Asphalt is a cost-effective and durable material for paving. Installed and maintained correctly, a blacktop pavement can last for decades. That said, asphalt is susceptible to wear and tear, developing signs of distress over its lifespan.
Cracks are one of the earliest and most common of these signs. But you can quickly fix them with a simple yet cost-effective technique known as crack filling.
In today’s blog, we list 4 key facts about crack filling asphalt that you should know as a property owner or manager.
1. What Is Crack Filling?
All asphalt is susceptible to cracking. Several things damage asphalt, including:
- UV rays
- Rainfall and snow
- Vehicle pressure
- Oil and fuel spills
These factors, in turn, cause contraction, slippage, and fatigue, leading to cracks.
Crack filling asphalt is one of the best ways to treat gaps and openings on your pavement. The process involves placing asphalt emulsion into non-working cracks to prevent the penetration of water, chemicals, and debris.
Crack filling also reinforces the adjacent pavement.
2. Different Types Of Cracks
Not all cracks are equal. The two main categories of cracks are ‘working’ and ‘non-working’ cracks. Working cracks are horizontal/vertical movements greater than 0.1 inches, while non-working cracks are movements less than 0.1 inches.
The 8 major types of cracks are:
1. Alligator or Fatigue Cracks
2. Block Cracks
3. Longitudinal Cracks
4. Edge Cracks
5. Transverse or Thermal Cracks
6. Reflection Cracks
7. Slippage Cracks
8. Shrinkage Cracks
Alligator cracks are an example of non-working cracks, while transverse cracks are an example of working cracks. Crack filling is ideal for non-working types. For cracks with movements more than 0.1 inches, asphalt contractors recommend another process: crack sealing.
3. How Long Does Crack Filler Last?
You should ideally fill asphalt cracks every year to preserve your asphalt. Crack filling asphalt extends pavement life by as much as 20 to 30 years.
Not to mention, when cracks are fixed on time, you can avoid costly repairs. On average, crack filling costs anywhere from $0.35 to $1.00 per linear foot, which is 20 to 30 times less expensive than repairing or replacing damaged asphalt.
4. When To Fill Cracks?
As soon as you see them!
Cracks are not to be neglected. They ruin the appearance of your pavement and also increase the risk of tripping. From a structural standpoint, any openings on the surface allow water and other substances to penetrate the surface and erode the pavement from within.
When left untreated, cracks can lead to potholes, and eventually pavement failure. That’s why you should call an asphalt paving contractor for crack filling as soon as you notice any signs of damage on your pavement.
The best time of the year to fill cracks is from April to November. That said, crack filling can be done in the winter as long as the weather is dry.
That’s about it!