Pothole Repair: How You Can Save Money

pothole repair methods to save money

If you are driving along the road and hit a bump, you have just hit a pothole. They are prominent during the winter and rains and destroy the perfect landscape. It doesn't matter if you have seen the potholes on a parking lot or a driveway; they are a menace to the society, especially for people who drive. If a pothole is not fixed the first time correctly, the area is likely to collapse again. As the saying goes, if you want something done well, do it yourself.

This will save your money, safeguard your property, and ensure peace of mind.

Table of Contents

What's The Rush? 

Repairing an asphalt pothole is an easy task if you do it before snow and ice begin. Doing so, you can avoid further damages to your driveway or parking area. Fixing potholes on time indeed prevents and keeps them from spreading, causing further damage. You may save costly repairs for the spring season.

Firstly, if you try to remove the snow using a plow or a shovel, it is hazardous. These tools can get attached to the edges and tear out more chunks of pothole’s asphalt. It will also damage your shovels, plows, and other tools! Furthermore, if you leave these craters unfixed, they can damage any vehicle that passes over it. Potholes are also dangerous to pedestrians walking in that area.

After the snow, you would notice the severe damages caused by repeated cycles of freezing and thawing once the weather is warmer. Most people don’t realize that even the solid foundation of your blacktop can be eroded by the running melt-water, and that results in holes. The freeze-thaw cycles also expand and widen the chuckholes and cracks, leading to further damage. The entire winter is perhaps spent in repeat cycle freezing blacktop and expanding crack. Then it thaws, and the foundation erodes.

Well, there is excellent news for you! It's never too late. You can use cold patch for asphalt pothole repair at any temperature and in any weather conditions. Once you are done reading you will be able to fix chuckholes like a professional quickly and efficiently.

Repairing Pothole on Your Own (DIY)

Choosing to do the repairs by hand is a minor step towards some savings in renovations. You must use the products that are correct as well as suitable for your needs. For example, you might have to repair your house's driveway. So, a cold asphalt filler such as the Cold Asphalt Patch will be the best product for pothole repair methods. If potholes are a common occurrence on your asphalt, a resealable tub of permanent pothole patch can be used whenever you want.

Cold Asphalt Patch is super easy, even if you are doing the repairs for the first time. You don’t need any special equipment to use cold asphalt fillers. Hence, they are the most economical for minor repairs.

If you have business with ample space and parking, perhaps you own a larger property with a large asphalt surface. It’s common to see higher traffic in these areas. Such a surface will possibly require the hot asphalt patching technique. You will require added equipment like a melter, an applicator, and a hot box. You must gain some practice before handling the hot asphalt if you are taking up the responsibility to repair the pothole. You might be aware that the asphalt is liquefied at extremely high temperatures. So, it is a very risky task. Hence, only professionals are recommended to use hot asphalt for the job.

Using the Pothole Patch Properly

If you have decided to repair the potholes yourself and buy the needed and compatible products, it's essential to think about saving. If you follow all the necessary steps without any mishaps, you will achieve a durable surface as the result that will stay for a more extended period. If you don't follow the required steps and procedures, despite using the top-class materials to repair the pothole, all your efforts will be wasted.

1. Prepare the Patch Area

You must aim to achieve the quality, exterior looks, and permanency of the finished project before you get the area prepared. First, use a hammer and chisel, or large screwdriver or asphalt saw to remove any cracked asphalt pieces around the edges. This will prepare the area for the repair that lasts longer.

2. Clean the Hole

Take away all the removable pavement chunks, unwanted plants, and debris. You can look for an air compressor, leaf blower, or a shop-vac to get rid of these small pieces if they are stuck in the hole. You can also pick or pluck this debris using your hands. You probably should have a bucket handy to toss the larger pieces in it and then throw them away. Once you clean the hole, sweep the whole area. This will prevent dirt from entering the work area, including weeds!

3. Fix the Base

Fill the crater or the hole with coarse gravel and sand. Leave one or two inches hole. DO NOT use round or pea gravel. Firmly tamp as you go.

Important Note: For the foundation, firmly tamp the sand mixture as a replacement for gravel that was washed away. Otherwise, it will cause some pits or look as it has sunken down in the repaired pothole.

4. Add Cold Asphalt Patch

Empty the right quantity of asphalt pothole repair cold patch into the hole that you need to repair. Don’t forget to mound it. You can also flip the bag or bucket into the pit, or scoop it into the hole with the help of a shovel. Ensure the patch reaches to every corner of the hole.

5. Tamping the Patch Area

If you don't have a tamping machine, you can compress the cold patch by placing plywood on the filled/repaired pothole and drive over it. If you have a hand tamper or a vibrating plate, you can use that as well to compact the patch and remove any air or liquid from the repaired spot.

6. Allow Curing Time

The newly repaired pothole will take about 3 hours to dry and become as hard as a rock.

Sealcoating to seal in the pothole repair

Bonus Step: Sealcoating

Lastly, remember to seal coat the repaired pothole six to eight months after you have patched it. Both hot and cold patches will last longer if you finish them with seal coating. You must wait until the weather is dry and warm enough. Then apply a coat of blacktop sealer.

Sealcoating will make sure that the pothole repair method you have just finished will last for years, which means you will have more savings and fewer repair costs.

Essential Tools for Pothole Repair

If you own a property or manage one, you know that you will deal with wear and tear often caused by the traffic than the average driveway. Hence, potholes repairs are a regular thing. Hence, there’s a need to learn to fix a pothole faster to save time and money. Here are a few upgrades you can keep handy:

  • Concrete Saw – is useful for doing short work of squaring the edges
  • Heat Lance – is used for clearing out debris. It can also kill vegetation like weeds quickly with ease.
  • Vibrating Plate – is used to tamp the surface after pouring the cold or hot asphalt.  This makes sure the patch is firm and compacted.

Vibrating Plate

For a professional result of your DIY pothole repairs, you must own a Vibrating Plate Compactor. Unlike the hand tamping, this tool vibrates and compacts the material to ensure superior compaction. You will not receive the same outcome with a hand tamper. Also, it is much quicker than hand tamping.

Vibrating Plate Compactor is a perfect tool if you consider investing in an Asphalt Reclaimer Hot Box to maintain asphalt throughout the year. Additionally, it works very well with Cold Patch as well for simple repair jobs.

Asphalt repair professionals cannot work alone; they must work as a pair. They make more profits in one day’s work than the other professional earns in one week. They offer this crucial service to residential driveway owners, parking lot owners, and also property management companies.

Asphalt Hot Boxes

Most places, including townships, are in constant demand to fix the potholes in the shortest time frames, and learn to fix them, without sparing quality. Using hot asphalt is better than using a multitude of cold patch bags. However, there’s a trick. In order to keep the hot asphalt hot, and avoid the repair mix becoming cold and hard, you need a hot box. The hot box will help in keeping the asphalt mix hot, thus saving your crew’s time.

Fixing the potholes has very straightforward instructions with similar results and benefits. When your pavement lasts longer, it will ensure the safety of the people and vehicles. So, first, you have to clear debris and square up the edges. Pour coarse gravel in the crater or pothole. Then, fill it with cold or hot asphalt. Before tamping, you have to mound the repair area slightly. If you figure out your needs and condition of the asphalt, you would know what tools you need for pothole repair. Always have a hammer, chisel, cold patch, and plywood handy if you are the homeowner. If you are a professional asphalt maintenance contractor, a hot box, vibrating plate, and heat lance are the recommended tools of the trade.

There you go! You have just learned how to fill a pothole with the right equipment.


Have questions about your pothole repair project? Call our experts toll-free at (855) 554-4386 or use the form below to get free expert advice.

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