Pavement cracks are inevitable happen over time. There is no way to avoid these cracks, but crack filling regularly will save money in the long run. The best strategy for avoiding unsightly pavement is to fix cracks as soon as they occur.
Extreme weather over time does have negative impact on pavement. One of the main causes of pavement deterioration is water intrusion. Water gets into tiny cracks in the pavement, freezes and expands causing these cracks to get larger. This deterioration can then extend to the sub-grade base causing serious damage. Crack filling should be part of your post season maintenance, before you incur major losses.
Filling should be done on any cracks that are immediately visible. Filling the cracks at least once every year (after the freeze-thaw season ends) will extend the usable lfe of the pavement.
Crack filling – When and How
Cracks cannot be filed when it is cold. Cracks should be filled during the warmer weather between May and November. In the colder months, cracks expand and when temperatures rise the cracks contract. The crack filling materials will be too thin when it is cold and some of the cracks might reopen. Even though the filler material is designed to adjust to temperature fluctuations, these materials are not designed for extreme weather conditions.
Crack filler is applied when it is hot at a temperature of about 300 degrees and it is packed tightly into the cracks. The crack filler actually expands and contracts as temperature rises and falls.
If the size of the crack is too big (you can fit a coin into the crack) the crack should be patched with patching material. The patching material fills the the crack and then with the crack filler added, the two materials eventually bond together. The materials most commonly used for repair are a combination of asphalt patch (easy obtained through Home Depot or Lowes) and small crushed gravel.
Before patching the crack it is essential that the cracked area be as clean as possible. Clean off dust and loose debris so that the patching material can adhere without obstruction. If needed, use a chisel and a hammer to remove jagged edges and use a wire brush. Flush out any dirt remains from the crack and let it dry thoroughly before starting to fill.
Heat up the edges of the crack with a flame torch and apply the patching material with a trowel (a garden trowel used for digging is fine). Pack the material with a mallet before applying the crack filler material.
Crack Filling – Part of Regular Maintenance
Remember, you can prevent future cracks and pavement damage by regularly inspecting for cracks. Ensure that you sweep your pavement or pressure clean it to remove damaging grit or debris. Crack filling on a regular basis will prevent your pavement from deteriorating prematurely, will last longer and will remain attractive for a lifetime.
Have a large parking lot that needs crack filling? Looking to complete a large pavement crack filling project? Call us at 732-886-1940 and we’ll be glad to discuss you crack filling needs.