Pavement cracks can soon become a structural problem if not taken care of immediately. Preservative treatments and pavement overlays restore qualities such as smoothness, friction, or attractiveness or add structural support to an existing pavement.
It is important to note that any surface treatment would require a perfectly sound base, and thus, the first step is to evaluate and repair the cracks. There are different ways of repairing damages, and the type of treatment will be dependent on the severity and depth of the cracks.
How Can I Identify Cracks?
Cracks, the misery of concrete pavement, come in many forms. The three most common cracks are:
Transverse cracks are the most prevalent type of cracks resulting from temperature changes or drying shrinkage. Longitudinal cracks are usually caused by poor joint or base construction, while block cracks result from square or rectangular-shaped slabs that have contracted differently.
Identifying a crack doesn’t take an expert; however, knowing the type and severity of the crack is essential for choosing the correct repair method.
What Causes Cracks?
The three primary causes of cracks are:
Drying Shrinkage: Loss of moisture can be dangerous for a concrete surface. As concrete dries, it shrinks. If there is nothing to restrain the drying concrete, cracks will form.
Thermal Movement: Concrete expands when heated and contracts when cooled. If these temperature changes are sudden or uneven, the concrete can crack.
Restrained Shrinkage: When fresh concrete is placed next to an already-hardened mass of concrete, the new concrete will try to shrink. If it is unable to do so, cracking can occur. Contraction and expansion joints are placed in concrete to control cracking.
How to Prepare Cracks for Surface Treatment?
Every surface needs some degree of preparation before a coating can be applied to achieve the best results. With concrete, this usually means removing any previous layers or repair materials, cleaning the surface of contaminants, and opening up the pores of the concrete so the new coating can adequately adhere.
When it comes to cracks, preparation is key to ensuring that your surface treatment will be successful. Follow our tips below for the best results:
- Inspect the damages and repair any that are actively leaking.
- If the cracks are dry, clean them out with a wire brush or vacuum.
- For cracks wider than ¼ inch, use a backer rod to fill the crack before proceeding with your surface treatment.
Surface Treatment Options:
Epoxy Injection: It is a two-part system that consists of an epoxy resin and a hardener. The epoxy is injected into the crack with a dispensing gun. It bonds to the concrete and cures to form a robust and rigid structure.
Polyurethane Injection: A combination of polyethylene and a hardening agent, polyurethane is injected into the crack with a caulk gun. It expands as it cures to fill the entire crack.
Hydraulic Cement Concrete Repair: A fast-setting cement, hydraulic cement is mixed with water and injected into the crack with a caulking gun. It hardens quickly, so it is ideal for repairing cracks actively leaking water.
Crack filling and sealing are essential to successful surface treatment. Proper crack preparation will ensure that your repair lasts for years to come.
Surface Solutions, serving Pocomoke City, MD, offer expert asphalt and concrete surface maintenance services.
With our crack filling and sealing services, we can help you prolong the life of your asphalt and concrete surfaces.