Keeping your driveway in good repair can be challenging since it's normal for asphalt to deteriorate and crack due to exposure to the weather, sun damage, and age. You can buy crack filler at a home improvement store and fill in small cracks yourself, but when cracks get large, you may need to call a paving company to fill the cracks with hot or cold patching materials. Here's a look at how a paving company applies crack filler to repair your driveway.

Crack Filler Is Used On Straight Cracks

Before the contractor starts work, they check the type of damage your driveway has. Straight cracks are the best type to fill with crack filler. Alligator cracks that look circular often develop due to problems under the base of your driveway. Alligator cracks may require different types of repair than using crack filler.

Your Contractor Has A Choice In Fillers

There are different types of crack fillers. They go on in different ways and some take longer to dry than others. Some fillers are heated so they go on hot while others go on cold. Your contractor chooses the right type for the job and then starts by cleaning weeds and dirt out of the cracks. The filler adheres much better if the crack is as clean as possible.

The filler is then put in the crack and the top of the crack is smoothed over so there isn't a bump when the filler dries. You'll need to stay off the area until the filler has dried completely. The contractor lets you know how long you need to wait.

Having cracks filled is an important part of driveway maintenance because cracks tend to get bigger, and they may even turn into potholes. If left alone, cracks can even allow water to drain down to the base and shift the soil. This leads to other problems, such as alligator cracking that is more difficult to repair.

Why Crack Filler May Not Work On Alligator Cracks

If a shifting base or other major problems are the cause of alligator cracks, using crack filler may just cover up a bigger problem. The contractor might recommend removing the asphalt in the affected area and then fixing the base before pouring new hot asphalt on the surface.

If your driveway has cracks and you're thinking of having them filled in, call a paving contractor for an evaluation. Crack filler is usually applied during certain times of the year under dry conditions in an ideal temperature range for the best results.

Contact a company like Specialty Construction Supply to learn more.