Asphalt is bound to crack over time. Small cracks are usually not very consequential or hard to fix. In fact, they could be purely cosmetic. But, if they are left along for too long, they might grow as the edges are ground down or chipped away. Basically, cracks will grow larger if they are not patched. In some cases it is easiest to patch your won cracks, but you might need to leave it to the pros.
When to Fix Your Own Cracks
Very often, homeowners can fix their own cracks. The top layer of asphalt will frequently crack. This is actually very normal. Cracking can be cause by soil settling, impact, and tree roots under the slab. Usually, these small cracks can be effectively filled with over-the-counter products and tools that you probably already have in your toolbox. For instance, asphalt patch is sold at most home improvement stores. It is convenient and easy to use because it comes in premixed, resealable tubs.
In addition to the patch, you will also need a putty knife, painter's tape, and protective gloves. There is a good chance that you might already own all of these things, the project ends up being very cost effective. The actual process is not too demanding. If you have ever patched wood or concrete, you will have no problem working with asphalt patch.
When to Let Pros Do Your Job
If you have a crack that penetrates all the way through your asphalt slab, you should immediately call in an asphalt repair expert. If you can see through to the dirt underneath your asphalt slab, using a over-the-counter patch isn't really going to do anything. This is not a project you want to undertake because it can be dangerous. If you asphalt is improperly repaired, it could be a breach of the building code that could have repercussion with insurance.
Hiring a professional asphalt repairman will ensure that your asphalt is properly repaired in the long term. However, if your crack is just thin, and only seems to be a couple of inches deep, you can probably fill it yourself.
In the end, asphalt repair is simple and affordable, but only if it is actually tenable for your slab. If your cracks are small and only on the top of the surface, you should feel confident that asphalt patch will work fine. If your slab is cracked through, it is a job that you should hire asphalt patching professionals for.