Water is the Enemy of All Asphalt
Crack repair is a vital part of any asphalt maintenance program.
Cracks in your asphalt allow water to seep into the asphalt mat and destroy it from the inside out. When water runs down into cracks in your asphalt and freezes, the natural expansion of the water causes further cracking and destruction. The situation becomes dire when water reaches the subgrade beneath the asphalt mat.
Hardrives makes use of several different crack fill compounds with differing compositions, depending upon the application required for each specific job. Generally speaking, the compounds used in parking lots and driveways are slightly harder when cool than those used on highways and roads. These compounds remain softer and more elastic, but do not perform well when foot traffic is a major concern.
Crack filling alone can be performed as a maintenance operation, but a better option is to couple crack filling with either a Sealcoat or Slurry Seal. This combination represents the very best option for protecting your valuable investment against the ravages of nature.
The most common means of controlling cracks is by filling them with a hot rubber compound. Existing cracks are usually routed wide enough to remove weak and unsound oxidized crack walls. This routing process creates a reservoir which is then filled with the crack fill compound. These compounds are heated to 390°-400° which causes them to become viscous and free flowing, at which point they are poured into the crack.
As they cool, these compounds become semi-solid once again. The result is a seal which eliminates the migration of water beneath the surface. The crack fill compound maintains a degree of elasticity which prevents the seal from being broken when the asphalt moves and flexes as the temperature changes.
This elasticity is optimized by the routing process which allows for a larger bead of filler to be applied; the larger the bead, the greater the degree of elasticity that it maintains. It is imperative that the cracks being repaired are clean and dry.