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Crack Seal Process
It is important to the longevity of your asphalt surfaces to maintain and repair asphalt cracking before it becomes a major issue. Cracks are a natural occurrence of asphalt and are caused by the climate and the aging process of asphalt. The cracks open the door to water invasion to your parking lot’s base and sub-base level and can contribute to rapid failure.
Asphalt Cracking Causes
- UV Rays — The sun plays a big role in asphalt cracking and deterioration. An asphalt surface will bake in the sun, and a process called oxidation occurs, removing oils from the worn surface. This causes asphalt to become dry, brittle, and less flexible to withstand the traffic flow and freeze-thaw cycles. As a result, cracks begin to form, and if unmaintained, they can quickly cause failure.
- Traffic Flow — Asphalt is designed to be flexible and allows for some give for constant traffic flow. The weight of the vehicles and traffic flow patterns can contribute to asphalt cracking. It is imperative to maintain the structural strength of the sub-base soil supporting the asphalt surfaces. If asphalt cracks are not addressed immediately, water can infiltrate the supporting sub-soils causing damage and creating more cracking and asphalt deterioration.
- Freeze-Thaw Cycles —The freeze-thaw cycles play a major role in the deterioration occurrence in asphalt surfaces. When temperature cycles fluctuate rapidly, it causes the asphalt to expand and contract too quickly, resulting in smaller hairline cracks or thermal cracking. Another reaction to these cycles is when the surface temps warm up and melt the snow and ice in the springtime. Unmaintained cracks allow this moisture to invade the base and sub-base soils. This moisture becomes trapped between the asphalt course above and the still-frozen sub-soils below. When constant traffic flow is occurring weakens the sub-soils and thus creates aggressive asphalt cracking.
The biggest factor in applying a crack seal is making sure the crack is clean of all debris and moisture. Our Duramax professionals utilize a few methods of cleaning depending on the conditions. If vegetation grows in the cracks, we use a wire wheel abrader for removal. To ensure all smaller debris and moisture are removed, we operate a heat lance that applies a large amount of air combined with heat to clean and prep the crack for the product. For specific jobs, we will route the cracks for applying products.
Applying a good quality product can be the difference in providing a long-term solution or premature failure. We apply a couple of different types of crack sealant depending on the type of surfaces we are working on. All our products are DOT grade and provide the greatest laxity and strength.
The steps our professionals take from start to finish are shown in the final product’s quality and provide long-term value to your asphalt surfaces. We understand the stress of a deteriorating, unprotected parking lot season after season. At Duramax we want to remove that stress and give you peace of mind by providing an accurate assessment and the right solution for your asphalt surfaces.