Asphalt is an inexpensive paving material for a driveway, but it is not maintenance free. Simply due to the normal stresses of using your driveway and the forces of nature that act upon it, a driveway can develop cracks and potholes over time. In order to prolong the life of your driveway and avoid the nasty jolt you get from hitting a pothole, you should repair damage as soon as you become aware of it. While working with asphalt is not light work, it is something you should be able to do on your own.
How to Repair Potholes
When you find a pothole in your driveway, you first need to gather the right materials to make your repair. Luckily, you won't need much: you can find a bucket of asphalt patching compound, a mallet, a chisel, sand, and a tamping rod at most home improvement stores. Once you have gathered your materials, follow these steps:
1. Use a rake and/or trowel to remove all loose and/or organic material from the pothole.
2. Take a mallet and chisel and chip off any sections of your driveway that overhang the depression made by the pothole. You will not be able to properly compact the dirt under these overhangs, so removing them is your best bet.
3. If you have a pothole that is deeper than four inches or so, fill the bottom of the hole with sand. Tamp this sand down before you move on.
4. Fill up the pothole about halfway with patching compound and tamp the compound down.
5. Fill the pothole with compound until it mounds up about an inch around the surrounding asphalt.
6. Tamp the compound down until it is even with the surrounding asphalt. You might need to place a piece of plywood over the patch and drive over it with your car to compact it properly.
As long as you are fit to do some heavy lifting, you should be able to repair potholes on your own. The key thing to remember is that to make a durable patch, you cannot skimp on compacting the compound you use to make the patch. You should also avoid driving over the patch for at least 24 hours in order to give it time to set properly. If your driveway is riddled with potholes, however, or you don't trust your ability to make your own repairs, you should trust the work to professionals, like Phend & Brown.