Our asphalt driveway has a depression in front of the garage. It's been there since we've owned the house, almost 4 years, so unclear if it was there at construction or developed over the 20 years the PO was there. Could be they parked a heavy vehicle over time. I estimate it's about 5'wide (maybe a little longer) and 1.75" deep at the center.

Anyway, in the winter it creates a nice little ice rink that I'd like to eliminate. Looking for recommendations on how best to accomplish this. Obviously the best thing to do would hire a contractor who does hot mix, but that'd probably cost me a fortune since it's such a tiny job. I can sawcut an edge on it and try cold patch, but I'm not sure how durable a solution that is. Does cold patch (assuming properly installed) stand up to repeated loadings?

  • Get a surveyor to work out the real issue - otherwise whatever patch you apply will fail. Good money after bad... Or to put it clearly you will pay to bodge it then pay to do it properly later.,
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 5, 2023 at 14:37
  • 1
    Your only question seems to be about the durability of cold patch. Of course, that depends mostly on the integrity of the substrate and the actual product. Please revise to ask a more specific question.
    – isherwood
    Jan 5, 2023 at 14:43
  • @SolarMike what's a surveyor gonna do for me?
    – Huesmann
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:22
  • @Huesmann can't remember - so long ago.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:55

2 Answers 2

  1. You'll need a segmented diamond cutting blade for a circular saw such as this one that can cut wet or dry:
    • FYI, a dry cut will produce A LOT of dust and your neighbors might not appreciate that

Avanti Pro - 7 inch Diamond Segmented Blade

  1. You'll need a corded circular saw; battery simply cannot provide power for the duration of a 5' cut. When I tried, a 4aH battery lasted about 3'.

    • You can perform a wet cut IF you plug your circular saw into a known working GFCI outlet. You'll need a slow trickle of water fed directly near the cutting blade to make sure the cutting wheel and substrate always stay wet. A second person is highly advisable.
  2. Cut out the depression

  3. Use a square shovel to scoop out the old asphalt and leave the gravel. Make sure to watch video #1 so that you investigate the root cause.

  4. Apply the cold patch. The cheap bagged stuff is practically garbage. If you can get your hands on some water-activated Aquaphalt then I highly recommend the expenditure.

  5. Tamp the patch per the cold-patch instructions

    • You can also consider rolling your car over the patch a few times to tampen it even better than a hand tamper
  6. Seal it after it cures per the cold-patch instructions

I've recommended these videos before and I'll recommend them again:

  1. How to Repair an Asphalt Pothole | Ask This Old House - this one reveals the underlying problem of a pothole
  2. How to Repair an Asphalt Walkway | This Old House - this one shows the importance of a square cut
  • My plan was to mist the area with a hose during the cut. Won't be attempting this til spring when the hose bibs can be brought out of hibernation. Appreciate the thoughts!
    – Huesmann
    Jan 5, 2023 at 16:01
  • 3
    @Huesmann You can do that as long as you plug in your circular saw into a known working GFCI outlet. A mist won't do much, you need a slow trickle fed directly near the cutting blade to make sure the cutting wheel and substrate always stay wet. A second person is highly advisable.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jan 5, 2023 at 16:21

The problem with the cold patch is that it doesn't hold up if you just layer it on top of existing asphalt. You'll need to dig up the existing surface down to the gravel and then fill it in. Then you'll need to compress it with a heavy roller which you could rent from your home store. Matching the existing surface with the old one will take some effort so the new path doesn't depress lie the old one. The patch and driveway will then need to be sealed probably yearly. Even then, you'll still be able to see the patched area.

  • Don't care about seeing the patched area :)
    – Huesmann
    Jan 5, 2023 at 15:59

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