If you have an asphalt driveway that has developed a pothole, then you want a quick fix. You don't want the damage to spread, and you don't want to have to drive over the hole any longer.
While you may think that you can simply buy an asphalt mix and fill the pothole with it, this isn't the best way to go. If you don't prepare the area correctly first, then the filler won't provide a long-term solution.
What do you need to do to get the hole ready for filling?
Clean the Pothole Out
Your pothole is likely to contain some debris. There'll be bits of asphalt in there that have broken off as the surface collapsed. If the hole has been there for a while, it could also contain general dirt, dust and even some water.
If you leave debris in there, the filler asphalt won't necessarily fill the hole tightly or bond to its surroundings. So, clean the hole out.
Once you have got rid of the main bits in the hole, work around the edges to pull out loose or broken parts. You need a sound surface to bond with the filler.
It's also worth giving it a final wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of dust and small pieces of dirt. Make sure that the hole is dry before you move on to the next stage.
Add Some Tack to the Hole
While you can just pour asphalt into the hole and level it out now, the filler may not be able to bond securely with the base and the asphalt around it. If this happens, you'll have gaps or cracks in the repaired hole that will let in moisture and water. Eventually, you'll see more damage in the area.
It helps if you put a layer of tack on the surfaces before you fill the hole. This material acts like a kind of glue. It helps the filler bind tightly to the existing asphalt. You get a closer bond and better fit.
At this stage, you're ready to fill the pothole and compact it down. While this kind of DIY solution can work, bear in mind that you may not get a perfect fix if you haven't done this kind of job before. It's also harder to successfully fill deep or wide potholes.
If you want a professional repair, it makes sense to call out a pothole asphalt repair service. They can prepare the area and fill the hole professionally.