facebook How to Repair or Seal an Asphalt Driveway How to Repair or Seal an Asphalt Driveway
Select Page

How to Repair or Seal an Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt driveways can show their age over time, drying out, cracking, and giving way to potholes. In this article, you’ll find expert advice for quickly and easily fixing driveway cracks, repairing potholes, and sealing the surface.

tools for asphalt driveway repair©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

For cracks, have asphalt repair compound, a weeding tool, gloves, and a broom.

How to Fix Asphalt Driveway Cracks

1 Sweep loose dirt and debris out of the crack. Then, using a caulking gun, apply a compound formulated for asphalt repair according to the label directions. Buy asphalt repair products on Amazon.


repair asphalt driveway cracks©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Clean and fill small cracks with asphalt repair compound  in a caulking gun.


2 Then press the repair compound deeply into the groove with an old putty knife. Sprinkle a little sand on top of the repair to keep it from sticking to tires or shoes.

As an alternative, you can buy self-adhesive polypropylene rubberized fabric, sold in rolled strips, that you just cut, peel, and stick over a crack or small hole. Self-adhesive asphalt repair fabric is sold on Amazon.

How to Fix Asphalt Driveway Holes

To repair asphalt driveway holes and large cracks, sweep or suction out dirt using a shop vacuum, and then fill in the gaps with cold-process asphalt-repair compound that is sold in large, 60-pound plastic bags. Before you begin the repair work, lay the bag down in direct sunlight if possible to allow it warm.

©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Allow the bag of asphalt repair compound to warm in the sun.


1 Use a broom or stiff brush to sweep out the cracks. If you have a shop vacuum, use it to vacuum up loose dirt and debris.

repair asphalt driveway pothole sweep©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Sweep out loose gravel and dirt.


2 Coat the surface of the hole with asphalt emulsion repair compound, available at home improvement centers or on Amazon.

repair asphalt driveway pothole emulsion©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Coat the hole with asphalt emulsion.


3 Use a bagged cold-process asphalt repair mix to patch holes and large cracks.

repair asphalt driveway mix©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Using a shovel, fill the hole with cold-process asphalt repair compound.

Following the directions on the label break the bag open and fill the hole, slightly mounding the compound up above the surface of the driveway so it has room to settle when it’s full tamped down.

Then tamp the mix solidly into the hole. Finally, sprinkle a little sand on top.


Asphalt Driveway Repair Video

Don Vandervort shows you how to fix asphalt driveway cracks and potholes in this video:

How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway

One way to extend an asphalt driveway’s life span and to improve the appearance of lusterless, washed-out blacktop is to seal coat it with an asphalt-driveway sealant. As moisture penetrates cracks, then freezes and thaws, cracks grow and allow more water in.

The problem grows. At the same time, sunlight fades and dries the asphalt, making it brittle. Seal coating a driveway is like painting or staining siding—it helps block damaging sunlight and seals-out moisture.

It also helps a driveway to repel gasoline and oil, which disintegrate the asphalt. One gallon covers about 80 square feet, but be sure to check the actual coverage listed on the can.

1 Pull any weeds and sweep the surface.


2 Use a cold-mix asphalt patch to fill holes or wide cracks, and remove stains, as discussed above.


3 Sweep again, then hose off the surface.


4 Apply the sealer according to label directions on a fairly warm day. Normally, you do this while the driveway is still wet. Allow the sealer to cure and avoid using the driveway for 24 hours.


Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Asphalt Driveway Contractor

About Don Vandervort
Author Image
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

Join the Conversation