How to Repair Asphalt – Cracks and Holes:

Cracks in a driveway may be caused by roots growing underneath the driveway and causing the ground to expand. They may also be caused by:

  • Weeds.
  • Subsidence and Overloading.

The holes (x2) and crack are a bit small in the image below, so they are highlighted in yellow

How to Repair Driveway – Filling a Hole (2 Holes & a Crack Highlighted in Yellow) – Cleaning


Roots (especially trees and large plants) tend to expand the surface around them as they grow, causing cracks. Or, the roots break down the surface causing holes.

In the case of large roots from trees or large bushes, the only way to repair this is to cut the root, or repair the driveway every time a crack starts to appear. You can either try and cut the root before it gets to the driveway, and then leave the root to decay, or dig the root up. Either way, the driveway will need a repair. You also need to consider:

  • What damage cutting the root may do to the plant or tree?
  • How much work do you want digging the root up?

Where cracks and holes are caused by small roots such as weeds, see the article on How to Repair a Driveway – Weeds.

How to Repair a Driveway – Killing the Weeds

Tools & Materials Required:

  • A power washer (preferred), or a hose with spray attachment.
  • Bitumen Paint.
  • Paint brushes, (These should be throw away items).
  • A pot for storing dirty brushes (so they don’t dry out).

The Repair:

The holes I am filling are small, but exactly the same process applies to much bigger holes.

  1. It’s difficult to see…  But there are two holes and a crack.
  2. Weeds have made this hole when there was a pile of rubble and soil on the driveway. Weeds took hold and the roots slowly loosened the bitumen creating holes and a crack.
How to Repair a Driveway – Two Holes and a Crack
  1. What can we do? We can clean the hole and repair it with small stones and bitumen.
  2. Clean the area to provide a good key for painting…
How to Repair a Driveway – Cleaning the Area
  1. I’m using a water-soluble bitumen paint, (there are other types of bitumen paint that need thinners).
  2. Use a watered down first coat as a primer. This helps the bitumen paint stick to the driveway.
How to Repair a Driveway – Using a watered down first coat as a primer. This helps everything stick
  1. Work the bitumen into all the pits and holes in the driveway.
  2. Add some small stones to fill the holes. This is to strengthen the repair and prevent dips that can fill with water.
How to Repair a Driveway – Add some small stones to fill holes and prevent dips filling with water
  1. Make sure the bitumen paint fills all the gaps.
  2. Leave the bitumen to soak in. Then check for pin holes, (so, there is nowhere for weeds to grow)..
  3. Apply another coat if necessary. Work the bitumen into the pin holes so no air is trapped.


Repairing Cracks and Holes in a Driveway.
How to Repair a Driveway or Path – Filling Cracks or Holes

Notes (Hints & Tips):

  • Move any items that can get splashed with Bitumen (especially plastics), as it can be difficult to clean off.
  • The darker colour will lighten with time.
  • Store brushes in water (for water-soluble bitumen).
  • Be prepared to throw any brushes out when you finish, as they may be difficult to clean?
How to Repair a Driveway – Storing Your Brush When Painting With Bitumen

Other Topics Covered:

How to Repair Asphalt – Weeds:

Weeds can be a real pain. They will often grow around the edge of driveways (where there is a join). Or, in any cracks that have appeared. A ‘self seeded’ […]

How to Repair Asphalt – Painting (Old Age, Wear and Tear):

Over time, as an asphalt driveway ages, small stones in the asphalt become dislodged. The asphalt can loose its ability to hold together and can start to break up. Dirt […]

How to Repair Asphalt – Subsidence and Overloading:

Subsidence: Subsidence is often where the surface below the asphalt is weakened by: Erosion.Or, the ground (substrate) under the asphalt covering, will not support the load. I.e. The ground does […]
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