When potholes appear on your driveway or parking lot you likely feel a growing fear that things are about to get expensive. You may even lose sleep thinking about the work involved in getting things back as they were. But, pothole repair really doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, you can often do it at home, or at least patch things up until you’re able to get a professional opinion. Here, we’re going to put your mind at ease with some surprisingly simple forms of DIY pothole repair that could just see you acting a lot faster next time those dreaded cracks start to show!
How do potholes form?
Asphalt is incredibly strong, and potholes aren’t likely to appear often, or for any old reason. That said, as you’ll know just by looking at the roads outside, that’s not to say that potholes are never going to happen.
Generally, potholes occur when water gets into cracks or weak areas of asphalt and contracts. This pulls the asphalt bonds apart, further weakening an already compromised area, and typically resulting in telltale holes. This eventuality is especially likely in areas of high traffic, or after asphalt has been exposed to untreated oil or fuel spills.
The repair process
Small potholes that you catch early should be easy to at least patch yourself, and doing so is your best chance at avoiding escalating issues. Preferably, you should take action as soon as you notice a hole, and the steps you’ll want to follow include –
# 1 – Cleaning
Removing excess debris from within a pothole is crucial before you begin the repair process. Simple hand tools should be suitable to remove large pieces of rubble, while a pressure washer is best to remove finer dirt and stones.
# 2 – Measuring
After cleaning, you’ll be better able to get accurate measurements of your pothole. This is key because it will help you understand precisely what materials you need, or if your pothole has grown too large for DIY repairs. If you’ve caught things early, your pothole should measure small, ensuring that at-home materials are more than up to the task of repair.
# 3 – Fill the pothole with cold patch materials
Cold patch materials are a fantastic option for do-it-yourself repairs as they’re affordable, easy to access, and user-friendly. You’ll simply need to open the bag and go! Ideally, you should aim to pour to a level around ½ an inch above the surface to allow for compaction. If the pothole goes deeper than the level of the asphalt itself, you may also want to use sand or fine stones as a base layer, but if not, applying materials directly into the hole itself will suffice.
# 4 – Ensure an even surface
You’re going to want this repaired patch to look as in-keeping with the rest of your asphalt as possible, so it’s also vital to invest in a hand tamper of similar which can help you to achieve that goal, then compact the repair material until it’s on an even level with the rest of your asphalt.
# 5 – Keep an eye on things
Ultimately, at-home pothole repair tends to be a temporary fix to a wider problem, and keeping a close eye on things is key to making sure that your repairs are holding up. As soon as you start to notice that things are beginning to deteriorate again (which could be years or weeks!) then it might be time to call in the professionals.
When should you seek professional asphalt repair?
For quality, lasting solutions, professional asphalt repair or preventative measures like asphalt sealcoating are the best options. At-home repairs are certainly a great go-between, but they aren’t suitable in all cases, and they don’t always offer the longevity that you might hope for. That said, DIY pothole repairs most definitely help to keep things in check while you get in contact with professionals like our expert team here at B&E Coating Services. Some sure signs that you could benefit from making that call sooner rather than later include –
- Deep potholes
- Recurring problems
- Cracks in the asphalt
In these instances, our expert team is on hand to remove damaged asphalt and lay new, quality installations in-keeping with the rest of your driveway or parking lot. We’re also on hand to provide sealcoating, which offers a protective barrier that drastically increases asphalt longevity so that you can stop worrying at long last. To enjoy these benefits and more, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free estimate today at (989) 352-7305.