Consumer Reports tests driveway patch kits

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Repaving your driveway can be expensive, but before you try doing it yourself with one of those DIY driveway patch kits, Consumer Reports tested the best. (WPVI)

Repaving your driveway can be expensive, but before you try doing it yourself with one of those DIY driveway patch kits, Consumer Reports tested the best.

It's a good idea to patch potholes before winter weather settles in and the makers of driveway patch kits claim you can repair them yourself and save money.

Consumer Reports just tested seven of them.

Professional pavers know that to keep your driveway in good shape, it's essential to stay on top of potholes.

"If you leave the hole exposed, heavy rain, water gets underneath. If you leave it through the wintertime when the driveway freezes up, it's going to expand and contract and break even more," said paver, Virgilio Premoli.

At that point you may have to completely replace your driveway.

Consumer Reports tested seven driveway patch kits that claim to be easy to use, permanent and instantly ready for traffic.

Bernie Deitrick created shallow boxes as stand-ins for potholes and filled them as instructed. Then he drove over them again and again.

A week later, he turned a car tire in place, like you might when backing out. Five of the kits didn't hold up, spilling out on the sides.

"This material has been down for over two months, but I can still push it apart relatively easily and you really don't want that on your driveway," said Deitrick.

A professional paving company using hot asphalt will give you the longest-lasting results. But Consumer Reports did find two good do-it-yourself options.

Sakrete U.S. Cold Patch Permanent Pothole Repair is fairly strong for about $12 dollars.

Even better - Aquaphalt Permanent Pothole Repair for $30 to $40 dollars.

"This product is different. You need to use water to activate the coating before you compact it. But it was immediately stronger than the others," said Deitrick.

If you're going to repair a pothole in your driveway, Consumer Reports says make sure to remove any loose material and sweep the area clean first.

Fill the hole, level it off and overfill it a bit before you tamp it down to account for compression.
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