How to Correctly Caulk Asphalt Pavement Cracks
If you notice cracks forming in your asphalt surface, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible. Cracks allow moisture to penetrate the asphalt and weaken the surface. It’s also common for vegetation to grow in asphalt cracks, and that also contributes to weakening the surface.
If you have numerous cracks, where the asphalt surface begins to look like alligator skin, you probably won’t be able to repair it on your own. If the asphalt has low spots—which are essentially potholes even though they may not look like the full-blown version—you’ll probably need to have the asphalt professionally repaired as well.
But if your asphalt surface has just a few cracks, it is possible to repair it yourself by following these few steps.
- Purchase a good quality asphalt filler product in a hardware or home improvement store. Look for a product that contains as much rubber as you can find.
- Remove vegetation from the asphalt crack. You may need to work on this beforehand by using a weed killer a few times until the vegetation is completely gone. If you leave any vegetation behind, it will just grow back through the repaired crack.
- Using either a leaf blower or a pressure washer, clean all debris out of the crack. If you use a pressure washer, make sure to let the crack completely dry before filling it.
- Apply the crack filler using a caulking gun. It’s best to do this on a warm, sunny day. Fill the crack until the filler is flush with the surface of the asphalt, then use a putty knife to smooth the surface if need be. If the filler shrinks after a while (and it may), just repeat the process, adding cracker filler until it’s flush with the surface of the asphalt.
- Don’t walk or drive on the surface for several hours or overnight.
Take your time in cleaning the crack. Making sure that all vegetation and debris is removed is the most important step in correctly caulking cracks in asphalt.
(photo credit: Kayli Harden)