DIY Asphalt Crack Filling: Does it Work?

Everywhere you look these days, you find new information on how to do household projects yourself. This goes far beyond the usual DIY projects, such as cleaning a bathtub with baking soda or putting a fresh coat of paint on the bedroom walls. Homeowners are getting more and more daring with the kinds of projects they choose to take on themselves – this in large part due to the deluge of instructional content out there. Even if you want to try building a house without professional help, you’ll find plenty of content out there to help you do it (although this is still not recommended, unless you’re both experienced and ambitious enough to really pull it off).

But there are a whole host of projects that aren’t so dramatic or difficult – yet may or may not be appropriate for the average DIY homeowner. What about repairing cracks in asphalt, for example? This is something that people usually called on professionals to do in the past. These days, however, virtually every hardware and home store sells an array of fillers and projects that you can use yourself to quickly and easily repair cracks in your driveway or walkway. It’s so easy to simply buy one of these products, read the manufacturer’s instructions, and set about repairing your driveway.

The question is, will you achieve a result that’s anywhere near what a professional would do, if you called somebody in?

And the answer is: It really depends on the nature of the problem, the quality of the product you use, and the skill with which you use it. Don’t let asphalt contractors tell you that good quality repairs can never be achieved using DIY methods – this simply isn’t true. There are a lot of great products on the market that can allow homeowners to fill cracks and even patch holes in the asphalt, with decent results.

The problem is, you can’t always determine the extent of the problem when you don’t have experience dealing with structural asphalt problems. There are some cases where the problems literally exist only on the surface, and other cases where the structural problems go deeper, and require more expertise to repair properly. How do you know which is the case with your driveway?

Should you call a professional?

The downside of using DIY methods to repair asphalt cracks is that you don’t really know how serious the problem is or whether your efforts will stand the test of time. In some cases, DIY asphalt filler simply creates the appearance of being repaired –whereas structurally, the cracks and problems continue to grow and expand, even if it isn’t visible to the naked eye. A professional is going to take a deeper look at the problem, and give a clearer understanding of what’s going on structurally. Often times, cracks on the surface of your asphalt are merely symptoms of a deeper issue, often in the base or sub-base layers upon which the asphalt surface has been laid. Being able to properly diagnose these issues, and repair them using established professional techniques, will invariably give you a more dependable result.