While the terms crack filling and crack sealing are often used, there are differences between these methods of crack repair. Dealing with cracks in asphalt stops water from penetrating cracks and causing damage to the pavement’s foundation. In fall and winter, water gets into the cracks and as it freezes, it swells, causing the crack itself to expand and get larger.
Crack sealing is a method in which hot sealant is applied to working cracks to prevent water intrusion.
What are working cracks?
- Working cracks are horizontal and/or vertical movements in cracks greater than 0.1 inches.
- An example of working cracks is a transverse crack.
Understanding crack sealants
Crack sealants are rubberized and have the ability to seal the crack while staying flexible with the pavement’s movement. Beneficial for active cracks that continue to extend in size and severity over time, crack sealants stop water and debris from entering the crack, protecting the longevity of the pavement.
Crack filling is the placement of asphalt emulsion into non-working cracks to reduce water infiltration and to reinforce the adjacent pavement.
What are non-working cracks?
- Non-working cracks are horizontal and/or vertical movements in the crack less than 0.1 inches.
- Examples of non-working cracks include longitudinal, diagonal and alligator cracks.
- In contrast to crack sealing, crack filling treats pavement that doesn’t show significant movement.
Crack repair – The most economical method used in maintaining the life of parking lots is crack repair. This process includes filling cracks (1/4 inch and wider) with a hot-poured rubberized sealant. The crack sealant reduces pavement deterioration.
- This process is not used for airline or alligatored cracks. Without proper maintenance, water can destroy a pavement surface.