“I thought I’d save money on lumber by building my house with popsicle sticks.”
I’m sorry, what?
If you’re going to cut corners to save your budget, swap your daily Starbucks for homemade coffee. Skip the salon and have your sister trim your hair.
But for the love of Pete – DO NOT accept low-quality materials for projects that need to stand up to the elements!
That goes for home renovations, picking a spouse, buying a car, and paving roads.
Asphalt repair may not be the most exciting topic in the world, but doing the research and getting the right materials will save you enormous amounts of money and hassle years down the line.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself to get your asphalt repair project right the first time:
How Much Traffic Will Your Road Be Getting?
Asphalt is comprised of three things: aggregates, binder, and filler.
Different aggregates will determine how much traffic the asphalt can handle over time. Depending on the project, you can choose sand, rock, or different textures of gravel.
If you plan on selling your home in a couple years and need some fast asphalt repair in the driveway, reclaimed asphalt pavement as your aggregate might be just fine.
If you’re replacing a much larger driveway that needs to stand up to heavy use or inclement weather, you’ll need to invest in stronger stone aggregate materials accordingly.
When and Where Will the Asphalt Repair Happen?
There are many mixes of asphalt to choose from, but the most common mixes are hot, warm, and cold. This is referring to binder temperature before mixing in fillers and aggregates.
Binder temperature will greatly affect the viscosity of your asphalt as it’s laid down, and how long you have to work with it before it hardens.
For example, hot mix asphalt (HMA) “tends to cool quickly so it cannot be transported for excessive distances before being used in paving projects,” according to Dirk Braen, of Braen Stone in New Jersey.
That’s probably why HMA is the most commonly used type of asphalt in the US; low viscosity and fast cooling time make it easier to pave large stretches of road.
But if you’re only patching up a small pothole, a couple bags of cold mix or Driveway mix might be just fine.
What Texture Surface Does Your Road Need?
Do you need sealants to protect against heavy rain?
Do you need to paint parking lines?
Do you need tools to pack your asphalt flat by hand, or make careful edges where the pavement meets a building?
The right tools matter just as much as the right mix materials!
You’re going to need brushes, brooms, a leaf blower, and a hose or pressure washer to thoroughly clean away dust or debris.
(Any debris will prevent new layers of material from bonding properly with your pre-existing surface.)
You need to pick the right sealant, and use either a squeegee or spray machine for proper application.
(Don’t worry. You can Click Here to buy all the tools you’re going to need in one place.)
Putting It All Together
Remember, putting in due diligence now will save your money and time years from now!
Before buying materials for your asphalt repair, you need to know…
- Total surface area to be repaired
- How many years/how much use it should stand
- How much time and space you will have to do the repair
- What the surface needs to look like when finished
…so that you can purchase the right: