Updated: Oct 19
With colder temperatures slowly creeping into the tri-state area, both private driveways and commercial parking lot owners need to consider their surface needs. As your driveway or parking lot ages dry and small cracks appear. These small cracks over time become large potholes if not taken care of in a timely manner. It is extremely important to get these driveway issues fixed before the temperatures hit those chilling lows and worsening the problem and costing you more to repair. Yes, even though driveway repairs and installations can be done in these freezing temperatures, why wait until the weather makes your problems worse? How do those small cracks become large dangerous potholes? One reason why things seem to get worse during these times of colder weather is that, if moisture settles in the cracks or smaller holes and freezes it causes expansion underneath the surface. This causes the blacktop to crack and create wider potholes.
What can be done? There are several different forms of repair that can be done on damaged surfaces. The repair route you take to fix the problem area(s) depends on the existing surface materials and the extent of damage done and if it is a residential driveway or commercial parking lot.
If you are looking to fix spider-web cracks that are not too deep or wide throughout a driveway one can consider crack filling and seal coating. If you would like to read about the benefits of seal coating, please refer to the seal coating article. This fix is one of the least expensive but not recommended for larger potholes.
If your driveway or parking lot is filled with several potholes the route you may be interested in taking is patch and repair. This can also be followed by seal coating the entire area to create a more seamless appearance after patching potholes. The contractors may need to reshape, or key-cut the potholes to create a better working surface for the patch. The contractors will use asphalt to create a patch in each pothole and fill cracks. Once this is completed it all can be sealed for a congruent appearance.
If the damage is far too extensive for minor repairs you have two options, resurface or excavate and install. Resurfacing is exactly what it sounds like. A thin layer of fresh asphalt will be laid over the entire parking lot or driveway, with extra product filling any potholes and cracks that may exist. If the damage that is seen on the surface in question seems to be caused by a poor base, the contractor will recommend excavating and creating a stronger firmer base followed by a fresh new installation.
Always ask for a professional’s opinion on what repair route is best for your exact situation. Fixing these issues before the weather can cause them to worsen will not only save you money on the repair but can also save you the headache of any type of lawsuit that could result from someone falling due to uneven blacktops or potholes.