Asphalt Crack Preperation Mistakes To Avoid

If you notice cracks all across the surface of your asphalt driveway, then it may be time to start thinking about scheduling a service for a replacement. If you do not want to spend the money right away, then you can try to extend the life of your driveway by simply filling in as many cracks as you can. The fix, along with the placement of a sealer, can help the asphalt stay strong for at least another year or two. However, you will need to prepare the cracks properly before you can add a crack filler. You will want to avoid some preparation mistakes in the process. Keep reading to learn about a few.

Cleaning With a Pressure Washer

It is advisable to thoroughly clean the surface of your driveway to make sure that the filling compound can secure to the old asphalt properly. This is necessary to create a solid and cured repair that does not shrink or pull away from the asphalt. You also will need to release loose asphalt so the filler material has a solid structure to adhere to. To remove debris and loose asphalt, you may decide to use your pressure washer. Unfortunately, this is likely to force water into the crack and down into the substrate underneath the asphalt. Once the filler is secured, the water can make its way back up through the asphalt. This can weaken the repair, soften the filler, and lead to alligator cracks forming in the future.

To avoid issues with the filler, use a hose and some dish soap to clean the debris out of the crack. If you notice loose asphalt in the crack, then use a wire brush to gently remove it. Wait about 24 hours after cleaning the crack area before adding the filler. This will allow the area to dry completely. 

Creating A Deep Crack

If you are too aggressive about cleaning out the asphalt cracks, then you may create a fairly deep opening in the driveway. Many crack fillers are meant for use on shallow openings though. This allows the filler to cure fairly quickly. Also, since crack filler is not as strong as the asphalt of your driveway, filling a smaller area will help to retain the integrity of the driveway overall.

If you notice that the cracks that you will be filling are a few inches deep, then you should place a material on the bottom of each deep crack to give the damaged area some extra strength. Sand is a good material to use and so is a backer rod. A backer rod is a foam product that is meant to fill in spaces like openings along an asphalt driveway. The asphalt crack filler can then be used over the top of the sand or backer rod. Contact a company like Gopher State Sealcoat for more information.