Welcome back to the Sunrise Asphalt blog! We are continuing our month-long look at asphalt cracks and repairs with this entry. Last time we focused on the causes of asphalt cracking, the environmental and construction factors that might lead to failure. This time we are going to, briefly, go over how asphalt cracks are repaired.
Previously on the blog, we have talked about the possible future of asphalt crack repairs with ‘self-healing’ asphalt. While the Netherlands are still testing out the future, we need to rely on the tried and true classic methods of asphalt repair.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and when it comes to asphalt cracking much of it can be prevented by addressing the common causes of asphalt cracks. Ensuring that the asphalt is laid correctly, as well as having proper drainage and preventing overloading will have major effects on the lifespan of the asphalt.
When it comes time to repair, you will still want to address these underlying causes, lest all this effort is for naught as the problem continues. There are several different measures and steps to take depending on the state of damage the asphalt is in.
For instance, if the cracks are still in their initial stages and haven’t quite gone full crocodile they can be sealed with a crack sealant. The way this will repair the asphalt, aside from filling the crack, is by preventing further damage to the subgrade (the layers of aggregate and other materials below the asphalt layer itself) due to moisture. We describe the process of crack filling more here but to put it briefly, the cracks must be under a half inch in size and the hot rubberized crack filler should be applied as soon as possible to avoid too much damage. This is a basic maintenance task that anyone can take care of so long as they are vigilant. The necessary tools and materials for this can be purchased for as low as $20 for simple smaller jobs.
If the cracks are further along, affecting a small area of asphalt but not the whole road, the damaged area can be removed and replaced with a patch. The heavily cracked asphalt will be pulled up, as well as their foundational materials and replaced with new base and asphalt to ensure that the fix is a solid one.
Should the cracks and damage progress past these smaller, easier contained areas then it is often a time for a total overhaul. At this point, however, we have completely left the realm of ‘asphalt crack repair’ and instead in total road reconstruction.
If your asphalt surfaces need work do not hesitate to contact us to see what you will need, fill out the form to receive your free estimate to understand the likely cost of the job. Until next time, keep your asphalt strong and it will serve you well!