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DIY Guide: How To Repair Alligator Cracks

There are different types of pavement problems that you may encounter in this lifetime. You will see some pavements with pot holes, sink holes, spiderweb cracks, and others. One of the most common types of asphalt problem is alligator cracking. You will know your pavement has alligator cracking if you see cracks that are similar to that on the back of a gator. Some would describe it as looking like spider web cracks. If your pavement is showing this type of problem, you should not freak out. Besides calling for professional help to resolve this issue, you can take the DIY route and fix the problem yourself.

The Materials

You will need three ingredients for this process. You will need an alligator asphalt patch, an asphalt sealcoat sealer, and an asphalt squeegee. If an asphalt squeegee is not available, you can always use an asphalt brush. Once you have filled the patches with an alligator patch, you will need to seal it for added protection.

  • Alligator Patch. This is very similar to cold pour crack fillers that you can buy at DIY stores. The difference is that this material has more solid ingredients that get harder when it dries comparing to cold pour crack fillers. This makes this type of patch filler suitable for alligator cracks. You can easily find alligator asphalt patch at DIY stores or lumber stores.
  • Asphalt Squeegees. Squeegees can be used for different purposes, and one of its uses is for patching alligator cracks. This can also be used for applying a sealcoat over your asphalt pavement. When you go to the store to buy one, you will find different varieties of this product. The size of an asphalt squeegee starts from 24 inches. For faster work, you may need something that is bigger than two feet. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can use the smallest asphalt squeegee as it will do the same job as the bigger ones.
  • Asphalt Sealcoat Sealer. This can be bought at different hardware stores. There are different types of driveway sealer that you can choose from. You can either use a coal tar emulsion sealer, asphalt emulsion, oil-based sealer, fast-dry sealer, or acrylic sealer. No matter what sealer you use, you just have to make sure that you’ve done your research and have determined which one best suits your needs.

How Much Alligator Patch Do You Need?

To make sure that you are buying enough or more than enough alligator patch, make sure that you did some serious measurements before you hit the store. You should not need more than one 5-gallon of alligator patch where one gallon can cover a 20 square feet of alligator cracking. Again, it is important to take measurements before you hit the store so you can properly estimate the amount of alligator patch that you need to cover every crack that you have on your pavement.

Repairing

You just need to follow four simple steps to patch alligator cracks on your pavement.

  1. In the middle of the repair area, you can pour a general amount of alligator patch to cover the entire area.
  2. Use the squeegee to spread the patch leaving a layer of an eighth of an inch or a fourth of an inch of alligator patch.
  3. You can pour more alligator patch when you need to.
  4. To balance the entire area, you can spread more alligator patch outside the repair area thinning it out to the areas where there are no cracks to achieve a natural look.

When this is done, you just have to wait until the patch is dry. This can take several hours depending on how thick and deep the patch is. You will know when the patch is dry if it is already hard.

DIY: Beginners Guide in Repairing Asphalt Cracks

asphalt crack repairHave your driveways paved yet? Congratulations! You just made your driving experience way better than driving on a dirt road leading to your garage. However, as the years go by, asphalts do get exposed to different weather conditions that would create cracks and pot holes. This is one of the most common problems that homeowners face with their asphalt driveways. The good thing is that you can repair the cracks yourself. With this DIY guide, you will be able to repair the cracks in your driveway at a lesser cost than calling the professionals. If you have the time to do it yourself, why not, right?

Cleaning

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that everything is smooth and clean. To do this, you have to remove broken pieces of asphalt in your driveway. You can use a hammer for this purpose. The next thing you need to do is remove any debris trapped inside the cracks. You also need to pull out weeds that have grown inside it. If smaller debris is still trapped inside, you can use a compressed air gun to remove them. However, if the said equipment is not available, you can always improvise. The most important thing here is that the cracks are made ready for the filling process. Once the cleaning is done, you are now ready to fill in the gaps.

Filling

You may find yourself facing different kinds of cracks after the cleaning is done. Either, you will have smaller cracks or larger cracks.

Smaller cracks (lesser than half an inch in depth) can be patched using Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC). Follow the mixing instructions that came with the RAC that you just bought. Make use of a caulking gun or any squeezable plastic bottle to apply the RAC into the cracks. You also have the option to pour the mix directly in the absence of these materials. After filling in the cracks, make sure that everything is smooth. You can use any material that you can grab your hands onto to smoothen the surface of the cracks.  The RAC may come at a higher price compared to its alternatives. However, they are proven to last longer and it is environmentally friendly. IN addition, using this filling material would reduce road noise up to 80%. Which can be a good thing, especially when you are living in a quiet neighborhood.

For larger cracks, you can use cold asphalt to fill the gaps. However, before doing so, you may need to provide a good enough base for the asphalt to fit in. You can use small gravel to provide the base inside the cracks. Fill the crack up to two-inches and then compact the gravel using a tamper or any equivalent. You should be ready to fill the gaps with the cold asphalt. After filling the cracks, you have to make sure that everything is leveled to have a consistent look and feel in your driveway. You don’t want to drive on an uneven driveway, do you?

Once all the fillings are complete, you may need to avoid running over the cracks that you just filled for a week or so. The top of the filling will dry faster compared to the fillings inside. Driving over the freshly filled cracks may prevent air from going in, thus tampering the hardening process.