What Asphalt Patching Involves

Folks paying asphalt paving experts to handle patching work deserve to know what they can expect from the job. If you're looking for a contractor to deal with asphalt patching work, here are three things that are usually necessary for the process. 

Identifying the Damage

Patching a crack is a somewhat different job than filling in a hole. There can also be compound versions of these issues. Due to the differences, asphalt paving experts have to assess the damage before determining how to proceed.


Any crack in an asphalt surface is bad news that's just waiting to get worse. Water tends to get into the cracks and create trouble. In the winter, the water in cracks can turn into ice, expend, and bust the crack open more. Patching a crack is sometimes as simple as filling it with a type of caulk, usually a form of fiber-reinforced asphalt. Wide cracks may have to be filled with a hot asphalt mixture that's frequently used for paving.

In either instance, the crack has to be cleaned of debris. Some very damaged cracks may also have to be carved out to provide smooth walls for the materials to bond with. The goal is to have as little loose material in the crack as possible so the patch will take.


Dealing with a pothole largely magnifies all of the problems that accompany patching a crack. Just like with fixing a crack, the walls of the hole have to be cleaned up so the materials don't get loosened up by junk. What makes the job a bit more involved is that there is a surface at the bottom of the pothole. Depending on how the location was originally paved, there might be a concrete base, dirt, gravel, or sand underneath. An extremely advanced pothole may have gone all the way through the asphalt and base, and it may even start removing some of the underlying soil.

Using asphalt patching once the base has been undermined is usually not advisable. At that point, you'll probably need to start over. However, an emergency patch can be applied if the season isn't right for new work.

If a pothole is patchable, the job requires creating smooth and straight walls and similar work for the bottom. Saws, chisels, and shovels tend to do that part well. A professional will then pour a hot asphalt mixture into the hole, level it off, and compact it.  

Talk to a paving business, such as Azzarelli Paving & Site Development, to learn more.