Potholes can be found all over the place, especially this time of year as New England transitions from winter to spring. This particular form of asphalt damage is a nuisance in more ways than one – potholes diminish a property’s curb appeal, put vehicles and pedestrians at risk, and facilitate further pavement deterioration if neglected. Fortunately, most cracks and holes found in your pavement are easy to repair via cutting and patching. This approach involves removing the damaged section of pavement and filling it with fresh asphalt. As with any asphalt repair, however, proper technique is key if you want seamless, long-lasting results
Let’s go over the right way to cut and patch asphalt, step by step.
The Best Way to Cut and Patch Asphalt
Clean Up the Area
Every pavement repair project should start the same way: by first clearing away any dirt and debris surrounding the area you’ll be working on. Doing so will improve visibility and also reduce the risk of injury by preventing saw blades from getting caught on rocks and pebbles.
Mark and Score the Section You’ll Cut
If you’ve ever repaired a section of drywall before, this step should be familiar. You want your cut to be intentional and as even as possible. Therefore, it helps to first trace out the area you plan on cutting, making sure the zone is wide enough so you end up cutting a sturdy section that reaches beyond the damage itself. Be sure to square the edges, too, as this will result in a more manageable repair. Once you’ve marked the asphalt, perforate the lines with a screwdriver and hammer so guide the blade in the following step.
Properly Cut the Area
Now, it’s time to cut the scored section of asphalt. It’s imperative that you use the right tools for the job. Asphalt is tough, but it’s softer than other surface materials like concrete, granite, and marble. As such, you’ll want to use a hard-bonded diamond blade to cleanly cut through its layers. Adjust your blade to the proper depth level and cut in straight lines, never turning the saw while the blade is running (this runs the risk of breaking it).
Clear the Debris
Once the asphalt has been cut, you’ll be left with a rectangular hole that’s filled with asphalt and other debris. Remove the damaged material and debris so you’re left with a clean hole. Patching potholes in asphalt isn’t possible until you perform this step. You’ll also want to make sure the area is completely dry before moving on to the patching process.
Fill the Hole with Fresh Asphalt Material
Now that you’re facing a dry and clean-cut hole in your pavement, it’s finally time to perform the asphalt patch repair. Simply fill the entire hole with fresh paving material, making sure to pour the mix against the edges rather than in the center. Fill the hole with enough material to slightly spill over the ledge – it’s better to provide too much asphalt than risk not having enough.
Compact the Material for a Smooth, Even Surface
Smooth the whole thing over by compacting the material. Pinch the edges and repeat the compacting process until the new asphalt is perfectly sealed and level with the rest of the surface. From there, do a final sweep of any remaining debris and allow the patch enough time to dry before walking or driving over it.
Patching Things Up This Spring
There are many ways to restore pavement to its former glory. When performed properly, cutting and patching are one of the fastest and most cost-effective methods for fixing potholes and larger cracks in your parking lot, driveway, or roadway. Cassidy Paving offers all types of asphalt repairs for commercial and residential properties alike. Call us today at 866-978-9788 to receive a free estimate on your next asphalt project.