How Effective Is Asphalt Crack Sealing?

Asphalt pavement is extremely economical, remarkably durable and aesthetically appealing. However, it is inevitable that cracks will appear at some point during the pavement’s life. If the cracks are caused by flaws in the materials or construction, they can appear soon after the pavement is installed. Overweight vehicles or excessive traffic can also contribute to the formation of cracks. In the Las Vegas area, however, exposure to strong ultraviolet radiation can quickly deteriorate the binder in asphalt pavement that is not protected by asphalt sealcoating. Timely repair of any cracks that develop is a critical part of ensuring that your asphalt pavement will have the longest life possible.


How Effective Is Asphalt Crack Sealing? Is it Critical?


Open cracks allow water to leak beneath the pavement. Even a relatively small amount of water can destabilize the foundation supporting the weight of the pavement and the vehicles using the pavement. If the foundation becomes unstable, the pavement can develop cracks, depressions and potholes. The water can come from precipitation, but sprinkler systems can also provide runoff that can endanger your pavement.


Cracks also allow oil and other automotive fluids a way to bypass the protection offered by a sealant. These petroleum-based fluids will soften asphalt pavement, making it easily damaged by normal traffic.

Another problem with leaving cracks open to the elements is the possibility that dirt and other debris may fill the crack. The debris can restrict the pavement’s movement, making it difficult or impossible for the surrounding asphalt to flex as it should.


Is Asphalt Crack Sealing an Effective Repair Method?


Having a crack sealer professionally applied is highly effective and quite economical. Studies have shown that asphalt crack sealing is a cost-effective way to add up to eight years to the life of the pavement.


Crack sealing should not be confused with crack filling. A crack sealer is a rubberized material that has excellent adhesive properties and flexibility. An asphalt crack sealer will move with the pavement without breaking its bond with the walls of the crack. Asphalt crack filler is not rubberized and is highly inflexible. Therefore, when the pavement moves, the crack filler could be dislodged or break.


Although there are some cracks that can be handled with crack filling, crack sealing is the better option for most cracks. An asphalt crack filler should not be used to repair cracks that are still active and increasing in width. Crack filling will provide only a temporary repair if the crack is active. Filling may be a viable option for some reflective, edge or block cracks. However, crack sealers are better products for repairing most longitudinal, transverse, reflective and joint cracks. If alligator cracking has occurred, neither a crack filler nor a sealer will be able to salvage the pavement. Alligator cracking will almost always require the removal of the damaged area so that the foundation can be repaired before new pavement is installed.


Do You Need Help With Your Pavement?


Affordable Striping & Sealing provides quality asphalt maintenance and asphalt repair for pavements. We serve customers throughout the greater Las Vegas area with asphalt crack sealing and filling, parking lot striping and sealcoating services. We also offer road markings, traffic signs and bumper blocks. We will carefully evaluate your pavement to recommend solutions that meet your needs, and we will never recommend unnecessary services. We are known for our professionalism and integrity as well as the outstanding results that we deliver. We offer free quotes, so give us a call at (702) 222-9009 or submit the online form.


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