Resurfacing an entire asphalt driveway is a costly and time consuming job, but over time, the surface material will start to break down. After many freeze-thaw cycles and the tons of metal and rubber moving over your driveway every day, cracks are bound to happen!
If left unpatched, these cracks will only get worse, and so many homeowners opt for patching the asphalt rather than replacing the whole thing. There are several ways to patch the surface, and what material you go with depends on how bad the crack is.
When Should I Patch A Crack In My Driveway?
Asphalt is very flexible, and this means it isn’t the strongest material for driveways. Many homeowners see cracks forming not too long after having the asphalt laid down, but not all of these cracks will require a patch. A close examination of the weakness is needed to figure out the best solution, but if it’s less than a quarter-inch wide, there’s not going to be deeper damage beyond the driveway surface. A crack that size won’t need patching, but can be repaired easily with a liquid crack-filler.
However, cracks larger than a quarter-inch wide and more than a few inches deep indicate much more significant issues. Choosing to use a liquid crack-filler on these won’t solve the deeper issues, and you’ll need something stronger to stand up to further stress. These driveway holes have to be filled with a patching material, tamped down to be even with the rest of your driveway. But what happens when this material is concrete?
Can You Patch An Asphalt Driveway With Concrete?
Ideally, you’d want to patch deep cracks with the same material as the rest of the driveway – asphalt with asphalt, concrete with concrete. A concrete patch can reduce the integrity of the rest of the asphalt, as concrete is more rigid. But often times the hole or crack will go much deeper into the base of the driveway, especially if the damage is caused by poor drainage. You can use concrete as a base to shore up the weakness, then use a patch asphalt to cover it up.
You just need to make sure the hole is clean; otherwise, the concrete won’t stick to what’s surrounding it. Remove all dirt and dust from the hole, making sure to take out most of the loose material. Pour the concrete in, smooth it out, and let it set. Then use your patch asphalt to cover it up, tamping down as much as possible.
The base is incredibly important to the integrity of the driveway, and poorly-laid base will result in more cracks. Concrete can be used for a base, better diffusing the pressure. It also makes for a good alternative to asphalt when it comes time to redo the driveway’s surface. Just remember that concrete shouldn’t be used for anything other than extremely deep cracks in the base!