Crack fill and crack seal can be successful in treating larger cracks that have occurred in asphalt. See Cracking under Asphalt 101 for an explanation of why cracks occur. Generally, hairline cracks (those that are less than 1/4 inch in width) are not filled, as the crack filler must be able to get down into the crack to be effective. The crack filler will remain at the surface and not provide any protection. Larger cracks that can be treated, should be thoroughly cleaned and dried prior to applying the crack fill material.
There are basically two types of crack filling: 1. hot pour rubberized asphalt, and 2. cold pour. Hot pour crack filler is the most effective type of asphalt crack filler. It will do well in temperature extremes and will far out last any other type of crack sealers. Cold pour crack filler works well on smaller jobs with small cracks. Cold pour has a tendency to split when used in wider cracks. Though the crack filler is still sealing the crack below the surface, it may look as though it is failing. While it is not the preferred method of filling cracks, budget restrictions may dictate its use.
The majority of factors leading to the disrepair of asphalt can be prevented through proper maintenance. Seal coating and crack filling your asphalt surface can prevent harmful factors from occurring or stop the degradation from continuing. A good quality seal coat, properly applied, assists in the following:
The term “slurry coat” is sometimes used interchangeably with seal coat. Both are a combination of aggregate, oil, water, minerals, sand, and other additives, that is applied by squeegy (hand or mechanized) to an asphalt pavement surface. The benefits are the same as those listed above.
Even when regular maintenance procedures are applied, factors beyond our control may require significant action to control the degradation. By removing deteriorated asphalt, we expose the sub base allowing for renewed compaction, the addition of more sub-base material, and new resilient asphalt being applied to the affected area, returning strength and integrity to the pavement structure. When necessary, removal and replacement is still cost-effective when compared to complete reconstruction.
Asphalt overlays are utilized when the structure of the pavement surface is sound. By applying an additional layer of asphalt to the existing pavement, the entire surface is restored to like-new condition. Overlays can be standard hot mix asphalt, or can be modified with fiber or fabric for added strength. Overlays are a cost effective method of prolonging the service life of an existing parking lot, driveway, or roadway. Like a roof, only a limited number of overlays can be applied to the asphalt structure before removal of the old material becomes necessary. Contact Advantage Asphalt for a site visit, and consultation to determine if an overlay is your best course of action.
Once degradation has occurred, and the strength and stability of the pavement structure have been compromised, it may be time to remove and replace the entire surface. This is a time to re-evaluate drainage, shoot grades, assess the sub-grade, and rebuild the pavement structure to suit your updated needs. Reconstruction is a costly endeavor, and should only be undertaken with the guidance of a qualified General Engineering Contractor. Advantage Asphalt is a full service asphalt and concrete contractor, that can provide all necessary services from grading and installation, to maintenance, restoration, and reconstruction of all pavement types.