Here in the Pacific Northwest, we experience wet weather for most of the year. Unfortunately, water is the most destructive element to asphalt pavement. Unsealed cracks allow water to penetrate and weaken the base and subgrade of the asphalt leading to erosion which causes alligatoring, pot holes and more extensive cracking.
Crack sealing paired with asphalt sealcoating is the key to an excellent maintenance plan for your asphalt pavement. It’s intended to prevent spread of the problem by filling and sealing the crack. This will help to keep foreign substances out of the cracks. Here are the quick FAQs about crack sealing and filling. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions:
Q: What time of year should pavement be crack filled?
A: Our standard rule of thumb is crack filler should be applied March through November, as long as the humidity is low and the cracks are completely dry. Crack filling can be completed in the colder, winter months as long as it is dry. Because cracks are at their widest when it’s cold, because they expand, this allows us to get the most amount of crack filler in the crack. In the summer months they contract, therefore not allowing as much material to be applied.
Q: How long does it take the crack filling material to dry?
A: The filling material is applied at molten hot temperatures but rapidly cools in minutes. Sand is oftentimes spread over fresh crack filler to prevent unsightly tracking. Be careful of tracking the material on your shoes as the material can become sticky in the Summer heat.
Q: Will sealcoat material and crack sealing material stick together?
A: Yes, the two substances will stick together. The two materials will bond, but since the crack sealing material is specifically designed to expand and contract through changing temperatures the sealcoat can separate or “chip” away from the crack sealant over time.
Q: What can be done to prevent pavement cracks?
A: The most important preventative measure you can take is to fully commit to yearly pavement inspections and maintenance to fix minor cracks and problems before they turn into bigger problems.
Q: What causes filled cracks to re-opened?
A: Cracks may reopen due to excessive expansion and contraction during the freeze-thaw cycles of winter. The filler can adjust to moderate temperature fluctuations, but it will not always be as effective during extreme weather conditions.
Q: How often should pavement be crack filled?
A: Crack filling should be viewed as routine maintenance. It can be done as often as needed but should ideally be done at least once per year to maximize your pavement’s lifespan.
Q: When should pavement be crack filled?
A: Crack filling should be done throughout the life of your pavement and properly maintained at least once per year to keep your pavement in its best possible condition.
Q: How is crack filler applied and how does it work?
A: Crack filler is applied at molten temperatures. We apply this material with a heated wand or bander. When crack filler cools off it expands to form a tight yet flexible seal to react with the changes in temperature as pavement expands and contracts.
As Washington’s leading pavement marking company, Stripe Rite is dedicated to providing top quality services throughout the state of Washington. We offer crack sealing and filling, along with other pavement marking services from our locations in Sumner, Bremerton, Kennewick and Yakima. Contact our pavement marking experts for a free consultation on your next project.