Being held together with a binder, asphalt is made out of aggregates like crushed rock, sand, and gravel. When the temperature changes, the liquid substance that gives the material flexibility to expand and contract is the binder. UV rays and temperature fluctuations cause the asphalt to dry out over time, which makes it more brittle.
Asphalt Crack Development
Pressure from vehicles and additional exposure can cause surface cracks to form once the asphalt is dried out. It can widen the cracks and cause significant and rapid deterioration, water can get into the cracks, and as it heats and cools with temperature changes. It’s important to repair the voids with a commercial grade crack sealant or filler before more significant damage occurs, including buckled pavement and potholes that require extensive, expensive repairs.
Asphalt Crack Sealer VS Filler
Sealers and fillers are actually different materials though crack filling and crack sealing are often used interchangeably. Crack sealants are an excellent option for smaller, transverse cracks across parking lots that are generally less than a half-inch wide.
For more severe cracks, such as those located near the edge of roads, wider gaps, or alligator cracking (an area of deteriorated asphalt where cracks are interconnected and extensive, appearing alligator skin) is asphalt crack filler.
How Do You Seal Cracks in Asphalt?
Even when it’s poured during cool temperatures, crack sealant is a rubberized, elastomeric material that is liquid when poured into the asphalt void. It effectively preventing any moisture from getting to the pavement and causing additional damage or expanding the crack as it fills the crack, and it bonds to the material. The sealant maintains a rubberized texture and flexible nature once it’s dry. Even during cold weather or with UV exposure, this allows the material to shift and flex without pulling away, breaking, or splitting.
Should You Fill Asphalt Cracks?
It consists of a rubberized asphalt emulsion that is a liquid when heated and solid when cool as asphalt crack filler is made to be poured when hot. It is better for larger areas of damage because it offers the durability of asphalt while still being water resistant and flexible.
Repair of Asphalt Cracks
Any loose gravel, weeds, or debris and any broken chunks or loose pieces or asphalt are removed since the first step is cleaning out the crack. The crack sealer is carefully poured into the crack and a roller goes over to smooth out the sealant for smaller cracks. Repaired in a similar fashion are deeper cracks repaired with a hot filler. A tack coat may need to be applied to ensure the filler adheres properly, the area is cleaned out thoroughly of any dirt and debris. In the most severe asphalt cracks, this method is used. An asphalt repair company will use a crack seal machine to heat the emulsion and install it into the cracks, filling the area after the tack coat is applied and cures for a few moments. To ensure an even surface, the mixture is smoothed out. In order to protect the area from water, UV rays, and other things that may dry out the rubber or asphalt and possibly cause the crack to return sooner, after the crack is filled a sealcoat can be applied.
Why is Asphalt Crack Sealing So Important?
It’s still essential they are repaired, though to medium sized asphalt cracks are generally not going to affect driving conditions. Additional deterioration, including crumbling sections and potholes will occur if damaged asphalt is ignored, water, temperature changes, and all of the factors that led to the crack in the first place.