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Managing and maintaining an asphalt parking lot or road can be difficult—especially when your asphalt surface is constantly used by thousands of heavy vehicles year after year. As vehicles drive over your asphalt surface and environmental issues chip away at your asphalt's sealant, cracks and potholes will form and make it difficult or even dangerous for vehicles to navigate your lot or road. To ensure that vehicles can drive over your asphalt surface without risking damage to their tires, fill and seal your potholes by following these steps.
Before you begin working with asphalt fillers, sealants, or degreasers, you should wear the proper safety gear. Protective goggles, thick jeans, closed-toe shoes, work gloves, and a long-sleeve shirt will provide sufficient protection for the job.
Clean The Area
To begin the process of repairing your pothole, remove any weeds, dirt, and oil stains in the area you're going to fill and seal. If these materials are left in place, they can continue to damage your asphalt surface even after you apply your sealant. For example, oil will continue to soak into your asphalt and separate the lower layers of your lot or road. Although pulling weeds and brushing out dirt from your pothole are fairly straightforward tasks, cleaning away oil spills and other stubborn contaminants can prove to be quite difficult.
To thoroughly clean your asphalt surface, you'll need a pressure washer (a garden hose with a restrictive nozzle will work as well), degreaser, mild detergent, and a push broom. Cover any oil stains with your degreaser and let it soak into the asphalt for a couple minutes. Once the degreaser has been given time to lift any oils from your surface, blast it away with your washer or hose.
You can remove dirt, loose gravel, and other contaminants by pouring a thin layer of detergent over the area and spraying away the contaminants and detergent with your hose or washer. Brush away any standing water or remaining debris with your push broom before performing the next step.
Apply an Asphalt Filler
The size and depth of your pothole will determine the way in which you must fill it.
If your pothole is only a couple inches deep, then you can pour your filler into the pothole and use a tamper to compress the filler until it's slightly above the surface surrounding the pothole.
However, if your pothole is several inches deep, then you'll need to perform additional steps. If you fill a deep pothole the same way as a shallow pothole, then another hole will form in the near future as a result of poor compression.
To properly fill a deep pothole, you'll need to measure its depth. If it's deeper than the rest of your asphalt surface, then pour an even layer of gravel into the hole until the top of the gravel is flush with the bottom of your asphalt surface.
Next, pour an inch of filler over the gravel and compress it with a tamper. Repeat this step until your compressed filler sits partially above the asphalt surrounding your pothole. By filling your deep pothole this way, you can provide even compression—which will significantly reduce the likelihood of another pothole forming in the same spot anytime soon.
Although it's not necessary, you can apply an asphalt crack sealer to the edges of your compressed filler. By doing so, you can keep your asphalt surface as level as possible.
Give your asphalt filler time to cure before continuing the repair process. Read the information on your filler's packaging to determine the proper cure time.
Spread Your Sealant
After your filler has cured, you'll need to seal it to prevent water, dirt, and other contaminants from damaging the filler and ruining your hard work.
To ensure that your layer of sealant is consistent, stir your bucket of filler for five to ten minutes prior to use. Once your sealer is thoroughly mixed, pour a small amount of sealant over your filler. Use an asphalt brush or squeegee to spread your sealant evenly over your filler.
To ensure a smooth finish, spread your sealer in opposite directions, and then spread a second layer of sealant in the alternate opposite directions. For example, if you spread your first layer east and west, then your second layer should be spread north and south. Once your sealant has cured (which typically takes 24-48 hours), you can drive over the repaired section of asphalt without fear of ruining your repair job.
If you encounter any trouble while cleaning, filling, or sealing your pothole, then click here for more info on the process or contact a professional asphalt contractor or company to finish the job for you. If you perform any of these steps incorrectly, your repair job may not stand the test of time.Share