How To Patch and Repair A Hole In Your Asphalt Driveway

With time asphalt driveways can become damaged from erosion, high temperature changes like the heat during summer and the cold during the winter, the weight of the vehicles driving on the surface, tree roots. Now when we know what causes them, we must understand how potholes are formed? Please read below.

With damaging over time, small cracks will begin to form on the surface allowing water to go down into the base layer of the driveway. Once the water is in the underlying ground, it will eventually freeze (it expands in cold weather), leading to void under the surface. Eventually with time the surface will collapse forming a pothole. So far, so good, but how to repair these cracks in your asphalt driveway?

The Tools: What you need?

  • Bag of “Asphalt Cold Patch” – It’s a mixture of small aggregate gravel coated with asphalt. This type of product is designed especially for repairing and fixing potholes and cracks in asphalt driveways. Should be available at local home stores)
  • Shovel – For removing the loose pieces.
  • Broom and Dustpan, or if you can afford it, better use a shop vac.
  • Sturdy work gloves
  • Sheet of plywood around 3″ x 3″ used for tamping. You can also buy hand tools for tamping or rent a power tamper.

Some Precautions:

- Note that you must limit the size of the repaired area of approximately 3′×3′ (0.9 × 0.9 m).
- Try to avoid getting asphalt patching material on your hands or clothing.
- Avoid driving on the patched area for at least 24 hours (48 hours in cold weather).
- If you are going to apply asphalt sealer, allow patched hole to cure at least 30 days.

The Process: How to patch a hole in asphalt driveway?

Although a little messy and dirty job, overall process of repairing is pretty simple, easy and straightforward. Below are the exact steps how to patch asphalt driveway.

- Cut the vertical edges around the hole in a square form to provide a clean edge and proper confinement for the patch. For cutting you can use a circular saw with an abrasive masonry blade.

- Use the shovel to remove the loose pieces of asphalt and any loose soil from the damaged area.

- After you’ve removed the loose pieces, use the broom or a shop vac to better clean the hole.

- In order for the repair to be successful, get rid of all the loose gravel in the hole, so the patch can bond well.

- For holes that are on the edge, install edge board to keep the poured asphalt in place.

- Now this is very important: Make sure you pour some crushed limestone or gravel into the hole and tamp it down using a hand tamp. This will be used to form a good base for the asphalt.

- Next step is to fill the hole with the Asphalt Cold Patch repair material. Make sure to fill the hole about half inch above the surface and spread it good and even.

- Tamp the patch down the asphalt repair material.

- Optionally you can cover the patch with plywood, and drive a car over it to help compact the patch.

-  Finally, you can throw some sand or dust over the patched hole, to prevent the patch material stick to your shoes or tires.


As you realize, patching an asphalt driveway can be pretty messy and dirty task. However, the positive side is that you almost certainly have most of the tools you need in your garage and “Asphalt Cold Patch” is readily available for cheap prices around $10 a bag. If you have the time to do it properly by yourself you’ll save yourself some dollars.