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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Flooring Category: Asphalt Flooring


Asphalt surface has a pothole.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Cold patch asphalt / Cold asphalt pothole patch  (usually sold in 50-lb bags)

  • Trowel

  • Heat gun

  • Small sledgehammer

  • Chisel (preferably a mason's chisel)

  • Tamper (store-bought or homemade 4x4 piece of wood with handles)

  • Appropriately sized piece of plywood (a bit bigger than repaired asphalt area)

  • Asphalt compactor

  • Vehicle



A pothole is not only annoying and unsightly, but also could pose a safety risk, not to mention potentially cause damage to vehicles.  So getting it patched is a priority for many reasons. 

Caution: When dealing with chemicals, such as those found in asphalt, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Patching a pothole in an asphalt surface can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. With a hammer, hammer a chisel against all loose and otherwise damaged asphalt for easy removal of such asphalt from the pothole.  Make sure you also chisel out the rough, jagged edges so as to be relatively smooth in order to permit the cold patch asphalt to be properly compacted when compacting ultimately occurs.

  2. Next, remove around 3-4 inches of the base of the pothole, and then use a tamper to tamp all around the base, as much as possible, in order to make sure the base of the pothole becomes as stable and solid as possible, without loose dirt, the existence of debris, etc.

  3. Upon tamping the base with the tamper, use a trowel to fill the pothole halfway with cold patch asphalt.

  4. With the tamper, compact this halfway fill of asphalt as best as you can.

  5. Then, continue to fill the pothole with cold patch asphalt until, after leveling it and tamping it with the tamper, about half of an inch of such patch asphalt rises above the surrounding asphalt surface.

As may be necessary, use a heat gun, at a low temperature (see manufacturer instructions), to heat your cold patch asphalt so that the asphalt chemicals can become heat-reactive and create a better bond for better forming to the surface.

  1. Next, to provide a final compacting of the cold patch asphalt occupying the pothole, place a plywood board over such applied cold patch asphalt and then go over it with an asphalt compactor for the purpose of compacting the asphalt really well; read the asphalt compactor instructions.  Alternatively, if you do not have an asphalt compactor, with the plywood board still over such applied cold patch asphalt, drive your vehicle over the plywood board for the purpose of compacting the asphalt really well; be cautious when driving your vehicle.  You'll need to have the asphalt compactor or your vehicle driven over the plywood board quite a few times to ensure that the half of an inch of such patch asphalt has leveled off evenly with the surrounding asphalt surface.

Through such sweat and effort above, you'll be able to fix your asphalt pothole in no time.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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