Crack Fill: Is it All it’s Cracked Up to Be?
By Justin Hoover, PCM Asphalt & Concrete | October 3, 2013
Photo by Michael Coghlan
What Is Crack Filling?
Crack filling is the process of injecting a hot pour, rubberized sealant into isolated cracks in the asphalt pavement to prevent water from penetrating the sub-grade and stone base.
Why Crack Fill?
How can this simple preventive maintenance procedure be so valuable? Hot crack fill repair is an important part of asphalt maintenance for any parking lot. Parking lots should be inspected and touched-up annually in order to properly protect them from the elements and, thus, prolong the life of the asphalt.
The greatest threat to your parking lot is, of all things, water! The freeze-thaw effects of water during the winter can be especially damaging. Asphalt pavement cracks are dangerous openings inviting water to seep in and cause structural damage. Cracks allow the asphalt base to become saturated, causing cracks to form due to the expansion and contraction experienced in extreme temperatures.
Another threat is that these cracks can allow the base to be washed away, thus leaving the surface unsupported. This can lead to even bigger problems such as: base failure, blow outs, and pot holes. Needless to say, cracks that are filled with hot crack fill close these openings and slow the process of pavement failure.
So, Is it All it’s Cracked Up to Be?
Absolutely. It’s a proven fact that a well-maintained asphalt pavement can add many years to the life of your parking lot. When asphalt cracks are left untreated, water and temperature extremes can reduce the life of your parking lot by as much as 50% in just five years! A regular regimen of sealing and crack filling slows down the rate of oxidation and prevents water from seeping under the pavement, thus preventing damage to its subsurface load-bearing structure. Do not neglect this simple and inexpensive preventive maintenance for your parking lots.