Do you have asphalt driveway problems like cracks and holes? Don’t fret! Do-it-yourself job it is not difficult, and it gives you years more use from your pavement. Even if you have ignored asphalt maintenance, it takes just a couple of days to get your pavement back in shape and looking great. Here are the five quick steps that pros know and use, and now so will you.

Step 1. Crack Fill – STAT

Pros know that all cracks – no matter how big or how small – is death to your driveway's very foundation base. Here's what you do:

  • Any cracks that are a half inch or less in width can by DIY-filled with cold pour crack filler. You need to pour into the fissure and then smooth it out.
  • For cracks that are over a half inch in width, you will need a hot pour crack fill. You can still do-it-yourself if you have the right asphalt repair equipment to heat the filler adequately. Otherwise, hire a professional with the machines to get the job done.

Tip: Preparation is essential, so make sure to read Pro Step 4 first.

Step 2. Making Potholes History

Don't be embarrassed if you've let asphalt maintenance slip and have unsightly potholes—this is an easy fix, too. You can repair asphalt driveway potholes with a simple and easy-to-use cold asphalt patch. It has come a very long way in its formula and is now an excellent product for a permanent asphalt maintenance repair job.

You have to pour it in, slightly over-filling the area, and tamp it down. You can rent a tamping machine, or if that's a hassle, you can lay down plywood and drive over it with your vehicle.

Reminder: Prep work is hands-down an essential pro tip, so don't skip reading Step 4.

Step 3. Driveway Sealing Is for More Than Looks

Using a driveway sealer is the best way to avoid having to repair asphalt driveway in the first place, and that is something every pro knows about asphalt maintenance. The sealant keeps the asphalt resilient against the elements and traffic.

Use a high-quality airport-grade sealer for the longest-lasting and best protection. Your DIY work here is simple. Clean (see Step 4), pour a little sealer at the top of your driveway, and use a squeegee to apply as thinly as possible.

Why thin? You can always do a second coat if needed, but a single thick layer will not dry properly, and it will just start peeling away in no time!

Tip: Don't forget to block off the driveway to prevent people and cars from walking on your wet blacktop. Did you know pothole patches need to be sealed as well?

Step 4. Cleaning for Success

Pros know you have to clean before you repair asphalt driveway. So, you should too.

  • Sweep or use a gas blower to clear off all dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Use a degreaser cleaner to remove all stains (fuel, oil, diesel, food spills, etc.).
  • Clear any cracks and potholes of loose asphalt chunks, weeds, and debris.

Now any asphalt maintenance and repairs will be a hundred times more successful as they will now be able to adhere properly!

Extra Pro Tip: Any cracks or potholes that are too deep to repair should be topped up with coarse gravel (NOT pea or round gravel) that is firmly tamped down to fix any foundation weakness.

Step 5. Maintaining Is Preventing

What is the secret of the pros to prevent asphalt repair?  The answer is maintenance. For instance, did you know that fuels like gas, oil, and diesel eat away at your driveway? The best asphalt maintenance tip is to use plain old kitty litter to soak up those stains right away.

  • Using a degreaser cleaner on stains 2 or 3 times a year will also protect from this kind of damage.
  • Keep on top of crack filling once or twice a year, and you'll prevent a ton of future damage, like potholes, and eliminate a lot of repair asphalt driveway projects in the future.
  • Finally, know when to add a coat of driveway sealer to keep your blacktop resilient to the elements. How do you know if there's a sealant? Pour some water on your asphalt. If it beads up like on a freshly waxed car, you're good. If not, it's time for a coat of sealer.

Now that you know how professionals tackle pothole repairs and sealing, it's now your turn to get those asphalt cracks filled ASAP. You can repair ½ inch wide ones yourself by using a cold crack filler but don't forget to clean and prep your asphalt first. If not, the patch will not properly adhere. As for more extensive fissures, you can hire a professional with hot pour supply and equipment. Whatever you choose, don't forget about driveway sealing because it prevents damage in the first place.