Tips To Fill In Asphalt Driveway Cracks

If you want to schedule an asphalt driveway sealing at some point this year, then you may need to do some prep work before the paving professionals arrive. Preparation often includes the filling of small cracks that form on the surface of your driveway. If you want to fix cracks in a way that the repair will remain intact, keep reading to learn about a few repair tips.

Fill Openings In Spring Or Fall

Many people will choose to have asphalt driveways installed because the materials used are flexible. Flexibility allows the asphalt to contract in the summer when the weather is hot and constrict in the winter as the temperatures cool off. Flexibility also allows water to flow underneath the asphalt without cracks forming. Since the asphalt flexes and moves in relation to the weather, the crack openings will appear larger in the summer and smaller in the winter. If you fill the asphalt damage in the summer, then the cold weather will cause the filler material to compress a great deal. If you fill in the winter, the cracks will open wider when the weather becomes warm again.

It is wise to fill cracks when they are average sized during the fall or spring. However, make sure you time the repair so spring rain and fall frost do not affect the filler material. Both of these things can damage your repair.

Use Hot Filler

If you notice asphalt cracks in your driveway surface that are a wide variety of sizes and depths, then opt for a hot-pour filler over a cold-pour variety. Cold crack fillers tend to shrink as they cure, and this will cause the material to pull up or away from deep and wide cracks. Hot-pour crack fillers are also more flexible than cold options. This means that the filler can compress and contract a small amount during temperature and season changes.

If you decide to use hot filler materials, then you will need to heat the asphalt material to a high temperature before it is forced into the cracks. You will need to rent an asphalt crack sealer machine for this purpose. The machine heats up the rubberized material and dispenses it out a small nozzle to fill each crack. Once the cracks are filled, you can use either a putty knife or a squeegee tool to smooth out the filler. Smoothing will need to be completed fairly quickly though, because the crack filler will start to cure as soon as it begins to cool.  

For more information, contact First Water Contracting LLC or a similar company.