Water should drain evenly off your driveway after it rains. If, instead, you see low spots and puddles on your driveway, these indicate that the surface is no longer level. Over time, chips, cracks and holes can develop on your driveway, creating uneven wear, low spots and damage to the surface. Examining your driveway after each rain and addressing those puddles promptly can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. While puddles in the driveway can also be caused by drainage problems and tilting due to freezing and thawing, low spots are among the most common causes, and the easiest to fix on your own.
Mark the areas where puddles form by placing a solid object at each end of the puddle. You might want to wait until after a heavy rain, so you can easily identify these problem areas. Look at the driveway carefully from top to bottom, and watch for the rain hitting the puddles. This will tell you where the problem areas are.
Clean each spot that you've marked with a broom or brush, then remove any loose asphalt or gravel with a chisel. If the driveway is greasy or dirty, clean it with a commercial driveway cleaner before moving on to the repair. Apply the commercial cleaner with a heavy-duty broom or brush, then wash the driveway with a high-pressure garden hose or power washer.
Apply patching material to each low spot in the driveway. Follow the instructions on the package, since each brand has a slightly different application. In most cases, you will brush the patching material onto the driveway and roll it smooth with a long-handled roller and brush. You can purchase a special brush and roller applicator at the hardware store when you buy the patching material. Apply driveway coating or emulsified liquid on top to bond the patching material to the driveway underneath.
Smooth the patched areas with a driveway roller. You can rent a driveway roller from your local hardware store, and using one makes fixing and sealing your driveway a lot easier. The driveway roller is designed to hook to your lawn tractor, and you can simply drive the tractor over the driveway surface to tamp it down. If you do not have a lawn tractor, you can use a hand tamper to tamp down the patched areas and make them even.
Allow the patches to dry completely. Seal-coat the entire driveway to complete the repair. Apply the seal coat with a brush and long-handled roller. You can purchase a special roller and brush combination at the same place where you buy driveway sealer.