Exploring the Techniques and Materials of Crack Filling

Exploring the Techniques and Materials of Crack Filling

Cracks snaking across driveways, walkways, and roads are more than just unsightly blemishes. Left untamed, they can turn into formidable threats that compromise the structural integrity of your pavement and open the door to water infiltration. Here’s where the art of crack filling steps in to tackle these imperfections and restore the functionality and longevity of your paved surfaces. But crack filling isn’t a uniform process – there are different routes a paving contractor can take depending on the nature and severity of the crack. Let’s take a deep dive into this fascinating process!

Crack Preparation: Setting the Stage for Success

Preparation is key for success in any paving project, but especially when it comes to crack filling. Here’s a breakdown of the essential steps involved:

  • Crack Assessment: The first step is to evaluate the extent of the crack. Is it a narrow hairline separation or a wider chasm? The crack’s width will influence the choice of filling material and application technique.
  • Surface Cleaning: Cleaning the surface is an essential step. Remove any loose debris, dirt, or vegetation from the crack’s surface using a stiff broom or a compressed air jet. A clean surface ensures optimal adhesion between the filler and the surrounding asphalt or concrete.
  • Routing (Optional): For wider cracks (greater than ¼ inch), routing might be necessary. This involves using a specialized concrete or asphalt router to create a clean, uniform channel with a slightly wider base at the bottom. Routing allows the crack filler to penetrate deeper, creating a more robust and long-lasting repair.

Application Techniques: Filling with Finesse

After preparing the cracks, it’s time to embark on the application process:

  • Filling the Crack: Ensure the crack is completely dry before proceeding. If using hot-applied asphalt crack sealant, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for heating and application. 
  • Curing Time Considerations: Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for curing times. Hot-applied asphalt crack sealant typically cures quickly. Restrict traffic on the repaired area until the filler has completely cured to ensure optimal bonding and prevent damage.

Specialized Techniques for Larger Cracks

For wider cracks (greater than 1 inch) or those with significant depth, additional techniques might be necessary:

  • Crack Injection: This method involves injecting a pourable asphalt or concrete material under low pressure deep into the crack. This technique is ideal for larger cracks where simply filling the surface wouldn’t suffice. Crack injection requires specialized equipment and expertise and is often employed by professional pavement maintenance companies.
  • Expanding Foam Backfilling: For cracks with significant depth, using a backer rod made of expanding foam can be beneficial. Inserted into the lower portion of the crack, the backer rod expands to fill the void, creating a solid base for the final layer of crack filler. This technique helps to improve the longevity of the repair by preventing the filler from sinking into the deeper recesses of the crack.

Call Georgia’s Wildcat Pavement for High-Quality Asphalt Maintenance and Repairs

At Georgia’s Wildcat Paving, we offer professional asphalt services to maintain, treat, and repair pavement that’s been affected by Mother Nature and other wear and tear. We can help you avoid greater damage using our expert knowledge and high-tech tools. Don’t wait until damage becomes too severe to fix! Give us a call or fill out our online form to get a free quote today.

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