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I put in a new asphalt driveway a couple of years ago. There is a visible "joint" where they stopped laying asphalt while waiting for a second load to arrive. At this joint a chunk of asphalt has come loose from the surface. So, basically, I have a small irregular chunk missing. It's not large, maybe 2-3 inches wide, and only maybe 1/2-inch deep, at most.

I live in New England, so ice definitely happens. This isn't a crack, which would definitely need sealing, but I do worry that over time ice and vehicle traffic over it will enlarge the chunk.

Do I need to seal it? And if so, with what? It doesn't seem like it's deep enough for cold patch to hold, and I don't know if sealant would accomplish anything.

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You could cut it out deeper for the cold patch to have a place to 'sit' in. – DA01 Nov 8 '11 at 0:37
Yeah, thought about that, but every cut-and-patch I've ever seen with asphalt just gets worse with time. I'd be afraid the cure is worse than the disease. – Carey Gregory Nov 8 '11 at 1:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

First of all, what you describe sounds like job done improperly. Perhaps you can even use the contractor warranty and have it fixed for free.

Asphalt pieces put from different loads will usually have perfect adhesion to each other - the previously put asphalt is still very clean when the newer asphalt is put, so new one will attach to it perfectly as if it was a single piece with almost no joints. Since you see asphalt peeling off there's likely a problem - most likely the asphalt or the base underneath it got dirty and that prevented good adhesion. No good adhesion - prepare for more peeling off as time progresses, especially since you have temperature variations and freezing water.

IMO it's worth cutting asphalt at the flaw spot deep enough and sealing it with a cold patch to prevent further destruction. If destruction progresses along the joint the same should be done along the whole joint.

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