Asphalt cracking typically occurs when the surface layer begins to oxidize, making it dry and brittle. This can happen from temperature fluctuations, stress, and other factors. Over time, the eroding top layer can allow water to seep in, further damaging the asphalt and worsening the cracks. The water can erode and destabilize the base and ultimately the sub-grade underneath the asphalt. Unsealed cracks will eventually cause additional cracking and even potholes.
Crack routing and sealing protects your pavement by preventing water from entering. At Topwest Asphalt, we have the professional knowledge and expertise to do the job right the first time, without cutting corners. We use professional grade hot rubber sealants that stand up well to traffic and temperature changes.
Signs You Need Crack Sealing
Technically, all cracks in your asphalt should be sealed or filled. Any crack could put the asphalt at risk for further damage. However, you know it is time to take action when you see the following signs:
- The cracks are currently small but appear to be getting worse
- Rainwater seeps into the cracks
- The asphalt begins to appear mottled, spider webbed, or extremely dry
Advantages of Crack Sealing
Crack sealing has a number of advantages over doing nothing or replacing the asphalt:
- Extends the lifespan of the pavement
- Prevents water from entering and causing damage to the sub-grade, which could ultimately result in the asphalt needing to be replaced
- Relatively simple and cost-effective
Crack routing is an important first step in crack sealing. It allows us to properly clean out the crack, expose fresh edges for the sealant to grab, and makes room for additional sealant that can expand and contract with temperature changes. Crack routing involves expanding the existing crack into a V-shaped groove.
It is possible, but not recommended, to skip this step. Failing to properly route the crack could minimize the benefits of repair, shorten the expanded lifespan of the asphalt, or even lead to sealant failure. If cracks are sealed without routing, it is more likely that you will eventually need to replace the asphalt.
An often overlooked but vital step is thoroughly cleaning out the newly routed crack. Dirt and debris can prevent the crack from properly sealing. Grass and weeds frequently grow in asphalt cracks, and must be completely removed before the sealant is applied. We use a variety of methods to ensure that the crack is clean and ready to receive the sealant.
Hot Rubber Crack Sealant
After the crack is routed, we will apply a hot rubber crack sealant. The material expands to fully fill the crack and adheres to the rest of the pavement. The sealant we use retains flexibility even when dry to prevent further damage from the inevitable expansion and contraction that asphalt experiences, especially during our Canadian winters. We use a variety of methods to finish the repair and ensure that the repair is as flush with the existing asphalt as possible.<