Asphalt surfaces look best when they are clean and black. That is, any cracks or potholes, no matter how small they are, are going to detract from the aesthetics of your asphalt. Most small cracks are insignificant and don't have any bearing on the structural integrity of the slab. That being said, you'll still want to fix them as soon as possible to prevent the damaged area from growing larger. This article explains how to cheaply and easily fix small asphalt cracks in order to prevent them from growing larger and becoming more significant.
Cold vs. Hot Formula
When it comes to small asphalt crack repair, it is all about finding and fixing the cracks as soon as possible using cold formula, premixed patch. Asphalt patches comes in both cold and hot formulas. Hot formula just means that the patch needs to be heated up to a certain temperature before it can be applied. This obviously isn't practical or necessary in small doses, like when repairing small cracks. Cold formula comes in pre-mixed tubs and can basically just be spread right into the damaged area.
Clean and Prep the Crack
First, you need to thoroughly clean out the crack. If there is any loose asphalt and dirt within the crack, you can use a heavy duty shop vacuum to get it out. You should also pay attention to the depth of the crack as you are cleaning it out. If it appears that the crack goes all the way through the asphalt slab, you might need to use some dirt to fill in the cavity underneath the crack. Otherwise, when you apply the crack filler, it will just sink into the cavity underneath the asphalt, and you will end up wasting a bunch of money.
The only tool you really need to spread the crack filler is a putty knife. However, you might also want to have some protective rubber gloves because asphalt crack filler is very sticky and messy to work with. Some people make the mistake of just filling in the cracked area. In reality, to create a more long-lasting and durable patch, you want to fill in the crack and spread the filler over the top of the asphalt. That is, you create a swath over the crack that is a couple inches wider on each side.
As you can see, the job isn't very difficult, the supplies are affordable, and you don't need to be an expert to patch asphalt. If you continue to have problems or think you cannot do this on your own, contact professional paving companies, such as Virginia Asphalt Services Inc.