How to Repair a Cracked Driveway

Updated on May 21, 2019
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Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. As of 2/2020, Jack has over 100,000 views.

This article will show you how I repaired my cracked driveway and how you can too.
This article will show you how I repaired my cracked driveway and how you can too.

It has been at least 10 years since I last repaved my asphalt driveway. It is in pretty good condition for the most part. I have resealed it every fall, which has been largely effective. There are a few cracks here and there, but they can be sealed using some driveway patch from Home Depot.

In the winter here in the Northeast, due to snow, ice, rain, and salting, the roadways take a beating. My driveway is no exception. I have some low spots near the road and it needs to be repaired.

So I decided to do some repairs to my cracked driveway. This article will show you how I did it and how you can too.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Materials Needed

  • 8 bags of paver base support (mixture of stone and sand)
  • 1 bag of cold driveway patch
  • 2–6 feet of plastic support strips
  • 1 bag of plastic nails
  • 2–4 gallons of extra duty driveway seal (apply two coats)
  • Paving bricks
  • Pressure-treated wood, 4 x 4 section
  • Thin plywood

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Tools Needed

  • Shovel
  • Hand shovel
  • Hammer
  • Heavy duty ax
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hacksaw
  • Tape measure
  • Flat metal plate

Total Cost of Repairing My Driveway

For an area approximately 20 feet wide by 3 feet deep, the total cost of materials was about $300.

The labor took about one week, adding up to around 20 hours in total.

Photos of My Repairs

Click thumbnail to view full-size

How to Repair a Cracked Driveway

  1. Work on one section at a time. I decided to do a 3-foot section, starting at one edge and using the paving bricks as an end guide.
  2. Install a 2-foot section of the plastic guide using the nails to anchor to the ground. This acts to hold the bricks in place.
  3. Remove the cracked floor one piece at a time using the axe to chisel out the pieces.
  4. Dig up the underlying stone and sand up to 3 inches deep.
  5. Apply about 1 inch of the base support. Pour the cold asphalt over the area and keep it even.
  6. Pound the new surface using a flat metal plate.
  7. Install the 4 x 4 pressure treated wood to create a section. This is temporary support while pounding down the fill.
  8. Place a sheet of plywood over the flattened surface. Drive a car over the plywood to apply pressure. Wait a day for the mixture to settle.
  9. Add more patch on top as needed. Remove the 4 x 4 wood, and add an edge support using the plastic anchor.
  10. Repeat the process for the next section of 3 foot by 3 foot area. It is important to maintain the level of the patch such that it conforms to the surrounding area. You want to avoid a high spot or a low spot, which will attract water.
  11. When the whole strip is done, apply two coats of the driveway sealer. Wait a few days and check for cracks and fill as needed.

Note: Perform this while repair on a sunny hot day to help the settling and to seal the underground pockets of air.

Use your vehicle as a weight source to press down and pack the patch.
Use your vehicle as a weight source to press down and pack the patch.

Additional Repairs...

For some cracks, it is better to seal using a rope. This requires the use of a blow torch. You can buy the rope seal at Home Depot. This will prevent water from seeping into the ground and causing additional damage. Here are some photos...

Example of a Crack

Rope Repair Pli Stix

Blow Torch

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Jack Lee


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