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Asphalt Patching

Asphalt PatchingAsphalt patching is the most cost-effective way to protect your asphalt surface and foundation. By repairing potholes you get an instant improvement in looks and safety while protecting against further damage and erosion to your pavement. You save a bucket-load of money by repairing over repaving, both short-term and long-term.

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Table of Contents:

  1. When Do Potholes Form?
  2. Asphalt Cracks
  3. About Asphalt Patching
  4. Where To Begin
  5. Steps For How To Patch Asphalt Professionally
  6. Finishing The Pothole Patching
  7. Patching Techniques
  8. Hot Patching
  9. Cold Patching
  10. Asphalt Welding
  11. Sealcoating

When Do Potholes Form?

Asphalt MaintenanceAlthough potholes can develop in any weather, they seem to happen more frequently during the winter months after a period of snow or ice. They can show up quickly and often times seem to spread like an epidemic across an otherwise smooth driveway. This is why it's essential to have the right materials on hand for fast repairs. The best product for pothole repair is cold mix asphalt that contains a polymer adhesive that allows for permanent repairs.

Unlike hot asphalt which is used only by professional contractors, asphalt cold patch is easy to use and can be applied under any weather condition. The material cures as is exposed to air and hardens quickly. Most experts recommend that the ideal thickness of asphalt cold patches should be approximately two inches. If potholes are deeper, they should be filled first with angular crushed gravel then patched with the cold mix asphalt.

Asphalt Cracks

Liquid Crackfiller
A liquid crack filler is a fast and easy product to use on asphalt cracks.

Of course, asphalt cracks go hand-in-hand with potholes. This is why it's also important to have an excellent commercial quality asphalt crack filler on hand along with asphalt cold patch. The product is easy to use and dries in less than an hour. It's as simple as pouring it directly into a crack and smoothing it. Leading asphalt maintenance product and equipment supply company, Asphalt Kingdom offers cold pour driveway crack filler at the lowest price.

Like potholes, driveway cracks can escalate the erosion of your asphalt along with being potential tripping hazards. Cracks that are not filled can allow water to penetrate into the asphalt. When this water freezes, it expands; creating even larger cracks, as well as potholes and chuckholes. Asphalt crack filler along with asphalt cold patch is the best way to stop the cycle of decay and deterioration.

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About Asphalt Patching

how to patch asphalt Generally speaking, a cold asphalt filler or patch is advised for non-commercial repair jobs. A cold filler, such as the Cold Asphalt Patch, offers several advantages over hot asphalt filler.

First of all, virtually anyone can use it. This is ideal for homeowners who prefer to do their own repair jobs. A hot asphalt filler has to be handled carefully. Unlike the cold patch fillers, only professionals trained in asphalt or road repair have the experience in handling the filler since it is applied at very high temperatures. If it is your very first time to tackle this type of repair job, you will not be having a hard time with the cold filler.

If you use the hot filler, you will also have to buy the equipment that will melt the filler and apply it evenly on the asphalt surface you are repairing. Aside from the technical expertise in using it, the cost of one makes it impractical for non-commercial use. Unlike the hot asphalt filler, cold patch types of fillers do not require additional equipment. Unless you have a lot of neighbors or belong to a neighborhood association that will enable you to split the cost, the cost of this equipment is not justified because it will only be used once a year or every few years.

New to asphalt patching?  Take our free homeowner's course and find out exactly the steps you need to take to do it right the first time.

Cold Asphalt Patch

Knowing how to patch asphalt on your property will help you maintain your pavement for years. It’s simple to do – just follow along step-by-step. Not only will you save the expense of hiring a contractor, you will have the freedom to deal with the pothole patching at a time that suits you and your parking needs. Besides, it is always best to fill a pothole ASAP, rather than waiting until you have enough damage to make it worth hiring a professional.

If you are seeing puddles in your driveway, cold asphalt is the perfect choice to fix your driveway, by filling those puddle-makers and so protecting the suspension of your car. Winter has a knack for taking small cracks in the pavement and turning them into potholes. There's no need to throw your hands up or get a new driveway, cold patch asphalt will fix the damage and restore it. Why take the risk of leaving it and ruining your car's suspension hitting that hole every day?

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Patching 101

The asphalt patch is the simple answer for how to fix a pothole, but there is so much more you need to know before moving forward with your repair. Cold versus hot asphalt patch is always the next question, and that leads to the question of do it yourself or hire a pro? And did you know you can do better than a road crew can at fixing potholes? Let's take the mystery out of repairing holes in your blacktop and take a look at exactly what you need to know.

DIY Driveway Patch Or Hire A Pro?

Cold asphalt patch is incredibly easy to work with – anyone can do it. And so if you decide on that to patch your driveway you are ready to go.

Hot asphalt needs to be kept hot & handled with care, so most definitely hire a pro.

Cold Or Hot: Which Way Should You Go?

Common wisdom says that hot asphalt is a better and longer-lasting repair. That is a bit old-fashioned, and ignores how good the modern cold driveway patch has become. Here's the way you should really look at this question. Are you willing to pay a pro to apply hot asphalt?

Frankly, the average DIY'er does not have the equipment to keep this type of driveway repair hot, and working with hot asphalt can be dangerous. A cold asphalt patch is the very next best thing to use to patch a driveway.

While you're thinking about it, ask yourself: how big a repair is this? Calling in a pro just to fix a 3-inch wide pothole may not be cost effective. However, if you've got a large section of damage, compromises to the grade of the driveway (either in bulges or in depression), or multiple potholes, it may be worth your while to get in the professionals.

Where To Begin

The first step to knowing how to patch asphalt is to analyze the area and get your supplies together. This way when it comes time to do the pothole patching of your blacktop, you have everything you need to complete the job.

Weather And Temperature Conditions

Thanks to new modern formulas for cold asphalt patch, you can fill a pothole in any temperature and weather. This is a real positive: you can fix the hole immediately, before it gets worse (and it will!).

Assess The Foundation

3"+ Asphalt
4"+ Compacted Gravel
Subsoil

All types of pavement are poured onto a foundation of compacted gravel that’s at least 4 inches deep. This gives support to the actual blacktop surface. Any time you need to tackle pothole patching, you need to repair any damage to the foundation. Plus, this will save on how much cold patch you need to use. Take a look and see how much coarse gravel and sand you need to replace what’s been lost. It can not be stressed enough how important this is as part of how to patch asphalt successfully.

Measure The Damage

To fill a pothole with a long-lasting repair, it’s best if you square the edges of the hole. To calculate how much cold patch you will need, take the longest part by the widest and multiply. You should assume leaving an inch of depth after topping up the foundation. So, a 2 foot by 2 foot hole will end up being 4 feet square, and you’ll need one 50 lb bag of cold patch. Remember; it’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Supplies Needed To Fill A Pothole

Knowing how to patch asphalt requires you to have certain tools and supplies at hand. You can’t stop partway through pothole patching to run out and get what you need, so make sure you’re all set to go.

Asphalt and Concrete Saw Cold Asphalt Patch AK Vibrating Plate Asphalt Sealer Bucket - 5 Gallon Pail
  • Coarse Gravel / Sand Mix – Have enough to top up the hole so it’s only an inch deep. Never use pea or round gravel as it rolls and shifts and will crack the repair.
  • Asphalt / Concrete Saw (or Hammer and Chisel) – To square the edges and remove damaged pavement before you begin pothole patching. Be smart and have a spare blade for the saw.
  • Shovel
  • Cold Asphalt Patch – One 50 lb bag will fill a pothole that’s 4 square feet and 1 inch thick.
  • Vibrating Plate or lawn roller or plywood - for tamping
  • Asphalt Sealcoat
  • Brush Or Roller

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Steps For How To Patch Asphalt Professionally

Have you ever thought to yourself that with how often pothole patching in roads fails, that you can’t possibly do better? The opposite is true. Road crews don’t have the time to do the job properly: they get in, fill, and get out. On the other hand, you have the time to fill a pothole the right way, so it’s long-lasting and professional. Once you have all the supplies at hand, everything will go very smoothly with your repair. Here are the 4 steps to how to patch asphalt.

Cut Edges And Square Up

Chisel off the cracked parts around a potholeThe asphalt around a pothole is usually cracked and about to make the hole even bigger, so you need to remove the damaged pavement with an asphalt saw or a hammer and chisel (long screwdrivers make great chisels). Also, pothole patching lasts the longest when you fill a square or rectangle instead of a round or oval hole, so make the edges of the pothole straight up and down. This is where an asphalt saw makes easy work of the job!

Clean

Part of knowing how to patch asphalt is to thoroughly clean out the area. This includes any and all plant life. If the roots don’t come out cleanly, pour in some vinegar to completely kill the plant and make sure it doesn’t grow through the patch. Remove any and all debris, including the chunks of asphalt you just cut or chiselled out. Go as far down as you need to so you have an absolutely solid base. A stiff broom will help get debris out.

Repair Foundation

Before pothole patching, you must restore the foundation. Top up the hole with a coarse gravel and sand mix until it is only an inch deep. You can also use any loose asphalt that you chiseled out of the pothole. Tamp and compress firmly as you fill. To fill a pothole professionally, it must have a solid base to sit on.

Fill

For most residential pothole patching concerns, cold asphalt filler is the best material to use. Cold asphalt mix is cheaper, easier to apply, and does not require specialized equipment and skills that is necessary when working with hot asphalt. Add a half to a full inch of driveway patch product—we recommend the Asphalt Kingdom Cold Patch—and tamp down before adding another layer. This will help ensure no air spaces that will cause problems later. The last layer should slightly overfill.

Slightly overfill with the cold patch.
Cold patch 1" deep

The rest of the pothole should be an aggregate mix of gravel and sand

Tamping Down

how to tamp potholesHere is where the vibrating plate helps for the finishing of the pothole patching. How to patch asphalt if you don’t have a tamping machine? A lawn roller or metal tamper will work just fine. Or you can just lay a piece of plywood over the repair and drive over it. You can oil the bottom side of the plywood to prevent sticking.

How To Patch Asphalt: Troubleshooting

To fill a pothole professionally, you must make it level with the surrounding pavement. If after tamping down the cold patch, it is still not filling the hole, add some more and tamp again. Work quickly—this stuff sets quickly and dries hard.

Finishing The Pothole Patching

Anyone can fill a pothole, as you can clearly see, but there are still two steps left for knowing how to patch asphalt so it will last.

Sealcoat

sealcoatAll too often property managers and home owners skip this crucial step, and it sure doesn’t take long for the hole to reappear. Cold patch, just like all asphalt, is not sealed when installed. Unsealed, the patch will be exposed to the elements and become dry and brittle. After 4 hours the patch has cured and can be sealed. However, sealcoating does need proper weather conditions; you’ll need 50ºF temperatures, and dry weather.

If you do any pothole patching in winter, wait until the spring weather is warm and dry. Brush or roll on a thin coat of seal coat, and allow it to dry completely. Repeat with a second coat. That’s how to patch asphalt like a pro!

Linestripe

linestripeHome owners can obviously skip this finishing step for how to fill a pothole (unless you’ve painted a basketball court on your driveway)!

Property managers need to finish their parking lot with painting any missing parts of the line striping. Just as with seal coating, the weather must be warm and dry. If the pothole patching has been done where a line or other marking is, you must paint the area. No need to pull out the line striping machine: use straight edges of cardboard, or the correct stencil, and an aerosol can of traffic paint to touch up the line markings.

Complete Pothole Repair

Knowing how to patch asphalt isn’t complicated and you can fill a pothole any time of year. Doing the work right away, rather than waiting until you have enough damage to make it worth a contractor’s time, will add years to the life of your asphalt. Plus, the know-how lets you get the job done at a time best suited for you and your parking area.

Analyze the damage, and get your equipment and supplies together. Make sure you have enough gravel sand mix to replenish the foundation, as well as ordering enough cold patch to complete the pothole patching. Having everything near to hand is the most important step in how to patch asphalt. To fill a pothole professionally, remember these steps:

  • Cut or chisel out all the damaged blacktop, and square your hole, leaving only straight, clean edges.
  • Clean out all plant matter, debris, and broken asphalt from the area.
  • Top up the foundation with a coarse gravel/sand mix until there is only 1 inch of depth left to fill a pothole.
  • Fill with cold asphalt patch firmly and quickly until slightly over-filled.
  • Tamp down firmly.
  • Sealcoat
  • Linestripe

This definitive guide gives you all the information you need to complete professional-looking and long-lasting pothole patching repairs. Road crews never have the time to cut edges or sealcoat and that’s why when they fill a pothole it always comes back. You know how to patch asphalt the right way, so wait no longer, get out there and start measuring your potholes.

Asphalt Patching Techniques

pothole patchingSurface patching is the most popular residential patching. An asphalt glue is added to the patch area and hot asphalt is applied directly on top of the pre-existing asphalt surface. It is more inexpensive to do it this way compared to cutting out and replacing asphalt areas.

Removal & Replacement Asphalt Patching is a more permanent and more costly method of repairing deteriorated asphalt. This is not always necessary unless the problem is due to base failure (asphalt foundation). In this case removal is required in order to properly compact and prepare the base. This kind of patching is used quite often in highly trafficked zones. All edges of the repair area should be cleaned for best tacking results. Try to make the edges straight and even. Once the decayed asphalt has been removed, the base should be leveled and compacted. The new fresh asphalt patch is then applied in two layers, both about 1 and a half inches thick, compacting each layer for a more stable, permanent patch.

Hot Asphalt Patching

We recommend that an asphalt specialist provide this service for residential home owners, if you are intending to patch with hot asphalt. It is extremely hot and can burn your skin. It also takes some skill to work the hot asphalt with a rake. It needs to be leveled and has to be the right thickness. Asphalt patching contractors usually carry hot asphalt in an asphalt hot box. A hot asphalt box is insulated and heated to keep the asphalt mix hot. This allows asphalt contractors and large property owner to work with the asphalt in it's hot workable form. Without an asphalt hot box, the asphalt would cool too quickly and turn to a solid form.

AK8000 4-Ton Hot Box

We carry a four ton asphalt hot box that does a wonderful job keeping asphalt hot and allows for easy asphalt patching.

Hot Asphalt is a long lasting durable product, made from rock, sand, tar & Bitumen. It is extremely hot when it is first applied so that it can fit and be worked into the repair area. As the Hot asphalt cools it hardens and becomes extremely solid. It takes approximately 24 hours for a hot asphalt patch to harden and be safe to drive on.

Cold Asphalt Patching Application

Cold Asphalt Patch

Anyone can use cold patch, and the new Asphalt Kingdom Rapid Set Cold Asphalt Patch is even easier than most products on the market today. Cold Asphalt Patch can be applied under all weather conditions. It has superior adhesion to wet or dry surfaces. Remove any loose material from the pothole and fill it with Cold Asphalt Patch using a shovel. The pothole can then be compacted with a shovel, a hand tamper, vibratory tamper, or truck tires. Irrespective of the compaction method, the patched area should be immediately opened to vehicular traffic as it will not kick up, push, or ravel.

The best way to prolong the service life of your driveway doesn't just depend on using the best materials during its construction. It is also very much dependent on undertaking repairs as quickly as they are needed. Over time, normal wear and tear will naturally result in the formation of cracks and potholes. These are easily remedied but it is often the case that these cracks and potholes become wider because homeowners keep on putting off doing the repairs.

No More Excuses

Fix a pothole no matter the weather
You no longer have to wait for good weather to fix potholes

Not knowing how to repair potholes or waiting for good weather are the common excuses made by most people. A product called asphalt cold patching has made it possible to set aside those excuses. It can be used right after it rains even as there is still water inside the pothole. This material will fill up all spaces in the pothole and displace the water.

It has made the whole process of repairing potholes and wide cracks on the road so uncomplicated that virtually anyone can do it. Unlike the conventional way of repairing a damaged driveway, where the hot asphalt material requires specialized equipment and the skill to use it, with a cold patch you don't even need to be an avid DIY person. All you need is the repair material, and some simple tools that you likely already have in your garage. Finally you need to follow simple instructions.

With the asphalt cold patch method of repairing wide cracks and potholes on your driveway, you don't have to wait for the perfect weather either. There is no better time to repair any damage on your driveway than the present. Not attending to them right away will just increase the risk of expanding the damage, and the resulting repair costs, on your driveway.

What is Cold Patch

Cold patch is made up of a specialized formulation of asphalt polymers that can be used in any weather condition. You can apply it right after it has rained as the asphalt cold patch formulation makes it possible to be poured even in potholes that are filled with water. What you have to make sure of though is that the pothole or wide crack should be free of dirt, soil, rocks, plant material, and other loose debris.

The cold asphalt material is made up of polymer-modified asphalt that is basically hot asphalt that has been cooled. It is pliable when in the container, making it easy to pour and spread out. It is also quick-acting as it dries quickly and becomes rock hard in as fast as three hours, which means you don't have to wait long for the driveway or asphalt surface to be ready for use again.

 

Benefits of AK Cold Patch

Makers of this pothole filler assure that people can expect the same performance as hot asphalt when it comes to durability. Cold mix asphalt will blend with the pavement or driveway as they are of the same material. It will even prevent further breaking or cracking of the areas surrounding the potholes when it blends with the existing asphalt.

During compaction, cold mix asphalt will remove all the liquid out of the hole. Since repairing potholes as soon as they form is essential so that road damage will not worsen, this feature does help prevent further widening of the pothole because you can do repairs in any weather.

Can compact with your tires Using this product for pothole repairs also eliminates some steps and necessary materials, which translate to savings not just in cost but also in the amount of time spent doing the repairs. With the cold asphalt filler, the steps involved in blacktop pothole repair are reduced to basically three stages: cleaning, applying the cold mix asphalt, and compacting or tamping.

Unlike using hot asphalt, you won't be using any specialized equipment such as a hot box or an applicator. Using a tack coat prior to applying the asphalt mix is also not necessary anymore. Basically all you really need to repair a pothole is just the cold asphalt filler.

Other additional beneficial features include less waste produced during the repair process and no health concerns with regards to inhalation of fumes, which is usually the case with hot asphalt mix. Indeed, it is not just easy but also cost-effective for homeowners when they use cold mix asphalt to have the repairs on their blacktop driveways completely under their control.

In addition to asphalt, the cold patch fillers, particularly the Cold Asphalt Patch can also be used on concrete, steel, wood, and other hard surfaces.

Asphalt Welding

Asphalt Welding: You can earn $5 to $7 per linear foot. As a sealcoating contractor you will come across driveways and parking lots that have patches or ridges that are a bit of an eye sore. You may also see residential driveways that have been affected when the city came through and repaved the roads.

Asphalt welding is a process where you take a propane powered tiger torch and heat the patch seam (around the edges) for about 3 to 4 linear feet along the seam and then rework the asphalt with an asphalt rake and blend the edges of the patch seam into to main body of the surface. Once you have spread the asphalt around on the edge making it uniform you can then use a steel hand tamper or a vibrating plate to tamp the asphalt back down to a solid form.

It's important that you don't burn the asphalt during this process. You do not want a direct flame touching the asphalt at anytime as this will burn the tar and bitumine out of the asphalt leaving it fragile and exposed to cracking. You will know that you're burning the asphalt if it starts turning a grayish white color. The goal is to heat the asphalt to blackish oily color so it can be worked with a rake and then tamped.

You can set yourself up for this service for under $1500 and we carry all the equipment that you'll need to get this job done right. Call one of our specialists about asphalt welding and get advice on the best tools and equipment to get setup. We will also be happy to train you via telephone so that you can start earning on your first asphalt repair job.

Take a look at our vibrating plate to help make tamping asphalt or concrete pothole filler a breeze.

You can also take a look at our AK4000 Hot Asphalt Box.

Sealcoating

sealcoat drivewayAsphalt surfaces should be sealed with a commercial grade coal tar sealer to prevent asphalt patching and decay.

The tools you need in sealcoating are just as simple and easily acquired. You will need something to stir the seal coat material with and a squeegee or floor broom to apply it. Before applying the sealcoat, which is preferably done a couple of days after the repair to allow the asphalt filler to cure, you also have to clean the area first with a broom or a high-pressure sprayer if you have one.

With user-friendly products like the Cold Asphalt Patch, it is now easy for property owners to maintain their asphalt surfaces. While this product is durable and is guaranteed to last long, it is still best to apply sealcoating afterward. Applying sealer will make the asphalt patch flexible. Without sealcoating, asphalt surfaces will oxidize, crack, and crumble. This final step in the patching process will also provide protection, which is essential since asphalt surfaces are exposed to the elements 24 hours every day.

This protection will definitely extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway patch, especially if your area experiences extreme weather changes that happen regularly. Apart from extending the lifespan of your driveway, the bigger picture shows how much savings you will be able to achieve. Maintaining the good condition of an asphalt driveway is very important.

Sealcoating provides professional results
Sealcoat after your asphalt repairs to make your parking lot or driveway last longer!

With improper or lack of maintenance, the asphalt will easily deteriorate, and further down the road you will have to undertake removal and replacement of the asphalt. Compared to the simple process and low cost of the Cold Asphalt Patch, removal and replacement requires professional help, which can be very expensive. Aside from the savings from sealcoating your asphalt driveway patch, the bigger picture here would be that you will maintain or even increase the value of your property if you plan to sell in the future, especially since the asphalt driveway is one of the first things that buyers see.


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Ideally, sealcoating is done a year after the asphalt has been installed, and every two to four years after that for maintenance. If parts of the asphalt surface start to appear lighter or have white patches even before that time span, this is an indication that the surface already needs to be sealcoated. In the case of an asphalt driveway patch usually applied to repair potholes, wait 24 to 48 hours for the patch to cure before applying the sealcoat.

Sealcoating to protect asphaltThere is no excuse for not doing this maintenance procedure for your asphalt driveways since you can do this job yourself. You just need to invest in the right tools and know the proper steps. Usually, sealcoating an entire driveway or lot will need a sealcoating sprayer for easier and faster application. The sprayer also has the added advantage of being able to apply an even layer of sealer. If you need to sealcoat just a small-sized asphalt driveway patch after repairing a pothole, you can do so by hand using a squeegee.

There are several things to keep in mind when sealcoating. If you are using a spray system, you have to cover non-asphalt surfaces that you don't want to have sealer splatter on. It is also important to clean the asphalt surface thoroughly before applying the sealer. If applying by hand, you can add traction by mixing in some sand to the sealcoat product. For best results, apply two coats of sealer. Allow the first coat to dry for at least 12 hours before applying the second and final sealcoat to the asphalt driveway patch.

Consider The Business Opportunities

Asphalt patching is a great business opportunity for asphalt contractors looking for an additional income stream.

Home owners, business owners and countries spend millions of dollars every year to repair asphalt cracks and repair potholes. It is more cost effective to repair asphalt surfaces rather then re-paving.

The same goes for driveways. It is much more cost effective to patch compared to replacing your whole driveway...

Need Help?

Do you have specific questions about your asphalt driveway? The experts at Asphalt Kingdom are happy to answer them for you. Call toll free 1-866-399-5562 for free expert advice or send us an e-mail. You'll be provided with information you need to successfully care for your driveway.

AsphaltKingdom also carries a full range of asphalt maintenance products and sealcoating equipment for all of your asphalt maintenance needs.

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