If your home's asphalt driveway has developed a pothole, then it is important that you know how to repair it using the correct techniques. Without properly repairing the pothole, it will expand and lead to further damage to the driveway's surface.
Follow these do's and don'ts when you repair your asphalt driveway:
Do remove any degraded asphalt from the pothole using a concrete chisel and a hammer. Always break out the asphalt back into the healthy material rather than just removing the loose chunks from the hole. Patching against healthy asphalt ensures a high-quality repair that will last for many years.
Don't neglect to completely clean out the dirt and broken asphalt from the pothole area before you apply the asphalt patch material. Dirt and loose asphalt pieces will lead to adherence problems when you repair the driveway's damage. This will cause the pothole to reappear and will require that you patch it once again.
Do use a hand tamping tool to compact the asphalt patching material into the pothole area. Fill the hole with an excess of material and then tamp it down into place using a strong downward motion. Keep adding patch material and tamping the area until the new asphalt is at the same grade level as the rest of your driveway for a seamless repair.
Don't use a plate compactor to repair a pothole because it can cause cracks and damage to the surrounding driveway surface. Instead, use a hand tamping tool and then finish the compaction using your vehicle and a sheet of scrap plywood.
Do put down a scrap sheet of plywood over the area that you fixed and then drive over it with your car to further compact down the asphalt patch. The weight of your vehicle will pack down the asphalt patch like a steam roller did when the driveway was first installed. If the asphalt patch dips down after you repeatedly drive across the board, then you need to add more asphalt patch and repeat the process.
Don't patch asphalt without applying a quality sealant on its top layer. Asphalt sealants work to keep the weather from damaging your driveway's surface. In fact, if it has been a couple years since your driveway was professionally sealed, then after you patch a pothole is a good time to have an asphalt contractor (contact local professionals such as One Stop Construction Resources for further assistance) come out and seal the entire driveway to prevent future potholes from forming.