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International Builders' Show Product Preview: Sakrete U.S. Cold Patch

Consumer Reports News: January 22, 2009 05:43 PM

Even the best-laid driveway can develop cracks, potholes, or depressions over time. Many asphalt-patching products are available, but regulators in several states have restricted their sale over concerns about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the resulting ground-level ozone.

Sakrete of North America claims it has an alternative in U.S. Cold Patch, a DIY product designed to permanently repair asphalt and concrete surfaces. You apply it directly from the package and, according to Sakrete, need only to tamp it down or roll over it with a vehicle to compact it. Cold Patch is supposed to set up immediately without curing.

Cold Patch is made with recycled asphalt pavement, which diverts waste from landfills. Moreover, the manufacturer says, the product significantly reduces VOCs by 60 percent compared with medium-cure cutback patching products and by 70 percent compared with rapid-cure patch.

Cold Patch is odorless and cleans up with soap and water. Prep involves sweeping out any loose material, and you can apply the patch in any weather. It's available at home centers and building-materials suppliers and costs about $12.75 for a 50-pound bag.—Ed Perratore

Essential information: If your driveway is beyond patching, seal coating is an alternative. Expect to spend $100 to $200 for a 30-foot-ling x 14-foot-wide driveway, plus extra for patching. But beware of scam artists.

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