Fixing potholes in an asphalt or concrete driveway might seem hard, but it’s not. Even better, it does not require exotic equipment.
For this post, we take a break from the ongoing pothole battle in the streets to discuss a problem that is completely under your control, the potholes in your driveway.
A do-it-yourself advice website called Lifehacker.com recently fielded a question from a homeowner who wants to do his own home repairs. The questioner realized he wasn’t a professional, so he acknowledged there are some things best left to the professionals – such as the most risky to health (electrical, asbestos removal, gas appliances) or home (electrical, plumbing and load bearing walls).
Not discussed on the website is driveway repairs – particularly ones where asphalt pavement has gone the way of the pothole. While some homeowners may just throw in the towel and have an entirely new driveway put in, there is a far less expensive method that is both easy and fast – requiring as little as 15 minutes.
The driveway repair method of choice, even for the DIY newbie, is to use a polymer-modified cold asphalt in a bag. We recommend the brand EZ Street asphalt, which offers a permanent driveway repair. The steps involved are pretty simple:
- Clean – If there is loose debris or excessive dust in the pothole, sweep it out. But, standing water in the pothole is of no concern. The EZ Street material attaches to solid surrounding pavement regardless of whether it’s wet or dry. EZ Street asphalt simply displaces the water.
- Fill – The cold asphalt comes loose in its tough plastic bag, easily pouring into cracks, crevices and potholes. If the hole is deeper than four inches, start with one “lift” (a layer) of two inches, then add one or more liftson top. There is no mixing or application of a tack coat required. This product is ready to use right out of the bag.
- Compact – With a hand tamp(or even just the weight of a car tire) you need to compact the material to fix it into place. If the compressed pothole fill is slightly above the regular pavement you know it’s just right.
That’s pretty much how it works. Note that no hot and smelly equipment is required. And because EZ Street cold mix is sold in 35 and 50 pound bags through True Value and a few other hardware store chains, just about anyone can handle the project without needing special equipment.
Important to note, the repairs are as permanent as the pavement around it. You won’t need to go back and fix the hole again in a year or two. Unlike cheaper pothole repairs done on city streets and highways, this is a premium quality material using polymer-modified technology. It is often used in utility cuts, overlays and edge repairs made by commercial property managers and municipalities – when they value longer-term, cost-efficient solutions.
Once people use EZ Street cold asphalt for the first time, they discover other applications such as sidewalk repairs. While most sidewalks and many driveways are made with concrete, EZ Street cold asphalt adheres to cracks and holes in that material just as well.
Lifehacker.com provides a checklist of questions to ask when tackling a home improvement project. They include:
- Do you know the steps you’ll need to take? (see above)
- Do you have the tools? (a broom, a shovel and a tamp device or car)
- Does this require skill? (not really – but watch this pothole repair video just to be sure)
We’ll add one more question: Would you rather spend thousands of dollars on a new driveway, or just a few dollars for a 35 pound bag of pothole repair material?