How to Repair: Tarmac Driveway - A Step-by-Step Guide

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how to repair tarmac driveway

Tarmac driveways are a common sight in many areas due to their strength and sleek finish. But as with any outdoor surface, they can deteriorate over time with general wear and tear, and harsh weather conditions. Tarmac repairs, like most driveway issues, and resurfacing will make your driveway look as good as new. Below is a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

Step 1: Check for damage

As with any driveway surface, it’s always wise to check for damage before undertaking any tarmac repair. Walk along your driveway and inspect for the following:

  • Holes and cracks
  • Worn or faded tarmac areas
  • Uneven patches
  • Water damage

Step 2: Prepare materials and tools

The following tools and materials will be required for resurfacing and repairing:

  • Tarmac patching compound
  • Cold-lay tarmac
  • Tarmac sealer
  • Crack filler
  • Shovel
  • Broom
  • Trowel
  • Roller or tamper
  • Gloves and safety goggles
tools for tarmac repair

Step 3: Crack and hole fillers

For minor cracks and holes:

  1. Use an air blower or brush to remove any loose material from the crack.
  2. Fill the crack with crack filler, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  3. Smooth the area with a trowel and leave to dry.

For deeper holes:

  1. Clear the hole from any loose dirt and debris.
  2. Overfill the hole with cold-lay tarmac.
  3. Compact the material with a roller or tamper, until it’s flush with the surface.
filling crack in tarmac driveway

Step 4: Resurface the driveway

  1. Combine tarmac patching compound with water, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Tip the mixture onto the driveway and spread from one end to the other.
  3. Use a trowel or spreader to evenly distribute the mixture over the whole surface.
  4. Roll the surface compactly with a roller.
  5. Leave the new tarmac to cure. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommendations, normally 24-48 hours.
resurfacing compound on tarmac driveway

Step 5: Seal with a tarmac sealer

To help protect your repaired and resurfaced driveway from weather damage:

  1. Make sure the tarmac surface is clean and dry.
  2. Using a roller or spray system, evenly distribute a tarmac sealer over the whole driveway surface.
  3. Leave the sealer to dry prior to use, check the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommendations, normally 24-48 hours.
Here you can buy some drive seal to revive old tarmac:
tarmac sealer with roller

Hire a Professional

Although repairing and resurfacing a tarmac driveway is a feasible DIY project, professional resurfacing guarantees a quality and durable finish. They possess the necessary knowledge, experience and equipment to do the job efficiently and effectively. Only the professionals have the expertise to assess damage, and select and apply the appropriate materials to ensure the tarmac driveway surface doesn’t develop problems in the near future. Also, by hiring a professional you save time and effort; you get an attractive, well-maintained driveway without the hassle and disappointment of a DIY project going wrong.

Tarmac Paint and Restorers

You may also consider using tarmac paint or a tarmac restorer to improve your driveway’s appearance.

Tarmac paint will provide a new and fresh appearance for your driveway. It is available in many colour options. For old tarmac driveway paint, look for a product that clearly states it rejuvenates worn-out surfaces. Cheap tarmac paint application is a cost-effective method to enhance the appearance.

Tarmac Driveway Replacement and Asphalt Surfaces

Sometimes, due to the nature and extent of the damage, a full tarmac driveway replacement may be necessary. This will include the removal of the existing surface and the laying of the new tarmac or asphalt surface. Consider any changes or improvements you wish to make to the design. Asphalt surfaces are common in car parks but they also offer a smooth and durable finish, capable of withstanding the most intense traffic for driveways.


  • Sweep the driveway regularly to keep it clean and clear of dirt and debris.
  • Resurface or seal your tarmac drive every 3-5 years, to maintain its original freshness and strength.
  • Fill small cracks and holes as soon as they appear, to avoid them from developing into a more serious issue.
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