent the crack from forming again in the future Finally, hot asphalt patch is used to fill in around the filler tube to create a durable yet flexible patch.

3. Potholes

Potholes are the result of small damage or low areas on the asphalt surface. Water collects in these spots and eats away at the paving. Winter is the prime time for pothole formation because the water expands as it freezes, causing the asphalt to crumble. Repair begins by cleaning out the loose asphalt debris from the pothole. A hot asphalt patching compound is packed into the hole and leveled. More extensive repairs to level the area or install a drain may be necessary if a low spot is to blame.

4. Upheaval

Asphalt upheaval can be the result of soil movement beneath the paving, but more often it is caused by tree roots pushing up from beneath the asphalt layer. Repair is more involved than simply patching the area that cracked and rose above the surrounding asphalt. The area suffering upheaval must be cut out, then the ground beneath will need to be leveled before new asphalt is installed.

5. Raveling

It's called raveling when the aggregate gravel in the asphalt begins to loosen and the surface of the paving becomes bumpy with loose rocks. Raveling is a result of asphalt age and weathering. Resurfacing, which simply means installing a thin asphalt layer over the old, fixes the problem

Contact an asphalt repair company for more information.