Even the smallest holes and cracks in your asphalt surface can become problematic over time. Most people immediately ignore small blemishes because they are hardly noticeable. If left unpatched they can grow to the point that they can only be professionally fixed. The key is definitely to fix small problems as soon as you notice them. The quickest and most convenient type of patch to use is cold formula. This article explains the perks of cold formula patch and how to best use it.
Cold vs. Hot Formula Patch
A cold formula patch is much easier to use than hot formula. When large patches of asphalt are poured, they usually use hot formula. This is generally to be stronger and more consistent for large asphalt slabs. However, this not practical for small cracks and holes. First of all, hot formula needs to be heated and kept a consistent temperature while it is being poured. The logistics of this can be very tricky, if you don't have the right tools. Cold formula patches can basically be mixed and poured at any temperature. You can find premixed patches in large tubs. Or, you can get mixtures that you just need to add water to. Cold formula is obviously the way to go for most jobs.
Pouring the Patch
First, you need to clean the crack you are filling. Remove any weeds growing out of the crack. You don't need to worry about removing all of the dirt from inside the crack, but you do want to level it out and make sure the crack is at least 1" deep. This way enough filler will be able to strongly settle inside the gap. In some cases, you might need to fill in the crack with a little bit of dirt to make it level and not so deep. If you want a cleaner patch job, you should just pour the patch until it reaches the top of the crack. Alternatively, you could pour more filler into the crack until it overflows. Then, using a plastic putty knife or squeegee, you can spread the patch out and flatten it. This usually creates a stronger patch, but looks a lot sloppier. You can try to control the lines by taping off the top of your asphalt before spreading it all over. This works, but you still need to work carefully to make sure there are no edges where the patch can peel up.
If you'd rather a professional handle this task for you, reach out to a company like Arrow Blacktop & Masonry Inc.