When Is Asphalt Crack Repair Needed?

When constructing a new road, parking lot, or other pavement, asphalt is typically the most economical material. It will also be faster to install and less expensive to repair. However, every experienced paving company knows that asphalt pavement will eventually develop cracks. An essential part of ensuring a long life for your asphalt pavement is to be proactive about your maintenance program, and this program should include timely professional crack repairs.

Why Is Crack Repair an Essential Part of Asphalt Paving Maintenance?

Asphalt pavement has a certain amount of flexibility. This allows the pavement to flex under normal loads and during seasonal changes in the temperature of the ground. However, the foundation under the pavement must be stable, strong, and well-compacted. A destabilized foundation robs the pavement of its ability to maintain its flexibility. If the asphalt contractor engineered and installed the pavement correctly, the foundation can potentially remain stable for many decades. However, if water reaches the foundation through cracks in the surface of the pavement, the water can erode the foundation. The weakened foundation can allow the pavement to sag, leading to potholes, alligator cracking, and other severe damage. Timely crack repairs can prevent water from reaching the foundation.

How Do Professionals Repair Cracks in Asphalt Pavement?

The two primary methods are asphalt crack sealing and asphalt crack filling. The type of crack determines the appropriate repair method. Most contractors classify cracks as either working cracks or inactive cracks. Working cracks are those that continue to expand and contract after they initially develop; the expansion and contraction could be due to seasonal temperature fluctuations, traffic, or ground movement. Inactive cracks are those with movement rates of less than approximately one-tenth of an inch per year.

• Crack sealing involves the introduction of a sealant material over or in the crack. The sealant is rubberized so that it can flex when the pavement moves. Therefore, crack sealing is the preferred method for repairing working cracks.
• Crack filling involves placing filler materials into the cracks to prevent water penetration. This method is only suitable for inactive cracks; the filler lacks the ability to flex when the pavement moves, so any movement of the pavement could dislodge the filler.

Will Filling or Sealing Repair All Types of Cracks in Asphalt Pavement?

Unfortunately, there are some types of cracks that you cannot repair with either sealing or filling. For example, alligator cracking usually indicates damage to the pavement’s foundation that will require the removal of the damaged area to repair the foundation. The destabilized foundation will allow the pavement to continue to sag and crack, so any efforts to fill or seal the alligator cracks will be futile.

How Often Should a Contractor Perform Asphalt Crack Repairs?

If you want to obtain the best return on your investment, you should have a formal paving maintenance plan. If your budget allows, you should have a reputable asphalt contractor inspect your pavement every spring and every autumn to identify potential problems before they escalate. Should he find any cracks that are more than about a quarter of an inch in width or depth, he should repair them at that time. At the very least, have your contractor inspect your pavement and repair cracks annually. You should also maintain your sealcoating to help prevent cracks caused by exposure to the sun’s rays.

Does Alpha Paving Offer Crack Repairs?

Alpha Paving offers a full range of paving services, including asphalt crack repairasphalt sealingasphalt resurfacing, road construction, thermoplastic pavement markings, street maintenance, parking lot striping, asphalt patching, and concrete work. We serve numerous municipalities and counties, retailers, apartment complexes, educational facilities, religious institutions, subdivisions, health care facilities, airports, office parks, and hotels throughout the Texas Hill Country. We take great pride in our exemplary reputation for delivering high-quality results at competitive prices. We would be happy to give you a free quote on whatever type of work you need, so call our office in Round Rock at 512-677-9001 or fill out the online form.

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