Unlike fine wine, your asphalt pavement doesn’t get better with age. Over time, the cracking of asphalt is inevitable. It is no secret that cracks in asphalt allow water intrusion, resulting in: softening of the stone base, cracking, pothole formation and ultimately, premature failure.
Crack sealing has proven to be the lowest-cost pavement preservation treatment available by far. Implementing a re-curing crack sealing maintenance program, at the first signs of asphalt distress, will save dividends later by delaying costly repairs. The key to effective crack sealing is to repair and seal the cracks at the first signs of visibility. By sealing these cracks, you will divert water to the berm of the asphalt, instead of allowing the water to intrude the base. You eliminate sub-base erosion, reduce freeze-thaw damage in the winter months and protect from oxidation and humidity in the summer months.
Types of Cracks
There are a number of factors that contribute to the cracking of asphalt pavement. The most common culprits include:
Structural/Reflective Cracks - caused by vertical or horizontal movements of underlying pavement, due to expansion and contraction with temperature and moisture changes.
Surface/Shrinkage Cracks - caused by lack of traffic, extreme temperature changes, excess water and/or ultraviolet degradation.
Joint or Seam Cracks - caused by weak seam or improper pinch roll.
Did You Know?
Approximately 75% of cracks in asphalt pavement form into potholes within 3 years if they are left untreated. In drastic comparison, only approximately 1% of cracks that have been sealed will form into potholes within 3 years.
Crack Filling Process
The crack filling process begins with proper preparation. This means cleaning the cracks out of any debris using an air compressor, steel wire brush, or router. A clean surface is crucial in order for the adhesion to properly form. Next, the clean cracks will be filled with sealant from the bottom up, which ensures a complete seal.
AllSeal Sealcoating, LLC uses hot-pour sealant because it cools to a pliable, rubber-like substance that can contract or expand when temperatures change. Cold-pour sealants cure to a rigid, inflexible substance that cannot adjust when the asphalt reacts to changes in temperature. This lack of flexibility can lead to the expulsion of the filler from the crack, leaving an opening for water to penetrate beneath the surface.