Asphalt Crack Sealing
Asphalt Crack Sealing
Water, though seemingly harmless, is the leading cause of pavement damage. It can get into cracks and create potholes. Or worse, it can seep into the pavement subgrade and cause pavement stability issues. Fortunately, water damage can be easily mitigated and prevented through asphalt crack sealing.
But how do cracks develop in the first place? In reality, it is not uncommon for concrete to develop cracks. Concrete structures are often designed with allowances for cracks to appear under standard loading conditions. For example, longitudinal steels reinforce concrete pavements in anticipation of shrinkage cracks that are bound to happen to structures of this nature.
As is often the case, concrete pavements rarely fail due to strength deficiency. Problems are usually the result of inadequate durability or poor maintenance techniques. Cracks on a concrete pavement surface that are left unchecked often result in more complicated issues that can be costly to repair.
Why Is Asphalt Crack Repair Important?
When neglected, cracks can lead to more serious problems. In most cases, potholes start as mere cracks. Without crack sealing, cracks can accumulate standing water that will freeze when the temperature drops. Frozen water expands and creates a “weak patch” over the cracked pavement. Vehicle and foot traffic over this “patch” will add stress to the already weakened portion of the pavement. Then when the water thaws, it leaves behind a wider crack which again gets filled with standing water that will soon freeze as the temperature gets colder. The cycle recurs as frozen water again expands, widening the cracks a little bit more. The constant freeze-thaw cycle and the stress caused by traffic will eventually interconnect the adjacent cracks. As a result, larger cracks or potholes will appear.
Advantages of Sealing Cracks in Asphalt
Crack filling is inarguably the most cost-effective way to fix an asphalt pavement. It is cheaper than overhauling the entire pavement, and it is also the fastest solution to implement. Another advantage is the added durability that a crack sealant can provide to an existing pavement. An asphalt crack filler is made from durable materials that readily expand and adapt to the movement of the pavement. Consequently, aside from fixing the cracks, the crack filling can also expand the service life of the pavement by improving its durability.
Is Asphalt Crack Sealing the right solution?
Sealing cracks in asphalt is typically one of the first things to consider when it comes to pavement preservation. Crack sealing is a great option when you’re dealing with the following types of cracks:
- Block cracks or cracks that appear to be interconnected to one another and form a pattern;
- Longitudinal cracks, or cracks that run parallel to the centerline of the pavement;
- Transverse cracks, or cracks that appear at a 90-degree angle or are perpendicular to the traffic direction.
However, there are certain types of pavement problems that asphalt crack sealing will not be able to solve. These are:
- Alligator cracks, or a more complicated block crack whose pattern resembles that of an alligator skin;
- Slippage cracks or a surface layer cracks shaped like a crescent;
- Reflective cracks, or a crack that re-appears through the new surface of a repaired pavement.
If you are unsure about your pavement condition or whether the crack on your driveway or parking lot is something that can be repaired by sealing, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
Why Hire an Asphalt Crack Repair Contractor?
Asphalt crack sealing is best performed by a professional who has the right tools and equipment to best accomplish the task. Crack treatments often involve the use of heated material that may cause injuries when not handled correctly. To protect yourself from risks, it is always a good idea to leave the repair to the professionals.
Moreover, materials used for asphalt crack repair are also not readily available in regular hardware stores. Even when available, the application of materials like an asphalt emulsion and asphalt cement will require some training to ensure safe use since the material can reach very high temperatures. Significant scald burn can happen when bare skin is exposed to these materials even for just a brief period.
Give us a call today to find out more about asphalt crack sealing and the other services that River’s Edge has to offer.