If you are in charge of maintaining any type of asphalt roadway, driveway, or even parking lots, winter is usually a season to dread. This is because as the wet, cold, freezing, weather of winter quickly descends, you will begin to see dreaded potholes appear in the asphalt. If you do not address these holes quickly, they will steadily become larger causing increasing damage to the surface of your asphalt, as well as to the vehicles of passing motorists. While the ideal time of year to fix these is when it is warmer, your potholes may not be able to wait until spring. Luckily, you can make a great repair using a cold mix patch. 

What Is A Cold Mix Patch?

A cold patch mix is perfect when you are trying to fill in a pothole during cool weather. This type of mix is not temperature sensitive. You will be able to make your repair without having to worry about your mix cooling off, or setting up before you are ready for it to do so. The materials contained within the cold patch mix are very similar to those in hot mix. The cold mix will usually just contains additional additives that allow it to remain usable in cold conditions. 

Cold patches have been seen in the past as a temporary measure, but changes in technology have created materials that now last much longer. There are now cold patch mixes on the market that will create permanent repairs. 

How To Apply A Cold Mix Patch

It is simple to use.

  • Create a crisp vertical edge all around the pothole you are attempting to patch. This edge will help to contain your patching materials.
  • Clean up the loose material in and around your pothole.
  • Ensure the ground within your pothole, as well as the surrounding asphalt, is dry.
  • If your hole is deep, fill it with clay, crushed asphalt, limestone, concrete, or some other angular stone material that you will be able to tightly compact.
  • Compact this material prior to adding your patching mix.
  • Apply the primer that comes with the patching material. This will help it to adhere to your existing surface.
  • Pour the mix material into your hole until the mix is slightly higher than the surrounding asphalt. 
  • Tamp the patch down with a tamper. If you do not own a tamper, you can rent one from most of your equipment rental stores. The deeper your hole, the thicker your patch will be, and the more compaction you may need. 

Although if done correctly, your patch will be suitable to be driven on immediately, covering it with plywood, cardboard, or some other similar material for a few days will allow your patch to continue to cure and harden. The hardening process will continue for the next couple of days. 

Avoid placing anything that is sharp such as a motorcycle or bicycle kickstand on the patch for a few days to allow it to completely harden. These items can cause dimples in your patching materials which will give water a place to stand.

Avoid parking a car tire directly on the patch. This concentrated load could cause your materials to displace or cause your patching materials to compact even further causing a dip in the middle of your patch.

Once your patch has cured, use a crack sealer to cover the edge created between your new asphalt and your old asphalt. This is most easily applied with a disposable foam paintbrush. Make sure you do not apply too much sealer, as this will create a slight hump at the site of your patch. Once your repair is made, hardened, and sealed, you should be on your way to being pothole free, at least until the next bout of winter weather creates new ones.

If you need help fixing your pothole, consider hiring a company like Bituminous Roadways, Inc. to take care of it for you.