Another great weapon in the arsenal of the pavement maintenance contractor is crack sealing. Cracked pavements allow surface water to permeate subgrade soils, which saturate and weaken the sub grade. Normal maintenance procedure is to repave with an asphalt overlay. This resurfacing procedure can extend the useful life of a pavement section at a lower cost than a full replacement. However, the extended useful service life of an overlay can be reduced by subgrade saturation/weakening which causes fatigue cracking and propagation of cracks from the original pavement through the existing overlay (reflective cracking).
Water is one of the worst things for asphalt cracks, once under the asphalt surface, it can erode the foundation or freeze (which causes heaving). Cracks can accumulate debris, dirt, and can start to grow weeds. Fixing cracks before they become potholes is the smartest thing to do, it also saves you money by extending the life of your asphalt.
Crack sealing is done prior to any sealcoat applications. If cracks are left unattended, water is able to penetrate to the base soaking and swelling the limestone thus destroying their strength and load bearing capabilities. It is evidenced by “alligator” cracking, sunken areas, and eventually potholes. Cracks at least 1/8″ or wider should be treated with a least a cold pour sealant which will seal the cracks for a year or so. For a longer term repair, hot poured crack sealant should be used. Hot Pour crack sealant remains flexible for a longer period of time and if used the crack repair can remain effective for 3-7 years.
If one chooses to protect their asphalt surfaces with a sealcoating and crack sealant, the life of the asphalt can at least be doubled and many times tripled at a fraction of the overlay costs.
Asphalt cracks are unsightly and can get expensive to repair if left for too long. That’s why it’s best to repair cracks as soon as they form. If you are looking to repair asphalt, DD Mitchell has the equipment and advice you need to do the job right the first time!
Local city, township and park systems in Lake County,
as well as Geauga, Ashtabula, and Cuyahoga County Ohio