Pothole repair on my private way (2015-09-22 .. 24)


For several months a pothole has troubled everyone at the entrance of my private way.  A couple of weeks ago I noticed my neighbor filling a couple of holes up the block.  I'd never realized this was possible.  I thought it would be a useful project to fill mine.

I researched the subject, bought a 50-pound bag of "blacktop repair" at Lowes, and found the weather would cooperate.


It may not look like much, in part because it is filled with debris, but whenever you drove over this pothole your tire would sink and your car would shudder.

Here it is:


The first step was to clean the pothole to create a good binding surface for the replacement filler.  I used my power washer, which was just the right tool.  There were a lot of dirt and pebbles.  The more I washed, the more came loose, including a little pavement.  It turns out the whole road's pavement is not cohesive; it's all ready, with time and weather, to crumble.  The hole at its deepest exposed the rock strata below the pavement.  Eventually the washer could do no more good as the deepened hole filled with water, blocking the action of the spray.


After power washing and removal of most of the puddle

I let it dry a day, and saw:

After drying, before brushing

So I brushed it vigorously for 15 minutes, leading to:


I'd purchased a 50 pound bag of Lowes driveway repair.  I was hopeful it would be enough.  I was so off!

In goes the first bag of filler

I went to the neighborhood Ace Hardware, asked for two more bags, found I'd forgotten my wallet, returned, added bags #2 and 3, and tamped down.  Now it looks like:

After 3 bags and tamping

My neighbor Don was advising, and recommended letting this 3-bag layer settle before doing more.  Starting to understand the underlying process, I think the reason is to give cars a chance to drive over the nascent patch and compact it as much as possible before adding more layers. The repair filler consists of aggregate (broken stone) and asphalt, the binder.  The mixture is viscous, and compaction is necessary to set the aggregate into the most compact (and thus durable) arrangement.

The next day I added two more bags.  After taking material from the middle to make the borders even with the surrounding pavement, and tamping, it finally looks thus...



After 5 bags and tamping

Done!  When you drive over it you sink a little, but the transition is smooth.  It really needs one more bag to bolster the middle.


Materials & Tools