Modern asphalt can last for decades, but only with proper care. We use asphalt in everything from roads and driveways to parking lots and walkways.
One of the quickest ways for your asphalt to deteriorate is through the expansion of cracks. These cracks can rapidly worsen, causing your asphalt to break down, crumble, and become a safety hazard.
The best way to address this issue is through crack sealing. But what is crack sealing, and why should you consider it instead of replacing the asphalt? Read on to learn more about the benefits of crack sealing and why you should maintain your asphalt.
What Is Crack Sealing?
To start, let’s examine the crack sealing process and what it entails.
Asphalt pavement develops cracks due to stress and wear on the surface. When this stress exceeds the pavement’s strength, it leads to cracks, creating fissures. The primary causes of cracks in asphalt are changes in traffic patterns and temperature fluctuations.
Most cracks tend to appear during extreme weather conditions, such as the hot summers and freezing winters. The combination of high temperatures, cold weather, and the weight of vehicles and pedestrians places significant stress on the asphalt. Other contributing factors to cracks include the age of the asphalt, moisture, structural design, the quality of the asphalt, and the type of traffic it experiences.
When these cracks form, they pose a tripping hazard and allow more moisture and debris to infiltrate, exacerbating the damage. To address these issues, you need to have the cracks sealed. The crack sealing process involves applying a hot sealant over the damaged asphalt. This sealant effectively prevents water from penetrating the cracks. The rubberized materials in the sealant create a protective layer over the crack. This flexible quality allows the pavement to still move and adjust, reducing susceptibility to cracking caused by tension and weight.
Benefits of Crack Sealing
Now that we have a better understanding of crack sealing, let’s explore its benefits. Crack sealing can provide a safer and more protected asphalt surface. Here are the main advantages of crack sealing:
Deteriorating asphalt poses a safety risk to the public. For instance, a cracked sidewalk can result in uneven surfaces and significant tripping hazards. If your property is in an area where people walk or ride bikes, this makes your pavement a danger to the community. Crack sealing creates a sturdy overlay over the uneven asphalt, making it safer for pedestrians.
In cases where large trees are causing your commercial property’s pavement to become uneven or sloped due to root growth, crack sealing can help to an extent. However, addressing the root issue, either by root removal or pathway rerouting, may be necessary.
Protecting the Asphalt
While asphalt is known for its durability, it is not immune to damage. Without preventive maintenance, various hazards can render your asphalt unusable and unsafe.
One of the most effective preventive measures in certain areas is crack sealing. While some concrete surfaces are sealed with vinyl flooring, this is not feasible for asphalt walkways. Therefore, sealing cracks as they appear is the best alternative. Prompt action prevents cracks from spreading and worsening the damage.
Moisture is a significant threat to asphalt, and the water-resistant properties of the crack sealant not only mend the cracks but also strengthen the asphalt, making it more resilient.
Additionally, crack sealing helps prevent the formation of asphalt dust, which can lead to health issues.
Asphalt is favored for its affordability compared to other construction materials. Replacing an entire section of pavement due to cracks can be quite expensive. Sealing the cracks is a far more cost-effective option. Furthermore, there are various sealants available to match different budgets.
Consult with the professionals repairing your asphalt to determine the most suitable sealant for your needs. They have access to various sealant options and can tailor the work to your specific requirements. This not only saves you money but also ensures a superior service. Using an ill-fitting sealant can result in inadequate repairs.
With all these benefits in mind, how can you seal the cracks in your asphalt? What materials are required, and who can help?
We strongly advise against attempting to seal the asphalt yourself. The process is complex and potentially dangerous, requiring specialized tools that most businesses do not possess. Moreover, sealing cracks properly demands training and experience.
Instead, it is best to hire professional asphalt repair services, such as experienced pavers. These experts can select the most appropriate materials and techniques to maintain the functionality of your asphalt. Professionals come prepared with all the necessary equipment and can evaluate the cracks to make informed decisions about the type of sealant to use. They can complete the task efficiently, minimizing the risk of mistakes that can render the sealant ineffective. Crack sealing is a highly specialized task, and errors can compromise the safety and appearance of your commercial property.
Sealing is most effective for “nonworking cracks,” which are less than 0.1 inches wide. If the cracks are not suitable for sealing, professionals can help you determine the next steps. While some may be hesitant due to the cost of hiring professionals, it’s important to consider the equipment and sealant required.
Caring for Your Asphalt
Crack sealing can extend the life of your asphalt by preventing cracks from worsening. It also provides a safer and more stable walking surface without the need for a full replacement. Trust professionals to handle the task correctly and safely.
For more information, explore our asphalt services. We are here to assist you with any asphalt and concrete repair needs you may have.