There are a number of ways that potholes can form in asphalt. For example, if you spill gasoline, oil, or some other petroleum product on your driveway, it can eat away at the tar that holds the pebbles in your driveway together. Once this tar is compromised, the pebbles separate, and a pothole is born. While you can prevent potholes from forming by taking precautions not to spill petroleum products on your driveway, you also need to be prepared to deal with potholes when they form. If you do have a pothole, here is how to fix it.
Materials You Will Need
Before you try to repair cracks in your driveway, there are a few things you need to gather first. You will need a shovel, a hoe, a sledgehammer, a chisel, a tamping rod, some clean sand, and patching compound. Make sure you have all of these items close at hand when you start your repair so that you don't waste time going back and forth retrieving items.
Repairing a pothole is not really complicated. As long as you are in good physical shape, you should have no problem completing your repair. Use these steps:
1. Clean out all loose and/or organic material that you find in the pothole.
2. Inspect the underside of the edges of the pothole. If any of these edges are overhanging, use the chisel and sledgehammer to break them off. It is hard to get material under overhanging edges, and even harder to properly compress the material that does get under the edges. Thus, you want to remove the overhangs so that you can make a quality repair. Be sure to clean out any asphalt that falls in the pothole.
3. Fill the pothole about halfway with the clean sand.
4. Tamp the sand with the tamping rod to make sure it is well compacted.
5. Fill the pothole with patching compound until it is within a couple inches of the top and compact with the tamping rod.
6. Fill the pothole with patching compound until it is heaped up an inch or two around the surrounding asphalt.
7. Tamp the compound down until it is even with the surrounding asphalt.
8. If you are having a hard time compacting the compound, place a piece of plywood over the pothole and drive over it with your car several times until the patching compound lies flat.
The hardest part about filling a pothole is using the tamping rod. As long as you have the strength and stamina to lift and slam the tamping rod over and over as you compact your patch, you are ready to repair any potholes you find in your pothole. On the other hand, if you are not up to the task for any reason, you should call in the professionals to make sure that the job is done right.
For more information, contact Northern Asphalt LLC or a similar company.