Why seal cracks in asphalt pavement?

crack-seal-blog.jpgFor asphalt in areas with slow moving vehicle traffic and foot traffic such as but not limited to: parking lots, driveways, residential streets and walkways. Because of the increase in tires grinding on the asphalt, motor fluids dripping and other damage to the pavement, it is so important to seal cracks promptly and properly. As asphalt ages, it will oxidize and shrink causing random cracking throughout the pavement. Cracks in the asphalt allow moisture to seep below the pavement and leads to potholes and speeds up the deterioration of the pavement. Properly sealing cracks that appear can more than double the effective service life of the asphalt pavement.

How should asphalt cracks be sealed?

For a sealing project to lasts several years, you should choose the proper sealant designed for use in the proper climatic conditions, asphalt type and traffic of your property. A sealant designed for high volume traffic traveling at faster speeds is formulated differently from one designed for pedestrian traffic and slower speeds. Routing the crack is recommended in pavements that have not started to deteriorate too badly. Routing the crack before filling and whether the material fills to flush, slightly below or overband the pavement surface are all factors used when determining the type of application used to fill the reservoir (crack). A professional would be best to determine the correct application of the crack fill material. All fragments should be removed prior to filling as it can drastically affect sealant performance.

How long does the crack sealant last?

Properly sealed cracks on stable pavement should have an estimated life of between 3-10 years. The performance of the sealant is reliant on three factors:

  1. Condition of the pavement – cracks sealed on better pavement lasts longer
  2. Temperature of the area – cold area pavements deteriorate faster
  3. Moisture the pavement sees – water increases deterioration rates

So you can see why sealing cracks and preventing further deterioration of pavement is so vital in Hawaii’s climate conditions. We have the warm tropical weather that allows the crack fill material to stay in place and the seasonal rains that we need to protect the asphalt damage from.

Can a sealcoating treatment be placed over the asphalt crack fill sealant?

Yes, you can coat the crack sealed pavements with sealcoating or slurry as soon as the sealant has cured which is normally less than an hour after application during normal sunny days.

Crack sealing is a specialized treatment to be performed by trained professionals. When applied properly, it can add years of life to your pavement.