Should I Seal My Asphalt Cracks

“Why should I seal my Asphalt Cracks”

    The most important aspect of asphalt maintenance is crack repair. This article will discuss the damage caused by untreated cracks, the criteria needed to treat cracks and the materials used.

Asphalt cracks when the base (stone foundation) deteriorates because it was incorrectly installed by the paving contractor or the ground settles significally. As the stone foundation gives, the asphalt begins to crack.

If these asphalt cracks are not sealed they will get worse. What happens is water penetrates the unprotected crack and filters into the stone base which leads to further deterioration of the base.

There are several types of asphalt cracking: “stand alone” cracks, gatored areas, and pot holes. “Stand Alone” cracks are fairly recent asphalt cracks that are singular in nature and are not associated with gatored areas that experience multiple cracks in a relatively close area. Stand alone cracks vary in width. All asphalt cracks that are 1/4″ or bigger should be sealed with cold pour or hot tar. Gatored areas are where the asphalt has excessive cracking and the majority of the area is still intact but cracked. Most gatored areas started out as “stand alone” cracks but were left untreated and they deteriorated.

Gatored areas are a significant indication that the base of the base of the asphalt has been compromised and there are several options to fix theses areas. The most economical fix is to apply a topical patch. A material called gator pave, which is manufactured by Sealmaster a national leader in asphalt pavement products, can be used here. Gator pave is applied to the surface with a squeegee. The topical patch’s purpose is to prevent water from penetrating the gator area, as well as keeping all of the pieces of asphalt together. This is a temporary fix, as it might last 2-3 years. The more permanent fix is to cut out the gator area, fix the stone base and replace the area with new asphalt.

Gatored areas left untreated turn into pot holes. All of the surface asphalt completely erodes away and the underlying stone erodes away as well. The end result is an area in the asphalt that is a hole. These areas are fixed by rebuilding the base with stone and replacing the area with new asphalt.

In conclusion, any reputable asphalt maintenance contractor should give you an estimate on repairing all cracks when pricing your asphalt maintenance needs. If a contractor does not provide an estimate, it usually means that they do not have the means to perform the crack repair. This should be a red flag that you could potentially be dealing with a less than reputable contractor. It is essential to maintain your asphalt to avoid costly repairs in the future. If your budget is limited, we highly suggest that you spend your money on asphalt crack repair. This service will preserve your asphalt more than any other.

     Just Seal It LLC is the recognized Asphalt Sealcoating and Pavement Marking leader in the York, PA. – Harrisburg, PA. – Lancaster, PA. –  Baltimore, MD. to Washington D.C. areas. Our great attention to detail combined with our commitment to superior customer service assures that your asphalt will be sealed correctly. For a free quote click here or give us a call @ 717-855-7775.