cracksealing Cracksealing is a first defense against pavement deterioration offering several important benefits. Effective cracksealing keeps water from entering and weakening the base or sub-base. It helps preserve the pavement adjacent to the cracks; prevents sand, stone, and dirt from making its way into open cracks causing compressive stresses; and extends pavement life by minimizing crack growth.

Proper attention to cracks prevents problems from spreading and doubles the life of the pavement. Pavement repair in early stages of deterioration pay big dividends later delaying costly resurfacing.

Crack Types

reflective crack
Reflective
block cracks
Block
edge
Edge

Reflective

Reflective cracks happen when an existing crack or joint in the underlying pavement structure reflects upward through the surface. Reflective cracks are primarily in resurfacing projects, but low severity cracks can occur in new pavement. Reflective cracking shortens the service life of overlays on asphalt and concrete pavement.

Block

Visually, this type of cracking forms a square pattern, with cracks intersecting each other at nearly right angles. A common cause of this on parking lots is lack of traffic, (steady traffic constantly kneads the pavement and keeps it flexible). Other causes include excessive air voids, low-penetration asphalt, or an overly high plant mix temperature.

Edge

Edge cracks appear only parallel to and within 18 inches of the edge of the pavement. Causes include poor base, lack of shoulder support, poor drainage, or frost action.


Joint

Slippage

Fatigue or Alligator

Joint

Pavement “joints” are created during initial construction when the edges of two pavement mats are placed next to each other. These constructed joints usually have a lower density of asphalt than that of the surrounding pavement. If the mats don’t bond properly (for a variety of reasons), joint cracks appear.

Slippage

Slippage cracks are usually crescent-shaped and caused by heavy traffic that is stopping, turning, or climbing a hill. Resultant stresses cause a bond failure between the upper and lower pavement layers. The open end of the U-shaped crack always points in the direction of the applied force.

Fatigue or Alligator

Over time, a flexible asphalt pavement becomes more rigid and is less able to tolerate vertical deflections. This causes tension in the pavement and results in alligator-type cracking. Such cracking can also occur from structural inadequacy, aging, and oxidation.

It is generally recommended that alligator areas be removed and replaced rather than filled or sealed.

Crack Routing

In some cases, crack widening or routing is necessary. Routing is strongly suggested in truck areas, but not in cracks that have already been sealed. Configuration choice depends on factors such as crack type, pavement downtime, and budget. Crack routing creates a proper reservoir to which the crack sealant material adheres.

Pavement Repair Procedures

Detailed specifications for both cracksealing and routing are available for download in our Cracksealing Technical Specs library.

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