DIY: Pothole Repair

Potholes form when the pavement deteriorates and loose material separates from the rest of the road surface. Water in the pothole causes further cracks and breaks in the road surface and can cause the entire road to fail. Repairing a pothole prevents further deterioration of the road. Although not a good long-term solution, asphalt cold patch is an inexpensive and quick do-it-yourself repair.

What you will need:

  • Asphalt cold patch (available at most home stores)
  • Shovel/Broom/Vacuum
  • Hose with a spray nozzle
  • Emulsified asphalt liquid (optional)
  • 4×4, tamper, trowel or plywood

How to fix a pothole:

It’s best to fix a pothole on a warm dry day.

  1. Remove all loose asphalt from the pothole (you may want to use a shovel, broom or vacuum) so the cold-patch will properly bond.
  2. Dampen the pothole to keep the dust settled (do not soak it, though).
  3. Prime the repair area with emulsified asphalt liquid (optional).
  4. Fill the pothole with 2 inches of cold patch asphalt.
  5. Compact the patch down, starting at the outside. You can use the end of a 4×4, a tamper or a trowel. You can also drive over the patch with your car tire, although this won’t compact the edges.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, until the pothole is completely filled and compacted. The filled pothole should be even with the rest of the pavement.
  7. Throw some sand over your patch so it blends in with your driveway and won’t stick to your shoes or tires.
  8. Your cold patch will need 12-36 hours to cure, and you should not drive on it until after then. If you plan to seal coat, wait 2-5 days.

do-it-yourself asphalt cold patch

As previously mentioned, cold patch asphalt is not a good long-term solution, and you may want to hire a professional paving contractor to replace your pothole repair when time/weather/money permits.

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