Is there value in asphalt crack filling?
During the recent heavy rain followed by 30-degree temperature swings. The importance of crack-filling has become obvious. Frost heave is what damages the asphalt surface and if water is allowed to penetrate the surface and freeze the sub-base there will be a failure. Crack-filling will prevent this failure, but the effectiveness will be based on the product used and how it is applied.
Asphalt is a flexible material and as it reaches its life expectancy (20-30 Years) it loses its liquid asphalt content and becomes brittle. The rigid surface cracks instead of moving with the base and that is compounded by the moisture penetrating through the cracks.
We recommend placing an elastic rubberized crack-fill material in the voids that allow movement of the paving by staying flexible while preventing penetration. The operation is simple and cost effective. We clear and clean the parking lot. Clean the cracks with compressed air to remove debris as needed. We buy a high-quality material, called Seal Master Crack Master Supreme, due to its high breakdown temperature and longevity. Other vendors often use cheaper materials, including liquid asphalt that can become soft and track at temperatures as low as 100°F and loses its elasticity quickly. The material we use is shipped in blocks and is melted in an agitated direct fire melting pot. The agitation is only used by a fraction of the vendors but is important for the material to flow into the voids. It also allows the material to become usable at a lower temperature and prevents tracking. The material is then poured into the void and then pulled by a squeegee to apply pressure and thin out the amount of surface material.
Crack-filling is not recommended when the existing asphalt is “Alligatored” because it is normally sold by the linear foot and can vary from .50 to .75 cents depending on the quantity. When the surface is completely shattered, we would recommend re-paving to replace the filed wearing course.