Given enough time, even the best-constructed asphalt pavement will develop small cracks in its surface. These small cracks can provide a path for water to move deeper into the structure of the pavement. When the water freezes, it expands, exerting both horizontal and vertical pressure on the pavement. The cracks quickly become longer, wider, and deeper, allowing more water to enter. In a relatively short time, the water will reach the base that gives your pavement its strength and flexibility. The water erodes the base, leaving areas of the pavement without support. This can lead to potholes or a serious damage pattern known as alligatored asphalt. It can be costly to repair extensive damage to the pavement and its base. Asphalt crack sealing is a much more economical approach that can prevent these costly repairs.
What Is Crack Sealing?
Crack sealing is a procedure for repairing cracks to prevent water from penetrating beneath the surface of the pavement. Crack repairs should always be performed before sealcoating is applied to the pavement. However, to provide maximum protection for your pavement, you should inspect for cracks every spring and every autumn so that you can have repairs made quickly. Crack sealing involves a series of steps that must be completed correctly if the repair is to be successful.
1. The crack must be cleaned to remove dirt, vegetation, gravel, or other debris that may have accumulated inside the crack. The method employed may use pressurized air or a steel brush. Unless the debris is removed, the filler material will not bond properly to the surrounding pavement. A poor bond can result in a small gap that will still allow water to infiltrate, and the filler material can also be dislodged by traffic or temperature fluctuations.
2. In some cases, the next step will be to use a motorized router. A router can smooth the interior walls of the crack and make the crack more consistent in size. This can allow the filler material to expand and contract more evenly, and it can also help establish better bonding.
3. If necessary, pressurized air or a heat lance may be used to ensure that the interior of the crack is completely dry.
4. Filler material is introduced into the crack. The filler may be totally contained inside the crack, but it may also extend a short distance beyond.
Two Men and A Striper provides asphalt maintenance services to customers in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. We specialize in driveways and parking lots and offer crack sealing, sealcoating, line striping, and asphalt patching. We are a highly respected company with an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. If you would like to request a free quote, you can fill out our online form or call us at 412-213-8429.