It's very common in the summer for your asphalt to expand. However, when the first frost hits during the fall, your expanded asphalt will become brittle and rapidly contract. This will cause cracks to form in your pavement. This can be very frustrating because it will drastically reduce the lifespan of your pavement unless you do something about them. Luckily, repairing small asphalt cracks is a quick and easy task that most people can complete in an afternoon. Follow these steps to keep your pavement maintained.
1. Clean the Cracks
First, make sure that the cracks are completely clean. Most of the asphalt fillers will work best if they cling to asphalt, not to grass or dirt. Take your hose and run the water parallel to the crack, forcing all of the debris out. Gather the debris and put it to the side, in an area where it won't accidentally be swept back into the cracks. Continue until every crack is clean. Then, wait until the water dries. If any of the debris has been packed in and cannot be removed by flushing it with a hose, loosen it first using a wire brush or a screwdriver.
2. Prepare the Asphalt Filler
You can purchase asphalt crack filling at any hardware store. It will usually come in a bottle with a nozzle that will make it easy to force into the small cracks. Shake the bottle vigorously in order to make sure that the aggregate and the adhesives are mixed well.
3. Start Filling the Crack
Start filling the crack using the nozzle at the top of the bottle. If there is no nozzle, insert a small, flat-bladed knife into the bottle and remove some of the filler. Apply a layer of the filler parallel to the length of the crack. Continue filling the crack until you can't see it anymore. It is acceptable for some of the filler to overlap pavement that is not cracked because it will provide a stronger adhesive, even if it isn't as aesthetically pleasing.
4. Smooth the Filler
Take the flat bladed knife and use it to smooth the filler so that it is not higher than the surrounding pavement.
5. Allow the Filler to Dry
Wait for the filler to dry for 24 hours, or however long is needed. This information will be on the bottle. Cover the area with a tarp if it rains.
For larger cracks, hire a professional paving company in order to make sure that your pavement is secure.