Shared Knowledge

"Asphalt Driveway Repair - How to Repair Cracks"

25 January 2013


Summary: use Pli-Stix, which is a coil of rubber that you lay into crack and melt with a propane torch. Do not use any product that simply pours into crack as it will not hold.



I have 150 foot long X 8 feet wide driveway with additional 40 foot wide X 10 feet deep parking area.

Was resurfaced in 1990.

Was hot sealed in 1990.

In 2012, large tree right beside driveway was blown over in storm and driveway severely turn apart.

Also had cracks here and there caused by tree roots.

As driveway level with garage, top layer would have to be removed to re-asphalt and estimated cost for removal and new top layer was $10,000.


Asphalt driveway crack repair:

Buy a roll of Pli-Stix asphalt rubber. This comes in several sizes, diameters, but either small or medium should work for you.

Buy a pair of work gloves. Asphalt is messy. A cheap pair ($3 or $4) will work.

If you do not own a propane torch of the type that has a head on a hose that connects to the propane cylinder, buy one. Propane torches do not like to burn properly when the cylinder is tipped downward towards the torch head. A torch head on hose allows you to focus the torch heat on the Pli-stix rubber. Use a bucket, any old bucket, to hold the propane torch cylinder vertical while you use the torch head pointing down.

Buy a cheap set of wood chisels.

Now using a ordinary nailing-type hammer and a chisel, chip along the crack on either side, making the edge of the crack a little wider.

Now take Pli-Stix and cut off a piece that will fit neatly into crack. The Pli-Stix package suggests you hammer the strip you cut into the crack but I did not find this to work very well, so lay Pli-Stix into crack.

Now light propane torch and begin to heat Pli-Stix. You will quickly learn how much heat is required to begin to melt Pli-Stick rubber and completely melt rubber into crack.

Once Pli-Stix melted fully into crack. Turn off torch and let Pli-Stick rubber cool.

One nice aspect of Pli-Stix is that you can re-heat, melt it, again any time.

Now depending on how wide and deep crack, cut off another strip/piece of Pli-Stick, lay in crack, fire up torch and melt more rubber into crack.

Do not expect to get a perfect fill meaning the Pli-Stick rubber is perfectly level with surrounding asphalt but you will be able to see how the Pli-Stix sealed the crack and this seal will hold up for you.

If you wish to, you can now take cold-tamp asphalt and apply to top of crack and using a heavy hammer, pound new asphalt into Pli-Stix rubber. I have done this as not all that fond of Pli-Stix black rubber strips here and there in driveway but up to you. Cold tamping asphalt does take some time and effort, even on small cracks.



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