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Blacktop Crack Filler

Blacktop Crack Filler

Blacktop crack filler - Here's the crack during step one of the repair process. I've injected the crack with a special epoxy that works even if the blacktop is wet. The next step is to press the magic stones and sand into the epoxy to disguise it. Look at after photo below. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

The best blacktop crack filler is epoxy. You embed stones and sand in the fresh epoxy to completely hide the crack.

Blacktop Crack Filler - Use Epoxy and Small Stones

pc concrete epoxy

This is a wonderful blacktop repair epoxy. I've used it with great results. CLICK THE IMAGE TO ORDER IT NOW.

DEAR TIM: I've struggled for years trying everything to permanently fill aggravating cracks in blacktop. The magic caulks sold at the big boxes have provided me with dismal results.

The worst part is no matter what I try, sometimes the repair looks worse than the actual crack. The repair material stands out like a sore thumb.

Have you had any luck fixing blacktop cracks so you can't see them? Do the repairs last? What magic secrets can you share about the process? Kathy Z., Mills River, NC

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DEAR KATHY: I used to struggle with blacktop crack repairs too. When I was in college I started a house painting business with a good friend.

One homeowner asked us while we were painting her house if we could seal her blacktop driveway. Never having done it before, we said "Yes" and figured it couldn't be that hard.

What is the Worst Blacktop Crack Filler?

The worst blacktop crack filler is a mixture of sand and blacktop sealer.

The drive had some cracks so we just mixed up some sand with the liquid blacktop sealer and poured that into the cracks. While the sealer job came out great, the crack-filling experiment ended in a dismal failure.

Over the years, I've tried many different products looking for the Holy Grail of crack fillers. It just so happens I believe I may have found it.

Why Do Crack Repairs Look Bad?

The crack repair looks bad in most cases because the repair doesn't match the color and texture of the adjacent blacktop.

I know what you mean about the repair looking worse than the crack. When a new blacktop drive is installed, it's jet black. This is because each piece of stone and sand in the mix has been coated with the black asphalt cement that's the glue holding the stones and sand together.

Why Doesn't Blacktop Stay Black?

Over time, Mother Nature washes away the black asphalt from the surface and you see the different colored pieces of stone and sand. When you then fill the crack in your blacktop with a monotone-colored product such as deep-black caulk, you bet that black line stands out like a sore thumb.

Do The Black Crack Fillers Last?

My second-last blacktop crack filler was a special caulk that had small pieces of silica sand in it and was extremely sticky. I installed some on my drive five years ago and it looked pretty good after three years, but then it started to succumb to the stresses of harsh New Hampshire winters and the punishing ultraviolet rays of the sun.

When I installed it, I did push some small stones into the gooey caulk to help disguise the repair, but you could still see it if you looked closely. Here is a video I taped showing using the inferior blacktop crack filler in a normal caulk tube:

What is the Best Blacktop Crack Filler?

I believe my quest for the best blacktop crack filler has come to an end. Based on a test I just did at my own home, I do believe I've discovered the Holy Grail of blacktop crack filler material.

Blacktop Crack Filler

In this AFTER picture, you have to look very hard to see where the crack used to be. If you match up the stones on either side of the crack in both pictures, you can verify that it's the same place in the drive. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

The material is a semi-liquid epoxy that's in a regular caulking tube. It's battleship grey in color and it does contain very fine silica sand in it. The caulk-tube design is unique because it comes with a long nozzle that blends the two epoxy components as you squeeze the caulk gun handle.

pc-concrete-tube

This is a wonderful blacktop repair epoxy. I've used it with great results. CLICK THE IMAGE TO ORDER IT NOW.

Most epoxies have very high tensile strength and can resist strong pulling or bending forces. This makes them ideal for blacktop crack fillers because asphalt is a flexible pavement that does move.

How Do You Repair The Crack?

Using this material is caveman simple. You simply cut off the tip of the caulk tube above the threads, screw on the long nozzle and start to squeeze the gun handle. You can see the two-part epoxy start its journey down the nozzle and it mixes as it travels to the tip.

The product I used was PC Concrete. CLICK HERE to buy the product NOW!

Do You Have to Use All the Epoxy at One Time?

No, the epoxy comes with two handy long nozzles. This allows you to use the material two different times on different days. The two components don't get hard at the end of the caulk tube because they've yet to mix.

How Deep Should the Crack Be?

The secrets to success are simple. I made sure my driveway was dry and I brushed out the cracks removing all debris to a depth of 1 inch. I allowed the sides of the crack to dry. While doing this, I spent time along the edges of my driveway gathering loose clean stones.

How Big are the Stones?

My mission was to collect stones of all different sizes and colors that matched what I saw in my blacktop. The size of the stones ranged from lima bean down to the size of a peppercorn. I also swept up a generous amount of clean sand from my driveway.

 These components are what you use to disguise the epoxy. I've used epoxy for years to repair all sorts of things and I know it works well to bond things to concrete. Blacktop is nearly identical to concrete because the stones and sand in blacktop are the same used to make concrete.

How Much Epoxy Do You Use?

I applied the epoxy carefully into the crack making sure I left it about an eighth of an inch below the surface. I found it best to caulk about one foot of crack at a time.

When Do You Install the Stones?

I carefully embedded the stones into the fresh epoxy pushing them into the product making them flush with the adjacent stones. I made sure to mix the stone sizes so everything looked like it was original.

How Do You Fill Deep Cracks?

You don't have to fill deep cracks all the way with the epoxy. To save money, squirt some in, add a layer of stones to take up space and then squirt in more epoxy.

Think of it as a layer cake of epoxy, stones, epoxy, stones, epoxy and then the last layer of stones that are flush with the rest of the driveway.

When Do You Install the Sand?

Once most of the epoxy was covered with stones, I then broadcast the sand over the crack. The sand completely hid the gray epoxy making it invisible. I'm very confident I'll not be repairing any blacktop cracks for a very long time! Try it yourself and see.

Column 1091

Summary
Blacktop Crack Filler is Easy with Epoxy
Article Name
Blacktop Crack Filler is Easy with Epoxy
Description
The best blacktop crack filler is epoxy, stones, and sand. You need a special epoxy that comes with a magic mixing nozzle.
Author
Publisher Name
AsktheBuilder.com
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18 Responses to Blacktop Crack Filler

  1. Also be aware that settling can be happening under the asphalt leaving hollow spots that can cause small collapses. The way I handle this is take a hammer and tap along the driveway, you will hear a distinct "thawp" at the hollow spots. Take a carbide drill and drill a hole. I use a can of "Great Stuff" foam insulation to fill in the hollow followed by a sealant to plug the hole.

  2. Good article Tim! I have used this same product to fill cracks in monolithic slabs in apartment homes. Sometimes the differential height will need to be ground down first, then the crack cleaned as you stated. I have revisited these repairs years later and due to poor underlayment the crack reappeared but not at the epoxy repair. The crack would be a few inches away- proving the epoxy repair was stronger than the cement beside it.

  3. Tim...what is the brand name of the epoxy. After reading your article I went to the local Ace and asked about buying epoxy. The saleman kept showing me epoxy for concrete. I asked if it contained silica and he didn't know. I want to try your method....after so many other frustrating attempts...but do not want to spend $30 on the wrong epoxy. Also, he said that is all he had...other than the black tar junk.

    • Marge,

      Look back up in my column above!!! I have two links to the products via the Amazon.com widgets and I have a TEXT LINK to PC Products in the text of the column.

  4. Tim...Great information. Do you or anyone else know the best way to repair missing blacktop? The Co. that poured my drive left a sharp 90 edge at the street end to keep rainwater in the street. I knew it would be a problem & now I have it!! A couple areas, maybe 3-4 inches have broken off. I was just about to buy a bag of blacktop patch. Maybe I could use this epoxy to bond the patch to the existing driveway???

  5. Why didn't you show us a video how to do the black top patch also ? And what it looks like afterwards? Can you do that ???
    I think there are more black top driveways than cement....because it is cheaper....
    The other day I saw a driveway made out of curvy pretty bricks....do you think the bricks would last longer, and would you have to eventually caulk in between all the bricks ??? If so this looks like it would be a big job.......can you comment please ? Thanks

  6. How far will that epoxy blacktop repair go? It is only a 9oz container, so how much does that cover? I would think it wouldn't go very far, especially if the crack is more than superficial. What do you think, Tim?

    • I was able to repair about 8 linear feet of crack with the epoxy. To get the MOST out of the epoxy the trick is to fill 80% of the crack with stones that are SURROUNDED by the epoxy. For this column I filled the crack with epoxy then put the stones on top.

      If I was to do it over, I'd squirt in some epoxy, put in a layer of stones then more epoxy and more stones. Get it? You don't need but about 1/8 inch of epoxy coating a stone or against the crack to get a fabulous bond.

  7. Wow, this blacktop filer looks great! It is almost impossible to see in the after picture where the crack was. I have also had a hard time trying to get my blacktop to stay sealed and not continue to crack. It sounds like using this filler is really easy, since it comes with a long nozzle that is easy to use. I will probably try it on just a couple cracks to see if it works before I fix the other cracks. Thanks for the great post!

  8. I use a Polyurethane caulk which stays somewhat flexible and is much stronger and more durable than latex caulk. Just get whatever is on sale.

  9. Will PC Products work with thinner asphalt driveway cracks as the nozzle seems pretty wide?

    Also, any comment on also using DAP Polyurethane Construction Adhesive Sealant, as it's a lot more affordable?

  10. Tum do you have any suggestion of where to find some gravel stone of the proper sizes and color if I can't find enough residual around the driveway?

    • You might take a look a aquarium gravel which comes in all sizes. I prefer something a bit smaller than the standard asphalt gravel since fills better. Top it off with some bigger gravel for appearance. It may sound expensive but you will likely need very little.

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